The ‘Freeloading’ 47 Percent
Chelsea Gardner | Staff Writer
Last week, Republican presidential candidate and former Gov. Mitt Romney, stirred up controversy with comments in a leaked video pertaining to the 47 percent of voters that he labels as “victims.” In the video, Romney also said that he believed those individuals are “dependent upon government.” Romney said that this 47 percent believes that they are, “entitled to heath care, to food, to housing, to you name it.” Additionally, he said, “These are people who pay no income tax…my job is not to worry about [these] people, I’ll never convince them to take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
Undoubtedly, these harsh statements created uneasiness among voters. Regardless of whether they intend to vote for him, the leaked video made people question Romney’s abilities and his understanding of the American people.
Many may say it is unfair to judge these comments, because the media is always anticipating the moment when a politician slips up and makes a gaffe. But, is that not a part of a journalist’s job? As a journalist, I would much rather know that I was getting the truth behind the campaign.
Although Romney later retracted his previous statements, saying he is concerned about “100 percent of America,” the truth has been revealed and there is no going back. No matter the excuse, whether it was taken out of context or misinterpreted, the statements were made.
Politicians must always be aware, especially when talking candidly, just how easy it is to capture these moments. We live in a technology-driven world and it is naïve to think that one can go unscathed by its effects. So congratulations Romney, you finally let the “47 percent” know exactly how you feel.
With the election quickly approaching, many people wonder if Romney even really knows the American people. Romney has been well known for making gaffes during this election. Jon Stewart, host of the Daily Show, aired an episode fact-checking Romney’s most recent comments. He said, “…Of the 47 percent who pay no income taxes, nearly two-thirds of those do pay payroll taxes.” This means that they are working. He also said that the true free loaders or other 40 percent pay no federal tax or payroll tax, because they make less than $20,000 a year, are elderly, or other.
This additional information revealed that Romney’s mindset, ideals and lifestyles are separated from many Americans. He did not understand them during the video, which means he is not going to suddenly understand them now. So, how can he now try to gain votes from the 47 percent when it is evident that he does not even care about them?
Mr. Romney, don’t ask for their vote now, because you made it crystal clear that they are irrelevant.