The remarks were caught on tape during a a closed-door gathering of about 30 major donors earlier this year. In the video you hear Romney say
"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 on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing."
Romney continues by saying:
"they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax. My job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
The video was originally given to David Corn, editor of Mother Jones, however the person who filmed the video confirmed in an email to the Huffington Post
that she is indeed the author of the video. She asked to remain anonymous however due to "professional reasons". She went on to say that she intentionally lowered the quality of the video in order to make it more difficult to see where the video was filmed.
These comments go much further than comments
Romney made in August when he said the Obama administration's state-by-state welfare waivers were an effort to "shore up his base." In fact, these behind closed doors comments suggests that he believes almost half of the American people expect to have all their needs supplied to them by the government.
When interviewed about Romney's comments, people had this reaction:
Dot G. said:
"First of all I don't believe his figures. I don't believe 47 percent of Americans expect a handout. There have always been and always will be people who expect something for nothing. But I do not believe that it the majority of people or even close to being the majority of people. I wonder if he has made that figure up like he and his campaign have made up so many other things."
A USA Today
report states that a record number of Americans—one in six—are now dependent on government anti-poverty programs. That means approximately 17 percent of the American population depends on Medicaid, food stamps or some other form of welfare. It is a record high, but it falls far short of 47 percent.
Robin W. said:
"So Romney, the government and the American people aren't responsible for making sure people have their basic human needs met if they are unable to meet them on their own? So the person confined to a wheel chair and suffers from severe mental retardation or some other disability should be left out in the cold with no food, shelter of medical care? How about the elderly who have worked much of their lives but can no longer take care of themselves and cannot afford a private nursing home or in home health care? Even prisoners of war are guaranteed food, water and shelter according to the Geneva Convention."
Robin is correct. Article 25 -26
of the Geneva Convention says
"Prisoners of war shall be quartered under conditions as favourable as those for the forces of the Detaining Power who are billeted in the same area. The basic daily food rations shall be sufficient in quantity, quality and variety to keep prisoners of war in good health and to prevent loss of weight or the development of nutritional deficiencies."
Article 30 of the Geneva Convention says:
"Every camp shall have an adequate infirmary where prisoners of war may have the attention they require, as well as appropriate diet. Isolation wards shall, if necessary, be set aside for cases of contagious or mental disease."
The United Nations
defines basic social services as basic education, health care, nutrition, clean water and sanitation.
N. Young responded to the Romney comments by saying:
"The middle class and working poor pay more in income tax then Mitt Romney does and I bet the majority of them would be willing to release their income tax records to prove it, something Romney keeps refusing to do. How does he expect those with severe disabilities to work in order to earn the money to pay income taxes?"
Adam Hammond said he planned on voting for Romney in November, but he wished
"Romney would get more in touch with the average American. Yes there are those that work the system, have have been, always will be. But look at many military families. While the mother or father are off fighting a war, their spouse and kids are having to depend on food stamps to put food on the table. Is Romney saying they expect the government to just give them handouts? Even if they do expect it, they should. They fought for our country, if they need help feeding their families or getting housing, they deserve whatever they can get."
Stars and Stripes
reported late last year that the number of food stamp purchases at military commissaries nearly tripled during the last four years.