Mitt Romney’s 47% Comments: Do They Even Rise To The Level Of A Kinsley Gaffe?

“A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth – some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.” — Michael Kinsley defines what has come to be known as a Kinsley gaffe

Liberals find these comments from Mitt Romney to be extremely controversial and it’s possible that this may turn into enough of a kerfuffle to constitute a Kinsley gaffe, but that shouldn’t be the case if Romney stays on track. In fact, Romney could even turn this to his advantage if he’s aggressive enough.

During a private reception with wealthy donors this year, Mitt Romney described almost half of Americans as “people who pay no income tax” and are “dependent upon government.” Those voters, he said, would probably support President Obama because they believe they are “victims” who are “entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.”

In a brief and hastily called news conference Monday just after 10 p.m., Mr. Romney acknowledged having made the blunt political and cultural assessment, saying it was “not elegantly stated,” but he stood by the substance of the remarks, insisting that he had made similar observations in public without generating controversy.

…In one clip, Mr. Romney describes how his campaign would not try to appeal to “47 percent of the people” who will vote for Mr. Obama “no matter what.” They are, he says, “dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them.”

He says those people “pay no income tax,” and “so our message of low taxes doesn’t connect.” Mr. Romney adds: “My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Putting as many people on welfare, food stamps, disability, and unemployment insurance — and keeping them there for as long as possible — is a Democrat electoral strategy. So is Obamacare. You think Obamacare is primarily about health care? If it was, there are dozens of different ways the program could have been put together that would have provided better, cheaper, more effective health care. But, the primary purpose of Obamacare is actually to make as many people as dependent on the government as possible. It’s also HORRIBLE for the country that 47% of Americans don’t pay income taxes. EVERY American who earns income, even if it’s a dollar, should pay some portion of it to the government. We hear a lot of talk about everyone paying their “fair share” and indisputably, zero is not ANYBODY’S fair share of the income tax burden. But again, if you hand people goodies that they’re not asked to pay for, it may be horrible for the country, but it’s good for the Democrat Party.

This is what Romney is pointing out. People who are dependent on the government don’t want a candidate who’s going to make government more efficient and save taxpayers money because if they’re not paying income tax, that means potential personal pain for them and no personal gain.

Now, if I were in Mitt Romney’s shoes, would I have made the comments Romney did about people who aren’t paying their incomes taxes? Nope. I would have left it to the pundits. But, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. In fact, Romney could very easily turn this into a pivot point for his campaign if he wanted to do it. Barack Obama wants to put Americans on food stamps and welfare while Mitt Romney wants to put Americans to work. Barack Obama wants to stoke class envy while Mitt Romney wants all Americans to work together to get the economy back on track. Barack Obama wants a bigger and better government while Mitt Romney wants a bigger and better private sector.

Last but not least, this statement probably won’t do much damage to Romney if only because very few Americans consider themselves to be part of the 47% who don’t pay income taxes. In fact, I bet if you polled the American people, 90% of them would say they pay income taxes. Why? Because they pay state taxes, Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes, sales taxes — they pay so much that they just ASSUME that they pay income taxes, too. Even getting beyond that, most Americans who are dependent on the government aspire to more than that and if they don’t, they’re probably not voting for anyone who wants to help them get up off their behinds and work for a living anyway.

PS: Although I wouldn’t suggest a politician phrase things the way Romney did, his comments aren’t offensive in the least unless someone’s bending over backwards to be offended. He’s also right about the fact that Democrats are the food stamp party, the party of welfare queens, and the party of takers. Republicans are the party for taxpayers, small business owners, and makers. I also agree with these comments from Romney’s campaign.

Mitt Romney wants to help all Americans struggling in the Obama economy. As the governor has made clear all year, he is concerned about the growing number of people who are dependent on the federal government, including the record number of people who are on food stamps, nearly one in six Americans in poverty, and the 23 million Americans who are struggling to find work. Mitt Romney’s plan creates 12 million new jobs in four years, grows the economy and moves Americans off of government dependency and into jobs.

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