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Mitt Romney haunted by “47 percent” statement October 13, 2012

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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Less than a few months before Election Day, video was released from a behind-closed-doors fundraiser featuring Mitt Romney bashing 47 percent of the American public as self-described victims who are dependent on the government. As Romney stated, this 47 percent believes “that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing.” Romney continued, “there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them.” Romney concluded the statement by saying, “My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” Needless to say, Romney’s statement was perceived by many critics as cold, and evidence that he doesn’t understand the struggles of those in need.

While Romney defended his remarks for days, he eventually expressed regret once he received a crucial bounce in support after the first debate. Romney admitted that his remarks were “not elegantly stated” and that he was “just completely wrong.” He went went on to say that he has a long history of representing “the 100 percent in America” and that his gaffe was the product of being on the road. In an interview with Fox News, Romney claimed, “Well, clearly in a campaign, with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question-and-answer sessions, now and then you’re going to say something that doesn’t come out right.”

To see Romney’s comments yourself, and how they have been used by his opponents, watch the following videos:

Discussion Questions:

1.  What is a gaffe? Was Romney’s statement a gaffe, or an unfortunate moment of political honesty?

2.  How has Romney’s statement been used against him by his opponents?

3.  Why did Romney wait so long to express regret for his statement? Was his response to the debacle effective? Why, or why not?



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