September 18th, 2012
01:10 AM ET

Romney comments caught on tape

Mitt Romney told big-money donors at a California fundraiser that Obama voters believe "they are victims" and almost half are "dependent on the government." CNN Contributors Paul Begala and Ari Fleischer discuss whether Romney's statements will have an effect on his presidential campaign.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Ari Fleischer • Mitt Romney • Paul Begala
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. ron

    Unfortunately, this is not the 1st time that Mr. Romney has given us a glimpse of his true colors. You might recall not too long ago when he was speaking to a group of similar supporters he made a comment that " no one ever asks to see his or his wife's birth certificate". The media reported this as another attempt to bring the President's citizenship into question however it is quite possible that Mr. Romney felt justified making such a statement in front of a nearly all white audience because "no one" questions the citizenship of white americans!

    September 19, 2012 at 1:34 am |
  2. Tim Donovan

    Romney has repeatedly "slipped" and revealed his true characters. Need money to start a company? Ask your parents. Need money to go to college? Ask your parents. Pay no taxes? Then you are a victim who does not take responsibility for your future. It's still shocking to me that the race is as close as it supposedly is. Tax breaks for the rich in exchange for deeps cuts to education, pell grants, medicare, job retraining. On another subject: I am sick and tired of CNN giving Ari Fleischer a platform for his partisan, robot-eyed Romney campaign messaging. Even Alex Castellano and Ed Rollins used to call it like it was as opposed to the way the campaign dictated. Please stop wasting airtime with Ari Fleischer.

    September 18, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
  3. Francis P

    People be focused on the real issues in front of us. For those who are misguided by the facts what Romney had said – The country is in turmoil. The 23million unemployed Americans are crying for help. He simply told the truth. We have to accept it. We have to do something about it or America will be in a very very very bad shape. The government cannot spend anymore what they don't have. You don't print more money that it become worthless. Federal Reserve – no more bailout for BO.

    September 18, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
  4. Sara

    I heard the tapes just like everyone else and the way the media gravitates to anything they can get their hands on and then misconstrue it is sickening. I think that what Romney said has a lot of truth to it. I know that there is definitely extenuating circumstances that people are subject to that is unavoidable, but there are a lot of people that take advantage of the government and have "I deserve it" attitudes. My husband works a 60 plus work week and the amount of money that is taken from us in taxes is absolutely ridiculous!!! The country would work a lot better if we could drug test welfare recipients (why should my money help pay for their drugs) and if people who haven't paid taxes in the last year couldn't vote (why should someone be able to vote on how other people's money is spent). That would be fair. Also, one more thing, high taxes prevents people from helping people. My husband and I could help so many more if we didn't pay so much to the government.

    September 18, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
  5. Francis P

    Those people who would like to start a business are discouraged because of so much uncertainty in our future with BO if he is re-elected. Look at California – so much government entitlements and it's getting bankrupt. Look at Chicago – The teachers union are clamoring for more pay raise to a DEMN (of all people) Mayor Rahm E. Did he just
    have a rude awakening?

    September 18, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
  6. Claudia

    Re: Romney's remarks shown in the recently released video: I have worked and paid into the system since I was 15. I raised 3 children as a single mom and have never taken any government dole. I have recently retired and am collecting my Social Security (and paying taxes on it). Contrary to Mr. Romney's opinion, I have taken full responsibility for my life. And now, as a responsible registered Republican, I will take the responsibility of working very hard to see that this man is never elected dog catcher; let alone President of my country.

    September 18, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
  7. Shelley

    Finally someone gets caught saying out loud what the Republican party platform is really all about. It's survival of the fittest. Where is all that humility and love for your brothers and sisters that your God(s) tell you to practice?

    September 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  8. Beth

    Why don't people want to hear truth? What Romney said is the truth. All the media wants to make it into something else. I don't think their are any true journalist's left, They remind me of reporters from these rag magazines. The media is a major problem in this country., They publish everything, even if it hurts the security of this country or endangers our soldiers. Embellish anything for a story. They also have to put their personal beliefs in a story to tilt it their way.

    September 18, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Richard W

      Beth. It's not what he says, but how he says it. Yes, there is an issue with some of our government programs out there. Yes, I do agree there is a great deal of abuse out there, but to come off showing no apathy for a good portion of the people of the United States, not good.
      If I'm looking for a leader, I would expect that individual to be able to think about their words before they say anything. To me, he comes across, in the case of this fundraiser, as callous, in other cases he seems arrogant, but for the most part, every speech, every interview I've heard him in, he seems disconnected from the "real" America.

      September 18, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Sara

      Totally agree 100 percent!!

      September 18, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  9. Ernie Pennells

    Government handouts! I thought the Republican platform was that these are reserved for wealthy Americans, in the form of tax-cuts.

    September 18, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  10. Mary Kaye and Greg Gertz

    Romney caught on tape and another gaff. We pay taxes on our Social Security, Retirement, and Rental Property income. we consider ourselves middle class and our tax rate is certanly larger than Romeny's 14 percent. We worked and paid in to Social Security and Medicare for forth plus years, and still pay a monthly premium for Medicare. We do not think we are irresponsible and asking the government to do everything for us. We are tired of the Republicans saying we are takingt "entitlements. " We worked and paid in to the system! Romney said perhaps he would be doing better if his father was hispanic. He recently stated during the convention and in one of the4 debates that his father was born in Mexico! Can't be. He ran for Preident in 1968 and Goldwater brought up his birth. At that time George's mother and Mitt's Grandmaother stated that George was born in the United States a short time before they crossed into Mexico. Mitt Romney must be unfamiliar with the Constitution of the Unitedt States. In order to bePresident !!,a person must be a first born citizen of the United States ! Is he so desperate for the hispanic vote?

    September 18, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • Francis P

      The wars were approved by the congress (The House and The Senate). Maybe Iraq war is not necessary. But the people there are glad that they don't have a dictator anymore. Those people who would like to start a business are discouraged because of so much uncertainty in our future with BO if he is re-elected. Look at California – so much government entitlements and it's getting bankrupt. Look at Chicago – The teachers union are clamoring for more pay raise to a DEMN (of all people) Mayor Rahm E. Did he just
      have a rude awakening?

      September 18, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  11. Esther

    I am a registered Rep. I started working at age 16 (1987), until 2006 life was good; had my apt, my 2 boys, a county job and was able to pay my bills. Then toward the end of the year I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and six months after my 2 yr old was diagnosed with Autism. Thanks to kindness of my fellow co-workers, we were able to live for several months, after that I used up the savings. Then... Yes I went and got on Food Stamps. After 20 years of working, I think it was ok for me to get some assistance while I get back on my feet. Which I did, now we live with a yearly income of 20k per year and pay our taxes.
    People just don't one day wake up and say "let's go get food stamps" or "we want to be a welfare family".
    We don't have much today, but my simple life allows me to be with my two beautiful boys who need me. Thanks to the 'system' for being her for us...

    September 18, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • Francis P

      Romney never said that being dependent to the government is an evil thing to do. But if the government is spending more money than it takes in – there is a very serious problem here. And BO is not done yet – he want more redistribution of wealth if he gets re-elected. And problem will still be there. For some they did what they could to be self-reliant but others are abusive of the system.

      September 18, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
  12. Martha Scott

    I would like to make a correction about retires not paying taxes from their Social Security. I am a new retire of 2 years. I do pay taxes out of my social Security money that I receive. I don't think that the representives know who pays taxes and who doesn't.. I do know that if Romney makes it as president we the 47% of the people will be in serious trouble. We are having trouble now as what to buy. (Like gas for the car to get to work, or food or medicine.) It is even worse for the ones that has children. I feel that all he wants to do is make the poor / middle class people to be even poorer and the rich get richer. I thought that this government is for the peoople and by the people. I feel that ithis government is run now for the rich.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • Francis P

      How can you say that Romney wants the poor to be poorer and the rich to be richer? I think he actually approached it in a balanced way. He wants to do away of some loopholes (though not specific) from the rich but lower it by 5% (I think) and keep the tax rates the same for everybody else. The rich will be taxed more because their income are higher than having tax the final income after deductions of loopholes. Remember that we are in a very bad situation already – $16T in debt with no end in sight.

      September 18, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  13. Noel S. Day

    Hey Anderson,
    I think this most recent gaff by Romney reveals alot! I think its shows his contempt for the woking class and the poor...I have worked for wealthy people before and when they start talking in terms of "You people" you know very clearly where you stand! The fact that they did not walk this back, apologize, shows their contempt,its the Ryan,Boehner take no prisoner , no comprimise attitude! God help us if this racist biggot becomes President!

    September 18, 2012 at 1:35 am |
  14. Anne Alfano

    If paying NO taxes equates to a lack of responsibility, then Mr. Romney must ask why many major Corporations (who pay NO taxes), aren't taking or sharing in irresponsibility. And just how does Mr.Romney expect our mentally &/or physically handicapped individuals & veterans will take responsibility for themselves??.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:27 am |
  15. Karen Elliott

    I have been unemployed for one year. I work two jobs. One in the evening and a temporary position during the day. I am a cancer survivor twice. I take nothing from the government, but would be consider in poverty. I cannot afford health insurance. I am not a victim. I find Mitt Romeny insulting and uninformed. The 12,000,000 jobs he keeps bringing up will happen if nothing is done. I would like to go to the question that Republicans are asking if we are better off now than we were 4 years ago. I think it should be asked this way: Are we better off now than we were before the Republicans took us into two wars, watched our economy collapse with deregulation and allowing banks to do business as they see fit. Which means feeding off the public. That's the questions that needs to asked of Romeny.

    September 18, 2012 at 1:25 am |