Mitt Romney appeared on Your World to discuss the furor over his “47%” remarks. As Media Matters noted, it would be hard to find another host more simpatico with Romney’s agenda than Neil Cavuto.
Cavuto said, “The administration quickly coming back at you, Governor, saying that you essentially, disdainfully wrote off half the nation. How do you respond to that?”
Romney chuckled. “We were of course talking about a campaign and how he’s going to get close to half the vote. I’m going to get half the vote, I hope… Frankly, we have two very different views about America. The President’s view is one of a larger government. There’s a tape that just came out today where the President sang he likes redistribution, I disagree. I think a society… where government plays a larger and larger role, redistributes money, that’s the wrong course for America. …I believe the right course for America is one where government steps in to help those that are in need, we’re a compassionate people, but then we let people build their own lives, create enterprises, we believe in free people and free enterprise, not redistribution.”
Cavuto said, “Governor, on the 47% of the people in this country who pay no income taxes - a lot of them because they’re retired, or they’re elderly, or they’re paying, certainly, payroll taxes… Is it too high? Do you think that the level should be closer to what it was in the late 70’s… What is an acceptable level?”
Romney said, “You’re right. There are a number of retirees, members of the military and so forth who aren’t paying taxes. That’s as it should be, but I do believe that we should have enough jobs and enough take home pay such that people have the privilege of higher incomes that allow them to be paying taxes… The problem right now… (is) so many people have fallen into poverty that they’re not paying taxes, they have to rely on government, and the right course to help them is not just to have government handing out but instead government helping people to get back to good jobs… When the President took office, 32 million people were on food stamps, and now that number is 15 million higher.”
Cavuto, mindful not doubt of his rehab role, asked, “Now, you’ve said that your wording might have been inelegant but others have said that you’ve just kissed half the electorate goodbye, this election year, that you all but called them moochers. Did you?”
Of course he wasn’t. Romney said, “I’m talking about a perspective of individuals who I’m not likely to get to support me. I recognize that those people who aren’t paying income tax are going to say this provision that Mitt keeps talking about lowering income taxes that’s not going to be attractive to them, and those that are dependent on government, and those that think government’s job is to redistribute, I’m not going to get them… I know some believe that government should take from some to give to the others, I think the President makes it clear… that’s what he believes.” He called it a “foreign concept.” “Free people pursuing free enterprises is the only way we’ll create a strong and growing middle class.”
Cavuto said, “But you think it’s a given that that base will ignore you entirely when you and your running mate Paul Ryan talked about reforming Medicare and trying to contain its growth, oddly enough when you were on that theme, it was helping you in Florida.”
Romney said, “Seniors are of course people who I’m getting in large numbers… because they’re unhappy with the fact that President Obama’s Obamacare cuts Medicare by $716 billion.”
One of Cavuto’s few critical questions was, “A lot of those seniors, Governor, are in that camp that are not paying income tax, and it might have boomeranged on you with an important base. Do you worry about that?”
Romney replied, “I’ve got to get as many as I can from every single cohort in this country.”
Cavuto moved on to more blatant rehabilitation: “Donald Trump has said that you have nothing to apologize for.” Trump also advised Romney to “get tougher” or else lose.
Mitt “I always appreciate his counsel… The President, he’s indicated he wants to raise taxes. Raising taxes on small business about a million small businesses, that’s going to kill jobs. The President is borrowing a trillion dollars more than we’re taking in.” He called it “more European than American.”
And the only thing they could find to embarrass the President is a radio chat in … 1998? The foxy trio has, however, made timid references to Joe the Plumber. Testing the ground, perhaps. I share Dave’s dismay.
I’m glad that they’ve abandoned all pretence at being F&B, but I’ll be truly happy when that slogan is replaced by something more appropriate.
Mmmmmm, how about: “In the tank for Romney”.