Romney was recorded saying this:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.
Josh Marshall says this:
… this is a fine distillation of the most rancid version of the libertarian conservative worldview. Democrats are moochers and losers who can’t get their act together and think the government owes them food, board, health care and basically whatever else they want. You don’t need to look long to find this version of reality on the web. But this isn’t some right-wing blogger. It’s the Republican candidate for President of the United States.
Yeah. Agreed. But Marshall concludes this:
This is the caricature of Mitt Romney, who was born on 3rd base (in Ann Richards memorable phrase), thinks he hit a triple and thinks the broad middle class who’ve relied on government for student loans or social security or anything else are losers who can’t get their act together and take responsibility for themselves. Only this tape says that caricature Mitt Romney is the real Mitt Romney.
He says also in the piece, “This tape strikes me as absolutely devastating.” I don’t necessarily think Marshall is wrong that it’s a problem, but I’m not nearly as confident as he is about the impact it’ll have on Romney.
Here’s why: What if rather than angering all Obama supporters (who, as Mitt says, are already lost), a few feel the sting of the stigma, and start to wonder, well, gee, I don’t feel that way about government and work and yadda yadda. Maybe I’m not for Obama after all.
Who — that is now a Romney supporter — is going to change their mind as a result of this statement? Presumably they already feel some shade of this sentiment if they’re planning on voting for the guy.
And then you have the only folks who really matter, the uninformed undecideds who have no idea what’s going on, and aren’t informed enough to understand the real differences between the candidates. I don’t think it’s necessarily a given that those folks will dismiss Romney for an elitist prig for this, and not instead decide (if anything) that they would rather not be seen as the very caricature Romney describes.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I certainly don’t think it’s clear-cut.