David Corn: The Mitt Romney Tape: Mitt Romney Says He Has to Win 94.34% of the Producers to Win the Election
Liveblogging World War II: September 17, 1942

Greg Sargent Watches the Romney Campaign Relaunch: "I’ll never convince Obama voters to take responsibility for their lives"

Romney's best chance now is to say that he was running a con on his rich donors. Just saying.

Greg Sargent:

Romney: I’ll never convince Obama voters to take responsibility for their lives: The Huffington Post and Mother Jones both post audio of what may be a blockbuster moment: Mitt Romney telling a private fundraiser that 47 percent of the American people — the voters who can be counted on to vote for Obama — are “dependent on government,” “believe that they are victims,” and think government “has a responsibility to care for them.” “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” Romney says…. The Romney press office repeatedly refused to comment….

Romney seems to be thinking he’s making an electoral argument here — these voters are simply not gettable for him, so he needs to focus on the center. But his explanation veers into a truly extreme version of a theory that’s widespread on the right: Democrats are trying to encourage dependency on government for the explicit purpose of enlarging the pool of voters who can be relied upon to vote Democratic for the rest of their lives, in order to preserve the government handouts they enjoy.

In Romney’s telling, all of these 47 percent of voters are complicit in this arrangement. As a result, there is no hope of ever persuading them to take personal responsibility for their lives. He seems to be conflating the government-dependency conspiracy theory with another right wing meme — the complaint that only 47 percent of Americans pay income taxes. Put those together and you arrive at Romney’s formulation.

In a sense, this is an extreme version of a narrative Romney has adopted on multiple fronts…. I’ve argued here that the Romney campaign often seems to be running against a version of Obama that exists only in the imagination of the Fox/Limbaugh base and doesn’t really exist in the minds of swing and undecided voters. This takes the narrative to a whole new level; how will voters in the middle react to his contemptuous tone…. [T]he oft-discussed 47 percent… do pay state and local taxes are swelled with working class voters and seniors, and many of them are obviously Romney supporters — and hardly think of themselves as Big Government freeloaders. Yet Romney, inadvertently or not, has lumped them all in with his Obama-fosters-government-dependency narrative.

Note that if:

  • You make $60,000
  • You are married with three minor children
  • You tithe 10% to the CJCLDS
  • You pay $3000 in state and property taxes
  • You spend $1000 in job expenses and tax preparation fees
  • You have $5000 in child care expenses

Then, according to Romney, you are a moocher.