Barack Obama's 'guns or religion' gaffe didn't flip votes. Gaffes seldom do. But many voters question whether Mitt Romney 'understands the problems of people like me' – and his claim that 47 percent of Americans 'believe they are victims' doesn't help.
Mother Jones magazine on Monday published a clandestine video of a Mitt Romney fundraiser at which the GOP nominee said that 47 percent of US voters “believe they are victims” entitled to government support and that “my job is not to worry about those people."
“I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” Mr. Romney told donors, according to the tape.
Umm, OK. Is this a game changer for the election? The liberal blogosphere erupted Tuesday with charges that this apparent disdain for half of American voters disqualifies Romney from the presidency. Some conservatives have defended the statements, saying they accurately reflect a culture of dependency, while others have basically thrown up their hands.
Conservative William Kristol, writing in The Weekly Standard, said Romney’s comments were “arrogant and stupid,” for instance. (To be fair, he equated them with Barack Obama’s statement at a fundraiser four years ago that rural voters “cling to guns or religion.")
Well, Romney’s polarizing statement may not be good for the future of American political discourse. But it is unlikely by itself to make any difference in the polls.