Romney says his 47 percent comment was "completely wrong"

HARRISONBURG, Virginia Fri Oct 5, 2012 3:28am EDT

1 of 12. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney takes the stage with his sons (L-R) Matt, Craig, Tagg and Josh to address the Colorado Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) meeting in Denver, Colorado October 4, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder

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HARRISONBURG, Virginia (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said on Thursday his comment on a secretly taped video in which he disparaged 47 percent of voters as dependent on government "was just completely wrong," as he attempted to repair the damage from the controversy.

Romney's interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity was the first time he completely disavowed remarks he made at a private fundraiser in May and which have emerged as a major stumbling block in his campaign against Democratic President Barack Obama.

The "47 percent" videotape did not come up in his Wednesday night debate with Obama, although the Obama campaign has used his remarks in a television ad.

Asked what he would have said if the issue had come up in the Denver debate, Romney said he would have said that after thousands of speeches as a presidential candidate, "now and then you're going to say something that doesn't come out right."

"In this case, I said something that was just completely wrong," he said.

"I absolutely believe however that my life has shown that I care about 100 percent. And that's been demonstrated throughout my life. This whole campaign is about the 100 percent. When I become president, it will be about helping the 100 percent," he added.

Romney said at the Florida fundraiser that 47 percent of voters were dependent on government and unlikely to support him in the November 6 election.

When the video was disclosed on September 17 by liberal magazine Mother Jones, Romney said his comments had been "not elegantly stated" but that he stood by them.

Obama has been second-guessed by some of his supporters for not bringing up the 47 percent video at the Denver debate. The president has been widely declared as the loser in that encounter, with two more presidential debates to come this month.

(Additional reporting by Margaret Chadbourn in Washington; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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Comments (54)
Sensibility wrote:
Romney was aggressive, but not nearly aggressive enough. In the coming weeks, he needs to take the fight to Obama and not let him off so easy when he dodges the real issues. He needs to keep talking about taxes, the deficit, and jobs; but he needs to do it in a way that shows how completely ineffectual Obama has been in the last four years. He needs to make Obama cry.

Oct 04, 2012 10:56pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Abulafiah wrote:
Romney needs to decide which of the numerous ‘new positions’ is the real one.

He spends months saying he will cut taxes, and then when Obama challenges him to explain how he will finance them, he suddenly says there are none! He spent months saying he would repeal and replace Obamacare, without ever saying what he would replace it with, but now he says he will keep some of it. He spent month s saying he would deregulate banks, but suddenly he is in favour of regulation.

You can’t believe a word this guy says – he dodges everything by changing his mind and flip-flopping into a new position.

Oct 04, 2012 12:07am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Mott wrote:
Flip-Flop?

Whatever it takes?

Oct 04, 2012 12:26am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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