Mitt Romney: I Didn’t Actually Say 47 Percent Remarks

Dusten Carlson - Author
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Jul. 29 2013, Updated 11:15 p.m. ET

Mitt Romney’s infamous “47 percent” remarks very likely cost him the 2012 presidential election, and, though he has said that the comments were “just completely wrong” in the past, now he’s saying he just never said them in the first place.

In an interview with The Washington Post’s Dan Balz, Romney said that the 47 percent comments were so offensive simply because they were taken completely out of context.

“Actually, I didn’t say that,” when asked about whether 47 percent of American citizens don’t want to accept personal responsibility.

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During a May 2012 closed fundraiser, Romney was caught on tape saying: “And so my job is not to worry about those people — I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not, what it looks like.”

The video was published to the liberal blog Mother Jones, and is cited as the major turning point in a contentious campaign between the Massachusetts hopeful and the incumbent President Obama.

Speaking to Balz, Romney said that he only responded to the 47 percent fallout the way he did because he had to.

“That’s how it began to be perceived, and so I had to ultimately respond to the perception, because perception is reality,” he said.

He also added that by “47 percent,” he was actually referring to swing voters, and trying to convince everyone at the fundraiser to help him attract independents who had largely voted for Obama in 2008.

“And I thought that that would be how it would be perceived — as a candidate talking about the process of focusing on the people in the middle who can either vote Republican or Democrat.”

He added: “And I think the president said he’s writing off 47 percent of Americans and so forth.”

What do you think? Were Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comments taken out of context?

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