Romney remarks draw Republican support and concern

by
September 20, 2012

Thomas Ferraro and Richard Cowan, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A third Republican U.S. Senate candidate on Wednesday rejected Mitt Romney’s characterization of nearly half the country as slackers, but other party lawmakers voiced support for their struggling presidential nominee.

Republican members of Congress said Romney was making a valid point, though not artfully stated, when he said that 47 percent of Americans pay no federal income tax and feel entitled to federal assistance.They predicted that the remark, which has triggered a political firestorm, would quickly fade without hurting Romney or their own chances for re-election.

But President Barack Obama’s Democrats are pushing to make it an issue in the presidential and congressional campaigns, even quickly coming up with new ads.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid ridiculed Republicans, telling reporters: “We have a long line of people who are running from Romney.”

Reid cited three Republicans in close Senate races who have rebuked Romney’s comments – Senators Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Dean Heller of Nevada and Linda McMahon, who is running for the Senate in Connecticut.

Brown and McMahon rejected Romney’s comments on Tuesday, shortly after the release of a video showing Romney speaking at a private fundraiser earlier this year.

At the event, Romney essentially wrote off as Obama backers 47 percent of Americans who “pay no income tax” and see themselves as “victims” who are “entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing, to you name it.”

In a brief interview on Wednesday, Heller, whose father was an auto mechanic and mother was a school cook, said, “I disagree with his statement.”

Heller said plenty of blue-collar families, like his own, worked hard to pay their bills and make it on their own.

“We should be talking about creating jobs – not about 47 percent who aren’t paying taxes and may be on some sort of assistance,” Heller said.

Romney’s comments have drawn fire from a number of leading conservatives who describe his campaign as sputtering, allowing Obama to build a lead in the polls.

  • Rattlerjake

    The comments made by Romney are some of the few words I’ve heard him say that are SPOT ON! Too many GOP politicians are scared to say what needs to be said and the rest will apologize. Voters in our political system are bought and paid for by democrats. Our voting laws need to remove those on government assistance from the voting roles – this does not include those that are receiving what they paid into!

  • TheRowan

    Unfortunately, those who are disagreeing with Gov Romney’s comments are not doing themselves any favors. All three who have distanced themselves are in closely contested races and have a very narrow road to hoe, they must take care what they say. The video showing comments made by Gov Romney has now been shown to have been tampered with. The person who brought this to the attention of Mother Jones, has now had to admit there is time discrepency, about two minutes, missing from the comments Gov Romney said, blaming it on the person taking the video not realizing his camera had shut off. Does the main stream media and this Administration think the American people are so stupid as not to see this for what it really is, a political hatchet job on Gov Romney.

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