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ELECTION: Romney’s words misrepresented

Letter by Eric Chandler, Lakewood on Sep. 18, 2012 at 11:48 am with 64 Comments »
September 18, 2012 11:48 am

Re: “Romney: Obama backers ‘dependent on government'” (TNT, 9-18).

Neither presidential candidate is to my liking. However, what bothers me most about this situation is the blatant misinterpretation of what Mitt Romney said.

If a person carefully reads what he said, it is clear that he was talking about a select group of people who “will vote for the president no matter what.” He said 47 percent. So, what do his words actually mean?

For instance, if there were 200,000 people in a voting district, and 100,000 people voted for the president, Romney is saying 47,000 of those Obama voters would have voted for him “no matter what.” The remaining 53,000 were actually convinced to vote for the president. The “no matter what” Obama voter group does not translate to nearly 50 percent of the district’s electorate, but rather 23.5 percent!

So, what does this all boil down to? Selective reading/interpretation by the media. Voters should get the facts from multiple sources and make their own conclusions.

Leave a comment Comments → 64
  1. averageJose says:

    When you contrast and compare how the “media” have covered this to how they covered Obama speaking to Medvedev…

    “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved, but it’s important for him to give me space.”

    “Yeah, I understand,” the departing Russian president said. “I understand your message about space. Space for you … .”

    Obama then elaborated in a portion of the exchange picked up by the cameras: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”

    … it should lay to rest the false notion that there is no left bias in the msm.

  2. averageJose says:

    Oh, and I agree with every word Romney said.

  3. This latest tempest in a tea pot doesn’t even rise to 0bama’s much-overlooked-by-the-MSM.

    You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

    And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their

    Even this doof seems to have conveniently forgotten his own criticisms:


    BTW, they still “have not”.

  4. Eric – that select group Romney was talking about are the 47% who pay no federal income tax.

    The mistake you and the other GOPher brains make is thinking that only the poor support Obama.

  5. Sonofwashington says:

    Chandler, the selective reading seems to be yours. The full quote is:

    “All right — 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. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing.”…

    “[M]y job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,”

    Seem pretty straightforward that Mr. Romney was speaking of the 47% who don’t pay income taxes and that Chandler is doing some selective interpretation to come up with his numbers.

  6. tacomajoe says:

    We shouldn’t trust other interpretations but we should trust yours? FAIL!

  7. tacomajoe says:

    Clamat0 – only an imbecile would say that episode was “overlooked.” It drove ALL news cycles “mainstream” or otherwise for WEEKS. Start paying attention before braying your GOP talking points.

  8. MyBandito says:

    Romney said that the 47% of the population that owe no income tax, due to lack of sufficient income, feel as if they are entitled to something by the government, and because of that will vote for Obama no matter what.

    These people are following the tax laws modified during the Bush administration. They aren’t doing anything wrong, yet Romney seems to think that they are purposely avoiding paying federal income tax.

    These people would rather be earning a living wage and paying taxes appropriately. If these people are victims of anything, they are victims of the failed policies of eight years of Bush.

    Romney is proving to America that he’s totally disconnected from the problems facing the working class. He’s calling 47% of the electorate freeloaders because they aren’t as well off as he is.

    Romney meant what he said, and I believe him.

    Where are his tax returns? Maybe he’s part of that 47%.

  9. menopaws says:

    Look, why is it that every day or so, someone needs to make excuses for this candidate??? Last week, during the death of 4 Americans, he popped off and politicized a horrible event. Now, they have him on tape, once again, being insensitive and quite frankly, downright STUPID….So, all you righties need to come and do the dance again……..What you have here, to quote “Cool Hand Luke” is a failure to communicate!!!! Or, in Romney’s case, a failure to communicate sensibly……….Listen to the audio tape–he is VERY clear in what he says……Also, according to Fact check, he is wrong–but, he and Ryan never check their figures….Makes me all warm and fuzzy thinking of these two men taking off their shoes to count their way through the federal budget……
    Like I said, bring the outrage and excuses on…….This man is a virtual train wreck and pretty high maintenance for his followers…don’t you get exhausted explaining all his mistakes??? You will be ready for a nursing home after 4 years of HIS Presidency!!!!! I might add, according to Fact Check again, more people seek public assistance when Republicans are in power than Democrats and the welfare rolls are much bigger in Red states than Blue..But, don’t let the truth get in the way of your guy once again proving he is NOT ready for prime time………

  10. sumyungboi says:

    Don’t see a problem with what he said, he’s correct, and should have the backbone to stand by his comment.

  11. All this fancy footwork trying to parse his words….

  12. Who are the 47%?

    Half pay no income because of structural features in the income tax laws that provide basic exemptions for subsistence level income and for dependents.

    The other half are nontaxable because tax expenditures— special provisions of the tax code that benefit selected taxpayers or activities—wipe out tax liabilities and, in the case of refundable credits, result in net payments from the government.

    Most important of those tax expenditures are provisions that benefit senior citizens and low-income working families with children. While those factors particularly affect lower-income households, different provisions eliminate taxes for other households.

    Where are the 47%: top ten States:
    New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Idaho.

    Note: only Arkansas does not have a Republican Govenor

    Between 2000 and 2009 the percent who paid no income tax went from 25% to 47%.

  13. only an imbecile would say that episode was “overlooked.”

    Only an “imbecile” would think 0bama got/ gets anywhere near the negative attention by the MSM as McCain did and Romney now is now receiving.

    Pay attention to this before further revealing yourself to be the very noun that you imply others to be:


    Sound familiar?

    Now, on the other hand, if you could provide evidence that 0bama’s many gaffes have ever driven any mainstream news cycles “for weeks” I’d love to see it.

  14. charliebucket says:

    Romney has solidified the TEA vote and alienated everyone else the last couple months. With his owns words not some interpretation of them. No amount of backpeddling and making excuses can change what EVERYONE heard. Well, I mean what everyone heard except the Teas. Teas hear only what they want to hear.

  15. Meno, why make “excuses” for everything BHO does or hasn’t done.

    The left is the party of the govt created poor. And those who want everyone to be poor.

  16. Sonofwashington says:

    Sorry CT8, the left is the party that wants the goverment to ensure that the people have ample opportunity to pursue prosperity, like through an insfrastructure that serves all, to include health, education and the necessary safety nets.

    The right has proven itself to be solely oriented to the accumulation of power and profit regardless of the cost to the people. In the process they have skewed the vast majority of income and wealth to the top 1%, while shoving a huge tax deficit and interest burden onto you and me for generations to come.

    It is the Reagan\Bush trickle-down strategies that coddle the rich and let corporations run our congress that have created a growing poverty class and a struggling middle class. Aided and abetted by a “conservative” Supreme Court, we are now on a fast track to becoming a plutocracy where a very few power elitists control America and exploit the environment and American labor to increase their wealth evermore.

    If elected, Romney/Ryan will seal that fate of America and your ballyhooed freedoms and liberties will mean nothing to our corporate overlords. But, on the bright side, abortions, gay marriage, and contraception of all kinds will be banned and we’ll be so preoccupied by a trumped-up war with ME countries we won’t be complaining about anything.

  17. Coddle the rich? We have an extremely progressive tax system. Our entitlements are bankrupting us. All this after 8 years of republican leadership. Where’s the proof of your wild lies? Bush- Medicare expansion. Romney- romneycare and enormous donations to charity. No salary as Gov.


    This study on food stamps is very interesting, in case you actually care to educate yourself past rhetoric.

    Right now you are a mix of #ows with a sprinkling of socialist tendencies. Be better. Be American.

  18. menopaws says:

    Listen to the tape……Romney put the noose around his own neck……You can’t blame Obama or the liberal press—his words, his responsibility……..Fascinates me how many on the right ridicule the needy, the poor…….Real Christian hypocrites, but they know when to thump their empty Bibles to con the crowd………….Their contempt for those who scrub their toilets and clean their homes is what got Marie Antoinette separated from her head…………
    Those of us who ARE Americans believe that part of living in our society is making the playing field level for those who have less opportunity……..That isn’t socialism—it is good values and the knowledge that we all are in this together…..Those who are willing to deny food to those in need aren’t Christian and aren’t true Americans either……

  19. truthbusterguy says:

    Romney is guilty of one thing, TELLING THE TRUTH!!!

    And he get skewered in the liberal media. I just decided who I was voting for.

  20. “Never take on a college educated woman with a serious, productive career.”

    My my my.

  21. MyBandito says:

    truthbusterguy- “I just decided who I was voting for.”

    Not that your epiphany is less than credible, but more importantly, it won’t make any difference. Go ahead.

  22. LeePHilI says:

    Romney pointed out that 47% of our working people don’t make enough to pay income tax. Probably employees of Staples.

  23. MyBandito says:

    If Romney has his way that percentage will increase. He would like to add 1% to the number of Americans who pay no rederal income taxes.

  24. LeePHilI says:

    I wonder how many of the 1% are part of the 47%? Why won’t Mitt show tax returns?

    Aside from that, I recall a CTertain someone bragging about Texas and their low taxes……yeah. They are among the top eight states who have the highest amount of taxpayers that don’t pay income tax. Of course, since they don’t have any other taxes, I wonder who pays the bills for the state.

    Oh…sorry….I know. The STIMULUS paid Texas’s bills.

  25. MyBandito says:

    Anti-taxers complaining that someone pays no taxes. Isn’t that their goal; to pay no taxes?

  26. took14theteam says:

    I see meno is ranting against Frosty, yet I don’t see a comment from Frosty on this letter. Did Frosty say something so “bad” that the comment was deleted already?

    Or did meno forget which ranting “script” she was on???

    Comedy Gold.


    And reading xring showing support for the tax code that lets 47% not pay taxes is priceless. Since he is always bellyaching about others using the tax code to keep their OWN money.

    More Comedy Gold from the gaggle of old people.

  27. Sonofwashington says:

    We do indeed coddle the rich. Mitt Romney and Warren Buffet are prime examples. Even Mr. Romney claims he only paid 13% in taxes (without showing proof) and Mr. Buffet famously said he paid a lower percentage than his secretary. The hedge fun managers got huge tax breaks. On top of that, some of the biggest profit corporations that operate so happily in the US and benefit so heavily from its infrastructure, also pay no taxes (e.g., Exxon and Westinghouse).

    Hardly an effective “progressive” tax system. But what I enjoy most about our anti-tax friends is that while they scream and yell about coughing up $10 to support food stamps for the poor, they quite happily take on $100’s in added tax burden (with interest!) as the very rich and their corporations side-step their share of taxes. When do they ever figure out that they are being duped?

  28. charliebucket says:

    obviously, frosty’s uncivil, rude, insulting posts were removed, again.

  29. menopaws says:

    Well, the gaggle of old people–at least this member believes in charity and concern for those in need……You either pitch in and try to make your community better or you sit and whine about “socialism” while people go hungry and children get sick……..Family values means supporting everyone’s family–not just yours….Mr. Romney has a lot of trouble connecting with those of us who don’t bank in the Cayman Islands…….He said the words and people need to quit making excuses for him……..He is what he is………I can’t vote for an elitist who looks down his nose at 47% of the population…….

  30. ThomasSkidmore says:

    This is a guy who has said on camera and recorded that $200,000 to $250,000 income a year is “middle class” in the US. Romney is a rich guy who has no clue how the average American lives. As a Veteran near his age I know he is a draft dodger and ran off to France to escape military service. And don’t even bring up those 5 sons and not a one a veteran. Any “average” American who would vote for this person is a fool or a racist.

  31. took14theteam says:

    So where is Frosty’s comment, Miss Little House on the Prairie….

    And you look up your nose at the 53% that actually pay the freight for this country.

    You want even MORE from them to PAY for your wants and desires.

    Send a check to Tax Cheat Tim Geithner if you are so concerned.

  32. Less then 1% serve. Count the hills and meno and BHO in the 99+%.

    Get over yourself. If you really cared you would have voted for McCain. But you did not.


    A Veteran

  33. At the rate 0bama and bernanke are printing and spending money we don’t have, 200 to 250K will soon be poverty level.

  34. bobcat1a says:

    Eric: “careful reading”????? More like wishful reading. Your math defies reason.

  35. Sonofwashington says:

    took14 – It only stands to reason that those who make sufficient amounts of money to incur income tax would more than those who don’t, such as retired persons, disabled veterans, or low-wage earners (many of whom are ostensibly Romney voters).

    The primary problem is that the rich and the corporations have been able to rig the tax system so effectively with subsidies and loopholes, that they have shove the tax burden onto the middle class, to include the ever-growing interest on the debt. Remember, a major portion of that debt arose from the Bush tax cuts implemented when we were spending billions on his war-of-choice in Iraq.

  36. scooter6139 says:

    Got to love it! The conservative here at dancing their best to either malign that malevolent boogeyman “The Mainstream Press” or parsing the words of their bumbling candidate. So it’s either the presses fault or “those words that were recorded so everyone can hear and actually transcribe them” are not what he actually said or mean.

    “Wahwahwah! Mommy, those meanie press people are using my exact words against me! Make them stop so I can fire them! Do you think I can get more people to lie for me on that campaign station of mine, Fox News? I already employ most of them!”

  37. Sonofwashington says:

    CT8 – FYI, John McCain was one of the lowest rated congressmen on veterans issues. Liberal Democrats have been a far better friend to veterans than Republicans.

  38. MyBandito says:

    Let the Bush tax cuts expire. That will lower the 47% number, considerably.

  39. Sow, liberals do not care any more than conservatives. What they do care about is buying votes while practicing zero fiscal responsibility.

  40. Looks like the 47% of “moochers” that Mitt loathes come from Red States. He insulted his own base:

    Highest Percentage of Non-Payers by State:



  41. “I wonder how many of the 1% are part of the 47%?

    7,000 millionaires paid no taxes last year.

  42. “liberals do not care any more than conservatives. What they do care about is buying votes while practicing zero fiscal responsibility.”

    And you, of course, being a responsible adult poster, are able to provide quotes from liberals who’s said such a thing, right? Because if you can’t, the only reason you could say something like this with a straight face is that you think you can read minds.

    Are you a mind-reader?

  43. menopaws says:

    beer boy —Great stuff about all those ” freeloaders” in Red states, hating liberals but whining about their next check………..Hypocrisy should be the real mantra of that party……..scooter6139–You nailed it….His word and yet it is the media’s fault???? That whole personal responsibility thing he was yapping about doesn’t appear to apply to him, does it? what do you expect of someone who avoided the draft by being a “Missionary” in France??? I am sure the French were soooo grateful of his work!!!!!
    We liberals don’t need to buy votes……..Lots of people believe the system is rigged: that a minority party in the House attempted to take control of the government and got our credit downgraded (read the S&P report—they were QUITE CLEAR WHO WAS AT FAULT)……But here is the bottom line—we don’t need to buy any votes because the Republican party put up a candidate who is sooooo flawed that even Republicans are abandoning him…….Quit blaming the liberals,, the media, and anyone else you can think of….Your guy is not Presidential material…….HE proves it over and over and over……Sorry, maybe you guys will get smart in 2016 and run Jeb Bush or Jon Huntsman–either one of whom makes Romney look even worse than he does today…..

  44. Racist, the fact that many in red states qualify for and accept entitlements yet vote against them speaks volumes. They are voting for the betterment of the Nation, no themselves. They vote on principle, not checks.

  45. MyBandito says:

    It doesn’t matter to people like Romney that many, if not most, of those who pay no taxes and on the dole are voting Republicans, as long as they can make it appear as though those so called freeloaders are Liberals.

    Perception is more effective than reality.

  46. Sonofwashington says:

    CT8 – You’ll forgive me if, as a liberal, I don’t accept lectures from so-called “conservatives” on fiscal policy. Their record is disastrous, Reagan and Bush-Cheney in particular. Romney only promises to be worse.

    Remember “tax and spend” liberals? We actually believe that if you are going to commit to a program that costs money you should also raise the necessary tax revenues to pay for it. Republicans are sworn to Grover Norquit’s “no new taxes” pledge and act like there is only one side of a balanced budget equation – the outgo side. (Kinda like measuring “fair and balanced” at FOX).

  47. no, I do not forgive you for being ignorant and closed minded.

    Commit to a program and pay for it? Where have you been for the last 3 years?

    You ignore the most obvious solution, spend less.

  48. Nice FNC plug. Funny how scared the left is of different points of view…

  49. CT8,

    Still waiting for you to post quotes from liberals who’ve actually said that all they “do care about is buying votes while practicing zero fiscal responsibility.”

    Got quotes? Or do you think you can read minds? Or, did you make that claim up? Which is it?

  50. “Funny how scared the left is of different points of view…”

    Why do you feel obliged to make stuff up?

  51. charliebucket says:

    the final word, for me, is that Romney is trying to convince all republicans, and any independents on the fence, that ALL democrats and ALL liberals are freeloaders who do not pay taxes, do not contribute to society, and sit around waiting for Obama to write them a govt check. That is what I heard Romney say and he got caught lying through his teeth, again. The fact that the most republican states receive the highest % of govt benefits is yet one more fact that Romney wishes would just disappear so his campaign strategy of demonizing democrats will work.

    The ‘liberals are free loading evil’ mantra isn’t going to work anymore, just like calling Obama a socialist pinko commie pig hasn’t worked, just like claiming his birth certificate isn’t real hasn’t worked….now Romney’s insult on half the population is not going to fly with anyone who isn’t already mesmerized by Rush Limbaugh and the like.

  52. Still waiting for you to post quotes from liberals who’ve actually said that all they “do care about is buying votes while practicing zero fiscal responsibility.”

    Oooooooohhhh the irony. Especially coming from the guy who hasn’t yet provided a citation for the following supposed quote:

    NPR had a reporter at the demonstrations in Egypt, and asked the Egyptian bystanders what they thought of the demonstrators. The most common response was “the demonstrators are morons.”

    Stay away from open flames, mole.

  53. The last 3 years is proof enough.

    The stimulus, food stamps, extending unemoyment, lowering welfare standards, Obamacare, class warfare.

    As to ehill’s second post, the raw hatred of FNC by the left is evidence of their desire to only hear one point of view.

  54. falkoja6 says:

    Remember this??

    The Quote of the Decade:*

    “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America ‘s debt limit is
    a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot
    pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial
    assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless
    fiscal policies. Increasing America ‘s debt weakens us domestically and
    internationally. Leadership means that, “the buck stops here.’ Instead,
    Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of
    our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of
    leadership. Americans deserve better.”

    ~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006

  55. charliebucket says:

    One word: Romneycare

  56. I think Obama will win the election, and I don’t think it will be because he has bought votes. I think it will be because we have lost our minds in this country and actually believe the “just-let-Massuh-take-care-of-it” BS that we’ve been fed. Well some of us. Too many.
    When people can no longer tell Sh!t from Shinola, they will fall for anything. What’s that old saying about how if you don’t believe in something you will fall for anything. And fallen we have. Brace yourselves for what comes next.

  57. “just-let-Massuh-take-care-of-it”


    The sad thing is that I don’t believe you understand the inherent racist overtones to that statement.

    people can no longer tell Sh!t from Shinola, they will fall for anything.

    It’s official…you have devolved to 3rdpig’s level of “ignorant electorate” rhetoric (at least his ongoing insults to the intelligence of the majority of Americans who don’t agree with him politically doesn’t involve swear words).

    OR….perhaps the majority of Americans are going to decide that Obama may be bad but Romney would be far worse. Perhaps Obama will win because the majority of Americans can tell Sh!t from Sh!tt!er.

  58. As to ehill’s second post, the raw hatred of FNC by the left is evidence of their desire to only hear one point of view”

    I don’t hate Fox News. Try another lie.

  59. “Stay away from open flames, mole.”

    Thanks for the warning, but I already know that. By the way, I like that “no eyebrows” look you’re sporting.

  60. CT8,
    I am a veteran and I cared enough to NOT vote for McCain and care enough to NOT vote for Romney.

    And all you right wing lies will not change that.

  61. averageJose says:

    If the overtones weren’t racist when Biden did it, it isn’t racist now my selective outrage hypocrite friend.

  62. I have never defended Biden.

    As I have written several times, I concluded the man was racist while watching him chair the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings – the way Biden was bending over backwards to by obsequious to Thomas was embarrassing and it seemed obvious to me that he was deathly afraid that, if he did his job and gave Thomas a thorough examination, people would find out that he was racist.

    You just can’t comprehend the idea that I can be thoroughly disgusted with the Dems even though I loathe and distrust the Repubs more than the very slightly different Party.

  63. Oh heavens me, bBoy, no I didn’t hear the racist overtones in that remark what ever will I do?

    Have you never heard black conservatives use the plantation metaphor to describe big government?

    As for my descent, maybe I’m just sick and tired of the patronizing bull that pours forth from the left 24-7? yeah, I am. Sick AND tired.

  64. Thanks for the warning, but I already know that. By the way, I like that “no eyebrows” look you’re sporting.

    Ha ha, touché.

    Seriously, that was funny.

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