Romney Gaffe: Says 47% of Americans are a Bunch of Freeloaders
On Monday, Romney claimed that 47 percent of Americans are Obama voters that "pay no income tax," "are dependent upon government" and "believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it." That was the lead in to a fact check story written by Huffington Post.
He went on to further say “My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
It was shocking to hear the presidential candidate openly admit that he felt that half the country is a bunch of free loaders. But this was not the only time that Romney displayed his disdain for less- fortunate Americans. In February, Romney told a reporter he was "not concerned about the very poor" because they have a safety net. But then in August, he backed a budget that slashes the projected growth of that safety net.
This is not a minority view of the conservative party. Conservative blogger Erik Erikson’s message to half the country was “suck it up you whiners.” Other conservatives say that Romney’s freeloader estimate is too low. According to the very conservative Heritage Foundation 49% of the country, in the words of Romney, is a bunch of “victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them.”
Who are these freeloaders that don’t take personal responsibility and care for their lives? According to the Tax Policy Center, 44% receive elderly benefits and 30% are the working poor receiving Republican developed tax exemptions like the Earned Income Credit. 7,000 were millionaires!
Where do these freeloaders live? According to The Atlantic, 8 of 10 states with the highest percentage of non-payers are Republican states, while states with the smallest share of "non-payers" are Democratic.
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise because the majority of net-consumer states -- freeloaders -- are Republican states. Seventeen of the 20 (85%) states receiving the most federal spending per dollar of federal taxes paid are red states.
This presents quite a conundrum for Romney. How will this handout, freeloader message play in some of his key demographics and battleground states?
To the Iowans struggling through the drought, looking for that farm bill, Romney says you’re a freeloader and he doesn't want your vote. Floridians getting social security and Medicare, you are victims. Romney doesn't want your vote. To the Ohioans thankful that the auto bailout saved your manufacturing jobs, Romney says you're looking for free stuff. Wisconsin dairy farmers, Romney says your subsidies are handouts, and he doesn't want your vote. Unemployed workers who need those extensions, Romney says you are irresponsible and you need to get a life.
Romney’s message is loud and clear, 47% of America is a bunch of freeloaders and he has no time to waste trying to get your vote.