Sen. John McCain on Wednesday compared a comment he made during his 2008 presidential bid to one made by his party's 2012 nominee, Mitt Romney, which is similarly drawing heavy Democratic flak.
At the time, McCain later pedaled back on his comment.
Clips recorded secretly at a May fundraiser and released Monday showed Romney saying 47% of the electorate are dependent on government. He said they see themselves as victims, and would "vote for the president no matter what."
Criticism from Democrats piled on. At a news conference Monday evening, Romney said the comments were "not elegantly stated.” His campaign has said the comments were aimed at criticizing expanding entitlement programs.
McCain, a high-profile supporter of Romney and a senator from Arizona, defended the candidate Wednesday on AC360, saying the comments were being misunderstood.
I'm sorry but this is the second time Mitt has said he doesn't care about poor people. I guess it's true.
I think Mitt Romney meant that 47% of the country feels some sort of entitlement. They feel the government owes them more than they get. I think they feel they are paying too high of taxes. They believe the government should get out of debt, but they don't want to be the ones to pay for it. I think Mitt Romney believes that 47% of Americans have already made up their mind to vote for Obama and he is not going to try to persuade them otherwise in 50 days. He also believes the statistic that 47% of the country doesn't pay income tax. The problem is that he threw them all in the same boat. In reality, those 3 groups of 47% overlap, but they are not all the same. Certainly there are people who believe they are entitled to more, who grudgingly pay their "fair share" because the government forces them to. They are people who will vote for lower taxes and more benefits. Those people do pay income tax, but the are in the 47% of people who feel entitlement, who won't vote for Romney. The statistics are all there, and I think they are accurate. The only reason we are debating this is because he said the 47% who won't vote for him IS THE SAME 47% who don't pay any taxes, and that is simply not factually correct. I think if he were really pressed to explain it, that would be his explanation.
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