From one percent to 47 percent: The fall of Romney

Matthew Ahasay, Opinion Editor

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Mitt Romney is usually associated with one percent disassociating him with the general public, but thanks to a video that was recently released from a Romney fundraiser in May, 47 percent may be the magic number that seals the deal for President Obama.

“There are 47 percent of people who will vote for the president no matter what,” said Mitt Romney in the now infamous video given to Mother Jones and the Huffington Post by an anonymous source.

Romney continued his speech by saying, “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.”

With a speculative 47 percent already guaranteed to vote for Obama, how then could the GOP pull out a win? According to Romney he needs to convince “the middle 5-10 percent” that will vote on emotion regardless.

Former Gov. Romney then made an ironic statement on taxation when he said, “These are people who pay no income tax. 47 percent of Americans who pay no income tax.”

Romney was referring to the 47 percent of Americans in 2009 that earned enough tax credit through the Bush and Obama stimulus packages, to not pay any income taxes. Income taxes are not the only tax. Two thirds of tax paying Americans, most of who are not making much, pay a Federal Payroll tax that goes to social security and health care.

Should Romney be elected it would be his duty to wean the “47 percent” off of their entitled government benefits, right?

According to Romney his duty “is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

After a statement of apathy and disconnection, the emotional vote seems more like a pipe dream than a reality.

This isn’t necessarily the final blow to the GOP. In 2008 President Obama was quoted at a similar benefit, saying that rural Americans cling to “guns and religion” due to a lack of jobs.

Ford O’Connell, a GOP strategist, said that the remarks while not an election killer, would cost Romney an important week of campaigning.

Republican strategists, who are speaking out anonymously, would tend to disagree.

One strategist told thehill.com Romney’s remarks, “Couldn’t have come at a worse time. I hope the [Romney campaign communications] team in Boston doesn’t have any sharp objects nearby.”

Linda McMahon R-Conn has even gone so far as to distance herself from the party and Romney’s remarks.

Romney has stayed out of the public’s eye since the release of the video but did release a statement. The response claimed that he [Romney] was speaking “off the cuff” and that his phrasing was ineloquent but reflected the message of his platform.

With a single percentage point of difference between Obama and Romney, and seven weeks until the election, it will be interesting to see the long-term effects from Romney’s ineloquence.

Let’s just hope he doesn’t make an emotional appeal.

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