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Romney admits he was “completely wrong” with “47 percent” comments

By Capitol Hill Blue
October 5, 2012

Mitt Romney (ABC News)

In a “God, wish I hadn’t said that” moment, Republican Presidential challenger Mitt Romney now admits he was “completely wrong” in his now-infamous “47 percent” comment.

Said Romney on Sean Hannity‘s show on Fox News:

Clearly in a campaign with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question and answer sessions, now and then you’re gonna say something that doesn’t come out right.In this case I said something that’s just completely wrong. When I become president it will be about helping the 100 percent.

Romney, of course, was referring to his comments, taped during a fundraiser earlier this year, the “47 percent of Americans” that he said don’t pay taxes.  His comments became campaign fodder for the campaign of incumbent President Barack Obama.

Romney now appears to be willing to admit a mistake — a rarity among Presidential candidates.  A search of the Capitol Hill Blue archives finds a similar moment in 1980 when Ronald Reagan tapped former primary opponent George H.W. Bush as his running mate.

After Reagan announced his selection, a reporter asked Bush:  “During the primary campaign, you criticised Gov. Reagan for what you called his ‘voodoo economics.’  How do you feel about that comment now?”

Replied Bush: “God, wish I hadn’t said that.”

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9 Responses to Romney admits he was “completely wrong” with “47 percent” comments

  1. Keith

    October 5, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Mr. Romney was “completely wrong”…but only in the numbers.

    For example, according to information obtained from PolitiFact, the Joint Committee on Taxation (a bi-partisan Congressional committee) noted that, in 2009, only 49 percent of Americans owed money on their Federal income tax returns.

    So yes, it IS true that nearly half of all Americans paid NO Federal income tax in the tax year 2009, and the number of people who DID pay taxes was even lower — 51 percent.

    For the tax year 2011, the non-partisan Tax Policy Center estimated that only 54 percent of Americans would pay Federal income tax.

    The truth that is that the top 20 percent of Americans consistently earn 53.4 percent of the total U.S. income. But, according to the Tax Policy Center, they actually pay 67.2 PERCENT of total income tax!

    That’s because there remains a significant number of Americans who pay NO INCOME TAX AT ALL! That is, as a result of the “earned income credit”, many get a “refund” by simply filing a “no tax” Federal Income Tax Form.

    And with US unemployment hovering around 10 percent, my hunch is the “47 percent” number that’s being bandied about (or whatever it is) is now probably much higher.

    The bottom line here is that the “earned income credit” is simply another form of welfare. And with upwards of half the population now “on the wagon” there are fewer and fewer of us left to “pull it”.

    It’s no wonder our economy remains in the toilet!

    • Danny Adams

      October 7, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      Actually the Tax Policy Center said that the EIC was only one of numerous reasons accounting for the no-taxpaying percentage.

  2. Sandy Price

    October 5, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I’m far more concerned with the amount of taxes, Gov. Romney does not pay in the long run. I took a terrible 6 years when I first opened my book store. I did not take a salary during those years but I paid my taxes on the income made from the book sales and I paid into the tax structure as if I had been on a salary. After those taxes were paid I had nothing left. I could not even afford to hire help, It was my own stupidity that some how I would eventually make a profit. The mark up on books and cost of shipping them to me never worked out. I learned the hard way that people do not buy books even at Christmas. I did manage to rent the building out but the property taxes on Main Street took away my investment.

    The lesson I learned was that capitalism only works if one is wealthy. I never had such a good time those years where I bought, read and sold books. It was the happiest 6 years of my life. Many people don’t even have that much joy. I simply misjudged my chosen product.

    • Keith

      October 6, 2012 at 5:27 pm

      Sandy wrote: “It was my own stupidity that some how I would eventually make a profit. The mark up on books and cost of shipping them to me never worked out. I learned the hard way that people do not buy books even at Christmas.”

      Indeed.

      This is one of the reasons why small businesses in the United States are so much at risk…and why our tax system should encourage such entrepreneurship rather than stifling it as it does with layer upon layer of taxation.

      I, too, have started (and lost at!) a number of businesses over the years. And I know that the leap from working out of one’s home to a storefront with employees (the latter simply adds layer upon layer of cost in the form of workmen’s compensation, payroll admin, medical benefits not to mention a host of other fiscally confiscatory taxes and overhead costs) so as to make any profit made a long time in coming.

      Clearly, the fiscal uncertainties surrounding things like “Obamacare” have now forced both large and small businesses to sit on HUGE amounts of cash they would otherwise use for investment and hiring because they simply don’t know what other “shoe” the government is going to drop next.

      As I said, all that cash COULD be used to hire more workers and expand their businesses. But right now, most business owners are scared to death that the economy is going to further “tank” and their taxes and overhead costs are about to skyrocket to pay for our increasingly onerous federal debt. So they are electing to continue sitting on that mound of cash rather than hire more workers and/or expand their businesses.

      Unless and until businesses owners see a clear way ahead that rewards both risk AND investment instead of the government always looking for more ways to confiscate it, the economy will only continue to tank.

  3. Sandy Price

    October 5, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I should have added that the problem is within the tax system that allows half the people not to be required to pay taxes. Maybe a flat tax might work better but it would never be equal under a morally missing man like Gov. Romney. His comments to those wealthy donors were meant from his heart. He figures he can do more with wealth than 50% of the American people. This may be why he is running for President.

    Had Gov. Romney spoken to the House and Senate Republicans about working with President Obama I would have had more respect for the man. He was willing to hold Obama hostage to the GOP Congress. That is morally unAmerican to me. Romney was willing to see America be destroyed just to win the White House. I can’t think of another time in the history of America where this kind of partisan action has been so obvious. I did not trust President Bush 43 as it seemed as if the GOP had no teamwork to improve our nation. They hid it under the words of Jesus Christ. The wars under the Bush family make them very rich.

    These are not proud American patriots. They are the scum of the earth and will do anything for money. This is not American capitalism.

    Somehow the whole concept of knowing right from wrong is missing from the Republicans. Even the very Christian Huckabee could have tried to talk to the Republican Congress but he too was willing to destroy American values for a cheap win for this party. He’s no Christian but a war freak. The more I read and know about the religious right Conservatives, the more I’m glad I stayed the hell out of church. My grandparents saw through this whole mess in D.C. and they walked away from their Temple. Jesus is not an excuse to do so many wrong things in D.C.

  4. Bill Cravener

    October 5, 2012 at 11:08 am

    “Romney admits he was “completely wrong” with “47 percent” comments”

    What the hell? How can anyone take this flip-flopper seriously?

  5. Sandy Price

    October 5, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I think CHB and Reader Rant are smart enough not to swallow what Romney sells. I hope we can spread the word out there among the voters.

    I will never understand why Romney hasn’t worked with the GOP in helping our government get things done. We are at war with the other party. It saddens me that we will never be able to work as a team. Not a single Republican has offered teamwork.They have no respect for American values. They should not have the white house.

  6. Jon

    October 6, 2012 at 3:55 am

    No income tax.

    But they pay sales taxes, gasoline taxes, if they’re lucky enough property ownership taxes, et cetera.

    Lambasting the poor for ‘paying no tax’ is seriously stupid.

    J.

  7. bryan mcclellan

    October 7, 2012 at 12:05 am

    And God, I wish my country would have never heard of a Bush,
    or a Reagan, what choice landscape could have prevailed ?