Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney threw his right-wing media cheerleaders under the bus when he stated that his comments about 47 percent of Americans were "completely wrong." Prior to this statement, the right-wing media had embraced Romney's comments and even encouraged them to be used on the campaign trail.
Then: Right-Wing Media Defend Romney's Claim That 47 Percent of Americans Are Victims
Video Surfaces Of Romney Calling 47 Percent Of Americans Victims Who Are "Dependent On Government." Mother Jones obtained and released video of Mitt Romney speaking at a fundraiser earlier in the year telling donors that there are 47 percent of Americans "who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims." He added that his job was "not to worry about these people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives":
ROMNEY: 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 upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the 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. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what.
ROMNEY: These are people who pay no income tax.
ROMNEY: My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. [Mother Jones, 9/17/12]
Fox's Hannity: In The End, Release Of 47 Percent Comments "Will Be Seen As A Godsend" For Romney. On his talk radio show, Fox host Sean Hannity declared that the release of Romney's 47 percent comments "will be seen as a godsend" for the presidential candidate. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 9/18/12, via Media Matters]
Rush Limbaugh: Romney's 47 Percent Comments Are A "Golden Opportunity" And "Could Be A Slam Dunk" For Conservatism. Rush Limbaugh said on his radio show that the release of Romney's comments is a "golden opportunity" for "Romney and the entire conservative establishment, including the conservative media." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 9/18/12, via Media Matters]
Fox's Stuart Varney: "Governor Romney Is Correct In That Latest Tape That's Been Released." On Fox & Friends, Stuart Varney voiced his support for the comments and said that Romney "identified the truth":
GRETCHEN CARLSON (co-host): I feel that you cannot use this election cycle comparing it historically. Because historically everyone says, well, a president is never reelected when unemployment's over 8 percent. But I think this time it's different. I think some of these numbers don't matter as much to the American people precisely because of the amount of government handouts that are currently being given out
STUART VARNEY: You mean half the population --
STUART VARNEY: Governor Romney is correct in that latest tape that's been released. Half the population is living off the other half and will vote for President Obama. Therefore, the lousy economy doesn't matter.
VARNEY: I think what Governor Romney did was identify the truth. This is an entitlement nation. That is accurate. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/18/12, via Media Matters]
Fox's Brian Kilmeade: "I Would Love" For Romney's Remarks "To Be A Message For Any Candidate On The Stump. Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade applauded Romney's comments, saying that he'd like them to be "a message for any candidate on the stump." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/18/12]
Fox's Dick Morris: Romney Gets It Right. On FoxNews.com, Dick Morris wrote that Romney stated a "fundamental truth" when talking about entitlements:
[T]he fact remains that an Obama reelection would turn the tide psychologically in America from the land of upward mobility through hard work and initiative and toward a country akin to Greece: dependent on government aid in the form of a subsidy and government handouts.
By stating this fundamental truth, albeit off the record, Romney has done a service for which he should be praised not excoriated. [FoxNews.com, 9/18/12]
The Drudge Report: "Romney Gets Real: Obama Supporters 'Dependent On Government.' " The Drudge Report promoted the video billing it as "Romney Gets Real":
[Drudge Report, 9/18/12]
Fox Nation: "Romney Gets Real." Fox Nation echoed the Drudge Report with a similar headline:
[Fox Nation, 9/17/12]
Breitbart.com: "I Wish Romney Would Talk This Way On The Campaign Trail." Breitbart.com's John Nolte wrote that his first response to the video was, "Gee, I wish Romney would talk this way on the campaign trail." He continued:
[I]t's unfortunate Romney would choose to bring up this issue behind closed doors instead of every freakin' day on the campaign trail.
The media is gearing up to beat Romney senseless with these videos, but if I were him, I'd make my own campaign commercial using those numbers and point out how they've increased under President FailureTeleprompter. [Breitbart.com, 9/17/12]
Now: Romney Says His 47 Percent Comments Were "Completely Wrong"
Romney Tells Hannity: "I Said Something That's Just Completely Wrong." During his appearance on Fox News' Hannity the night after the first presidential debate, Mitt Romney told Sean Hannity that his "47 percent" comments were "completely wrong":
HANNITY: But the Left seems furious that this tape where you talked about the 47 percent. Why didn't President Obama bring that up? What would you have said if he did bring it up?
ROMNEY: 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. 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. When I become President, it will be about helping the 100 percent. [Fox News, Hannity, 10/4/12]