Rush Limbaugh repeatedly claimed that Mitt Romney never characterized 47 percent of the country as victims, dismissing such a notion as a coordinated attack from the Obama campaign and the media. But video released by Mother Jones earlier this month does show Romney speaking derisively about the 47 percent of Americans who don't pay federal income taxes.
While talking about the election during today's broadcast, Limbaugh aired a clip of Obama referring to the Mother Jones video, then claimed that Romney “never talked about” 47 percent of Americans “being victims”:
LIMBAUGH: You see, Obama thinks he's got a great campaign issue, folks. He's running around, he's saying that 47 percent of the people are not victims. He's putting words in Romney's mouth. He's misrepresenting what Romney was saying. He's taking it out of context. Romney never talked about them being victims.
In another segment, Limbaugh aired soundbites of a dozen media figures discussing the video. Limbaugh then said: “So you got a coordinated attack, White House to the media, this to explain why the polls are showing Obama running away with it. And now Obama out saying, 'There aren't any victims. I don't want to run a country with a bunch of victims. That's what Romney is talking about.' Romney's never said that.”
But the notion that Mitt Romney denigrated 47 percent of Americans is not a “coordinated attack” led by Obama and “the media.” Here are Romney's own words, from the secretly taped speech he gave at a private campaign function in May (emphasis added):
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.
And I mean the president starts off with 48, 49 -- he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect. So he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean, that's what they sell every four years.
And so, my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.