Mitt Romney, the presidential candidate for the Republican Party, has described his comments about the 47 percent of Americans who do not pay income taxes as ‘not elegantly stated.’ He has now gone as far as describing them as ‘just completely wrong.’ His 47 percent remarks were made during a fundraising event that was secretly taped and posted online in September. The fundraiser took place back in May.
Fox News interviewed Romney on Thursday night and was asked what his response would have been if he was asked about the 47 percent during a debate.
“Well, clearly in a campaign, with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question-and-answer sessions, now and then you’re going to say something that doesn’t come out right,” Romney said. “In this case, I said something that’s just completely wrong. And I absolutely believe, however, that my life has shown that I care about 100 percent and that’s been demonstrated throughout my life. And this whole campaign is about the 100 percent.”
Critics of the Romney comments have noted that people who do not pay federal income taxes usually pay some other type of taxes. For instance, 16 million senior citizens are able to avoid paying federal income taxes because of tax breaks given specifically to seniors. Then there are people who do not make enough money to pay federal income taxes. Romney rarely admits his mistakes and when asked about his television ads, he said that the facts were true. Some fact-checking operations have argued against those statements though.
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” Romney said in the video. “There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that 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.”
“Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax,” Romney said, and that his job “is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
Romney discussed his comments with reporters at a press conference and said the following about them: “It’s not elegantly stated, let me put it that way. I was speaking off the cuff in response to a question. And I’m sure I could state it more clearly in a more effective way than I did in a setting like that.”