Skip to comments.For local GOP, Romney video speaks 'truth'
Posted on 09/18/2012 5:00:59 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Mitt Romney's comments about "entitled" people in a video released Monday, described by some pundits as detrimental to his presidential bid, cemented support among Republicans in Winston-Salem and probably won't affect the race in North Carolina, according to interviews with voters, political science professors and conservatives.
"I'll accept the truth from any politician. In fact, it is refreshing to look at truth and adjust our direction based on truth," said Brian Miller, a former chairman of the Forsyth County GOP who attended the Republican National Convention in Tampa as an alternate delegate.
The video, recorded May 17 in Boca Raton at a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser, showed Romney talking about several topics, including the Middle East and the Hispanic vote. One of the remarks that got heightened attention was Romney's answer to a question about how he plans to win the election:
"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 [M]y job is, is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
Part of that 47 percent includes elderly people. About 46 percent of Americans owed no federal income tax in 2011, although many of them paid other forms of taxes. More than 16 million elderly Americans avoid federal income taxes solely because of tax breaks that apply only to seniors, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.
Still, the theme that the U.S. is devolving into an entitlement society is one that resonates with conservatives.
"Mitt Romney has just spoken the truth concerning levels of dependency on government," Miller said. "Government, at all levels, in actions of compassion, have provided programs to meet needs, but each program necessarily dictates conditions under which these benefits will be provided. Each imposed condition erodes personal freedoms."
Michael Sears, a Republican businessman of Winston-Salem, shared Miller's viewpoint.
"While he (Romney) was probably wrong to state specific percentage numbers, I believe he is simply stating the obvious. All one has to do is watch the news, listen to the Occupy protesters, and read the liberal posts on FB (Facebook) and Twitter to get a clear picture of how a large percentage of our society has an entitlement mentality," Sears said.
Francis de Luca, the president of Civitas Institute, a conservative research and policy group based in Raleigh, said that Romney's comments were related to the mechanics of running for president.
"For conservatives, it is a message that a lot of conservatives have been talking about," De Luca said. "Some will agree, and some will think it's terrible. It could be a further hardening of the sides," referring to the notion that the election will come down to the support of each candidate's base.
Although the number of unaffiliated voters in North Carolina has increased, polls suggest that few voters remain undecided when given a choice between Romney and President Barack Obama. Each has about 46 percent of the vote locked up in North Carolina, according to a poll released Sept. 10 by Public Policy Polling, based in Raleigh.
They're "fighting over a very small persuadable swath of the electorate and seeing who has the superior GOTV (get out the vote) operation," the organization said.
Chris Cooper, an associate professor of political science at Western Carolina University, said that little evidence exists to show that statements such as Romney's might torpedo a campaign.
"In this election, most voters have already decided, and those who haven't decided they make their decision based on other factors," Cooper said. "This is a bad news story for him, but it's not going to change a lot of minds."
Democrats in North Carolina used the video to attack Romney. In a telephone press conference, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx said that the 47 percent includes the elderly, students, police officers, firefighters, teachers and veterans.
"And let's be clear the vast majority of these Americans pay a significant percentage of their income in taxes, whether it's federal payroll taxes, property taxes, sales taxes or other state and local taxes. And they often pay an even higher share of their income in these taxes than wealthier families like Mitt Romney's. To suggest that these North Carolinians view themselves as 'victims' who won't take responsibility for their futures is insulting," Foxx said.
Susan Campbell, the chairwoman of the Forsyth County Democratic Party, expressed disbelief when told that some Republicans supported Romney's remarks.
"They're not embarrassed?" she asked. "There are not a lot of undecided voters out there. We're all fighting for those undecided voters. I think if someone is truly undecided, and they're looking at Romney 'Does this candidate have a core belief?' And the suggestion has been that he is an elitist, part of the 1 percent I think this pushes that notion farther over."
Romney needs to get a copy of O’Reilly’s “Talking Points” tonight and MEMORIZE IT!
agree, FWF. also, he should listen to Laura Ingraham’s entire show this morning. Spot on advice starting with firing all of his advisors.
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