Yesterday, Mother Jones magazine (!) released a video that purported to show Mitt Romney at a closed door fundraiser making some very ill-advised remarks about a HUGE proportion of the American population (47%!) and their blind, “lazy” dependence on the government. He declared these voters permanently beyond his reach, which was almost certainly true before he made the comments, but now is definitely true, and then talked about his need to reach independent voters. (Today there is another clip where he imagines being a terrorist, providing fissile material to Hezbollah to hide a dirty bomb in Chicago even though you don’t need fissile material to make a dirty bomb, but that’s neither here nor there.) Anyway, these videos are exploding all over the place, obviously. You’re just not supposed to say those things!

What’s always fascinating about these political moments, of course, is both how they reveal some supposedly secret facet of the politician’s “true” character, and also how they are often based in some kind of grounded belief system. I mean, Mitt Romney might be the first person I’ve heard lay out those numbers, but it’s pretty roundly understood and accepted at this point that conservative politicians believe that everyone should be feudal slaves to a handful of millionaires because that is what Jesus Christ wants for them, right? (I do actually think it’s weird when Mitt Romney suggests that these people think they are entitled to food and shelter, because, you know, PEOPLE SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO FOOD AND SHELTER. What is his proposed alternative? Piles of dead bodies lying willy nilly through American streets?) The most immediate comparison that many news organizations have been making is to the 2008 moment when Obama was caught saying that low income voters in Pennsylvania were “cling[ing] to guns or religion”. Again: very poor choice of words, sir! And again: that moment, too, revealed a certain glimmering, fractal facet of Obama’s belief. He came off as elitist and superior because he IS elitist and condescending. (Personally, and I have almost certainly written about this before, I WANT a president who is smarter than me and knows that he is smarter than me. That’s why he should be president!) He’s a politician. He is at his very core a total asshole. The big difference between 2008 and now, of course, is that Obama wasn’t suggesting that their guns and religion be taken away from them, but simply pointing to those things as a somewhat rudely phrased explanation for why they might follow particular fear-based voting habits that go against their own self-interest. Romney’s implication is altogether different, suggesting an unbudging separation between two Americas: one America where everyone is a lazy, good for nothing succubus, draining America’s life force from the poor millionaires who worked so hard to build their lemonade empire, and a second America where people sit around in mansions eating $10,000 a plate dinners listening to a full head of hair talk about why he should be the Head of Hair in Chief. ANYWAYS, the Obama campaign has already released an on-line campaign video featuring the infamous “47 percent” clip:

It seems worth pointing out at this point that this ad is also terrible. “I just think he should be ashamed of himself and we should elect Obama to be permanent Mr. President forever.” Right. They’re all a bunch of liars and jerks. But only one of them is married to the beautiful Michelle. She can count on 143% of my love. HI MICHELLE! LOSE THE ZERO AND GET WITH THE HERO! MEEEEE! I’M THE HEROOOOOO! #michelle

Comments (88)
  1. Mitt Romney, like all politicians, and like pretty much everyone else ever, is an asshole.

  2. This thread gonna blow up with comments and upvotes.

  3. Honestly, I’m a little disappointed to learn that these comments were said at a measly $50,000-a-plate fundraiser. I want to know what kind of stuff he said on the Romney yachts that the REALLY BIG donors hung out on during the Republican convention.

    Of course I say this as one of the entitled jerks who feels they have a right to food and shelter and health care. Ugh, I am such a needy parasite!

  4. I see a flaw in his logic. If we stop giving people food, they will die in the streets (because no shelter), which will then cause the new percentage of people to feel entitled to public space NOT riddled with corpses. Ugh, the 99%, amirite?

    • You know who doesn’t need food? Corporations. They’re people too! We just need to incorporate ourselves and everything will work out just fine… I incorporated myself last night and I haven’t needed anything but tax cuts to help stimulate job creation. And I just outsourced myself to a Polynesian island! It’s awesome here. You should take your jet and come see me!

  5. I really hope someone decides to troll this thread. I love you guys, but I’m not really in the mood to sit around agreeing with you all right now.

  6. Let’s just look at this incredibly awful statement side by side with recent voter ID laws. What do you do when you think 47% of voters will vote for the other guy no matter what?

  7. Uproxx recently did a mini-profile of the guy who organized the dinner where Mitt Romney made his speech: .

  8. I mean honestly, Mitt Romney is starting to seem like a comic book villain. All he needs is a monocle and a robust mustache for twirling.

  9. this is the part in the movie where the big freak-out happens because the politician had a mental break and ACTUALLY SAID WHAT HE REALLY THINKS WHAT HE THINKS THE RIGHT WING MEDIA WANTS HIM TO SAY….and then we all realize he’s right and vote for him and he wins the election and we all hug and cry as he gives a speech we will watch TV in large groups.

    • As a corporation-American, I agree with this. USA! USA! USA!

      • “Corporation-American” is classic. you should trademark it before all those free-loading occupiers start putting it on T-Shirts that were probably made in China…..then again, trademarks are just a silly regulation getting in the way of you creating jobs by making those T-Shirts yourself. I’ve got a friend in the textiles business in China, he can get you a nice deal on cheap labor, and that way you can get a tax deduction on the imports and reduce your overhead, that way you can keep more of that American-made money that you worked so hard to earn.

        • Excellent! I will have my lawyers get in touch with you at the yacht club later!

          • my boat has been moved to it’s winter home. by jove, you know I don’t lunch at the yacht club after labor day. I’m not some new-money social media 20-something.

            I’ll be at my Autumn cottage upstate. I can send a slave into town to pick them up before cocktail hour.

          • Oh, we never dry dock until at least October. It’s quite lovely — less crowds, no riff raff, no loud rap music. It’s still the club but without those people. And this year we’re having one of Spaulding’s friends from Chote sail the boat down to St. Barts for the winter. He seems like a nice boy, though I worry he will forget to use the grapeseed oil on the wet bar. Kids!

  10. I’ve been agonizing for a while whether or not to apply for US citizenship mainly because I wanted to vote in the election, but a $650 application fee is a little much for a college student without a scholarship and no current employment. Even though I am confident Obama will win I’ve been wrong before about major elections so I’ve just been hoping for Romney to continue to alienate himself from the average American voter and then WHAM! He reveals exactly how he really feels about non-millionaires in the plainest of terms. It’s like a gift from the gods. USA! USA! (Yes I know the political system is still fucked and Obama is for from perfect but come on) USA! USA!

  11. The really weird thing is that this will not change anyone’s minds.

    • Gah! This is what really gets me. I went to a super conservative college and as a result my Facebook feed is occassionally peppered with the Fox News spectrum of popular opinion, and I wish I could say I was floored by how many status updates I saw along the lines of “Finally, someone not afraid to tell it how it really is!”

      Again I wish I was floored by this…but after 6 years of exposure to similar statements, I was just bored.

      • But like, what the hell? “Finally someone not afraid to tell it how it really is!” ??? HE IS AFRAID! Romney said all that behind closed doors and shit.


        • I agree!! It’s amazing…almost impressive. Is there a word where you are very impressed by something but in the absolute saddest way possible? I’m that word about these people.

          They don’t hear anything that doesn’t reinforce the notion that they worked hard and DESERVED their Dad’s money, unlike the brow…er, lazy people begging for handouts.

          God I hated college, haha.

      • Speaking as someone from Wisconsin, I know from experience that no level of “damning” leaks can sway an election (perhaps outside of like). People declaring Romney to have already lost due to this leak also claimed that Scott Walker was done for after the prank Koch brother phone call, the Divide and Conquer video, etc etc…

  12. I’m so tired of the right wingers “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” argument for the disadvantaged in our country. They forget that there are too many born with no bootstraps, or they have bootstraps for a while but then cancer takes them away, or the bootstraps they have are no longer enough to pull them up.

    Anybody know what are bootstraps?

    • They’re literally the tabs on the tops of boots. However, the etymology of the phrase…

      The saying “to pull oneself up by one’s bootstraps” was already in use during the 19th century as an example of an impossible task.

      So they literally want you to do the impossible. But come on, Kate, we all know you put your pants on just like the rest of us… two legs at a time!

    • I feel like if we’re meant to believe that most Romney supporters got where they are by the boostrap method, then “boostraps” might just be a colloquialism for “trust fund.”

    • Did you see that crazy yahoo article about how Rich (capital R because they eaRned it) people just get it right and you know, poor people are just lazy, scared and don’t now how to invest money (because they have a ton to invest, obvs).

  13. Give us hell, Romney!

  14. I just want to drink my giant sugary soda.

  15. When he said this I thought, my God, I think the republican party wants to do the same with you:

  16. can we also talk about his “apology”?

    Mr. Romney said his comments addressed “a question about direction for the country: Do you believe in a government-centered society that provides more and more benefits? Or do you believe instead in a free-enterprise society where people are able to pursue their dreams?”

    WHICH MAKES NO SENSE. advocating for a stronger social welfare state DOES NOT EQUAL dream – quashing. and having a social welfare state does not imply that free enterprise does not exist. i am so tired! i am so tired of listening to this utter bullshit! but what’s actually sad is that the removal of social safety nets and the removal of all government support actually does downgrade the lives and possibilities of millions of people. i just want someone in the political discourse to point out that what mitt romney really wants the US to be like is china- a hybrid of rampant capitalism and no public services. except he wants all us dumb freeloaders to willingly vote ourselves into that trap. geeeeeezus this dude.

    • Why don’t you tell us how you REALLY feel?


    • Also, there is this crazy thing called The Constitution that has a weird part commonly known as the ‘preamble.’ I wonder if Romney read that part AT THE VERY BEGINNING. Or did he miss that day in 6th grade where everyone in America had to memorize it?

      “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…”

      The main reason our government exists is to EXPLICITLY make it a better place for everyone and insure their happiness. Period.

      • There is some weird spelling and such in there that was not my fault, I swear.

        • ummmm i think that’s mainly twaddle. there was no social welfare state until a very, very tiny one was constructed following the civil war in order to deal with the war wounded and widows. and we can also talk about how the government didn’t really get around to even thinking about promoting general welfare until the 1960s. not to say that it isn’t important that those words exist in that document, i just personally do not like holding up the bill of rights and the constitution as divine documents that support social equity, because it wasn’t true then and i don’t like trying to prove that it was.

          • True, but for better-or-worse it’s still our default document when it comes to what the government should or should not be concerned with.

      • “More like preRAMBLE, amirite?!”


    • Worst part of his press conference:

      “What else should I be? Noooo apologies / What else could I say? 47% of you are gay”

      Reeeal mature, Mitt.

  17. If Romney really believes what he said about this country/election, I have a question for him: Why would anyone want to be President of such a horrible sounding country!!??

    “I’m the leader of the most free, most beautifulest nation on this earth where half of my citizens are lazy dirtbags who care about nothing but their next handout! Who wants an autograph??!”

  18. Also, it’s quite impressive how quickly some badasses over at the Obama campaign were able to come up with this slick-ass response in less than 24 hours. They are really on their game:

    • Oh whoops, that was dumb. Way to post a link to the video up there, me. Too much wine last night.

    • Eh. This is the 21st century. A real campaign would have had that thing out in 24 MINUTES. My iBerry should have buzzed a long time ago. Heck, I’ve already forgotten most of what Romney said already. 75% of Americans live in holes on the ground they didn’t even dig themselves, or something? Whatever. Obama doesn’t stand a chance. Unfriend.

  19. Hey Gabe, when did Mr. Mittens say these people are lazy? You put that part in quotes, so I’m assuming you are quoting somebody not just making stuff up to make your argument more sound.

    • Good point! I hereby declare his entire argument invalid, based upon that one particular use of quotation marks. Let’s all go get a drink!

      P.S. Quit trying to steal lowest rated for the week, dude. Nothing will beat the ice cream creep.

      • I wasn’t trying to invalidate Gabe’s entire argument. I could do that, but it would be a waste of time because you will just agree with Gabe no matter what. You are with him, you are dependent upon him for his snarky comments, trampoline videos, and Goop retweets. You believe the Gabe has a responsibility to care for you, you believe that you are entitled to Sad Keanu, BNPGs, and friendly chats. That… that’s an entitlement. And Gabe should give it to you. And you will love Gabe no matter what.

  20. Re: Hoping someone will troll this thread. . .

    Most of these posts have all of the intelligence and thoughtfulness of a bag of marbles into which someone has strategically trapped a fart so that the next person who wants to play him some marbles gets the remnants of some leftover fart. . .

    Hey guys, most of us watch the liberal media’s version of the news, so how’s about an original thought oncst in awhile? Huh? Would that kill the shit out of anyone? The thing that you have to respect about that cyborg or android or robot or alien or Mormon (all synonymous, give or take, right?) is that he really just lets you know via leaked video that is several months old how he really sees the world. It’s refreshing, and not at all like opening up a bag of marbles with stale fart in it. So, in summation, in order to properly troll this thread (though admittedly way too late for all of you fickle turds with the attention spans of inbred thoroughbred poodle/wiener mixes) you guys are derivative, shallow, and barely worth the trouble of insulting, which is why Mitt does it in private only on rare occasions. You know, like when you turds say something intelligent.

    • I’m conflicted. I like that sentence at the beginning about the marbles and the farts but the rest seems very poorly thought through. I get that you’re trying to be a troll and so it’s all in good fun but you seem legit angry (I said legit just to piss you off, to demonstrate how derivative and shallow I am).

      Mitt Romney is not a vessel of The Truth. Forget any objective truth, he doesn’t even speak his own truth. The reason he’s caricatured as a flip-flopper is because he flip-flops. It’s a cliche for a reason. Maybe he genuinely questioned his own beliefs on certain points and came to the realization – in the deepest recesses of his soul, without any outside prompting – that his worldview had been either too broad or too narrow on these certain points and this realization happened to coincide with the run-up to the presidential election. Maybe that is indeed the case. But it seems like a helluva lot of coincidences would have to align for that to be true. Not impossible, just improbable.

      Obviously Mitt Romney is a human being and not a robot. But does he have a soul anymore? I tend to doubt it.

      I feel like I’m only lending fuel to future nonsense tirades from you but I really did like that marble/fart sentence. Well done. So consider this my response to the guy who wrote that.

      • I’m gonna do this, only because you provided a thoughtful comment. Normally, I would just leave my attempt to troll (requested above, btw) alone as it stands. I am not legit angry (or legitimately angry). I won’t take exception to your knock on my trolling, because that is the standard response. However, I think that I made it plainly obvious that I am not a Mitt supporter (or advocate or fan or follower or Republican or teapartier or confused elderly person). Though I may be reading your response incorrectly, you seem to imply that I accused Mr. Romney of being honest. I did no such thing. In fact, I believe that I did just the opposite, albeit in an indirect way. I’m not even sure that I used the word “truth”. I was attempting (perhaps ineffectively) to insult both videogum posters (they asked for it, in more ways than one) and Romney. Here’s the real rub, monkey, I do feel like there are some really clever folks on here (way beyond my ability to deliver succinct, appropriate, and comedic quips). But some topics are just cliche in themselves and it really devalues the level of collective intelligence when we all just make obvious comments about easy targets (That Romney is a REAL asshole!, Kim Kardashian shore is stoopid!) So in that there is some honesty in my post, but the rest is pure fakery in the vein of a band actually playing Freebird when some asshole yells out “Play Freebird!” at a concert. Somehow I feel like there are several of those folks among us (been to any concerts lately, bingo?)

        • This is a very late reply but I was looking through my comment history – because I’ve been drinking and that’s the sort of thing I do when I’m drinking alone – and I stumbled across this. I’m sorry I didn’t reply sooner because I haven’t seen you around these parts lately, eldave, and it was not my intention to drive you off, or to be part of a larger, downvoting, driving-you-off movement, if there is such a thing. There isn’t! Don’t be paranoid, eldave.

          I maybe read more into your original comment than you intended, but when I spoke of “the truth” all I meant was one man’s subjective truth. You wrote that it was refreshing to hear how Mitt Romney honestly viewed the world. In my comment, I was trying to point out that it’s very optimistic to assume that anything that comes out of his mouth is reflective of how he honestly views the world when taking into consideration his history of vacillation. All politicians speak as if what’s coming out of their mouth is The Truth but what we, the voting public, look for in a politician (I think) is the glimpse of a real person who maybe doesn’t believe that what their speechwriters have written for them is The Truth, but who at least feels that it more-or-less aligns with whatever individual truths they hold dear. I don’t get that impression from Mitt Romney, ever, in any of his public appearances so, for me, he is very much the stale fart. And all I wanted to do was play marbles, goddammit.

          Still love that sentence. Hasn’t ceased to amuse.

          I never thought you were a Romney supporter. I just took issue with your assertion – albeit in your character as a troll – that Romney was in any way refreshing. Nope.

    • Thanks for that. I COULDN’T have said it better myself.

      • As you’ve already proven.

        • In all seriousness: I am not a fan of Mitt Romney. But I hate that I have to preface any political statement with that fact. That should only matter in certain specific arguments where opinion comes into play. But when we’re simply dealing with facts and actual events and actual things that were said, I shouldn’t have to put a bumper sticker on my ass so everyone will know how to judge any statement I make. But I get it! Life doesn’t work that way or whatever!

          It’s just that logic is often thrown out the window here on I rarely comment on this site for that very reason (and because I’m not as funny as you, facetaco. Seriously, I regularly “SMDH” and “LOL” at your comments.) Now I know most of the time it is all fun and trampoline accidents and logic is neither here-nor-there, but sometimes Gabe gets all seriousgum and so do the comments. Which is great! I like having serious discussions sometimes. Especially with people I don’t always agree with. But the lack of nuanced thought that goes into a lot of those serious posts bothers me.

          Gabe’s whole premise here is that Mitt Romney, like all politicians is an asshole. GOOD PREMISE! They almost always are! I think politics is an asshole magnet. Assholes just can’t wait to put their stupid head with their stupid face and stupid haircut up on a billboard and kiss everyone’s babies. Assholes. And I think Mitt Romney falls VERY nicely into this stereotype. He seems like a huge asshole! The problem is that I don’t think this video adds, in any way, to his asshole-ness.

  21. I’ve read this site for years and love it (Lindsay, never forget!). But I’m delurking not because of a political disagreement, really, but because of the second part of your statement, Gabe.

    “All politicians are assholes.” Now that’s a cliche, but unless you entirely believe it FOR REAL, I don’t think you should include it in your passionate statements. Now I do like President Obama, and I do dislike Romney. And the president, like most politicians, has done some things I don’t like.

    But the idea that either of them became assholes the moment they became politicians is just stupid. There is no inherent assholeness in being involved in politics. There may be unpleasant things that the best politician in the world has to get involved in. But sorry, all of us have to do unpleasant things in our careers. I’m sure you have had to Gabe.

    Example: Do all politicians have to compromise with say, rich donors? Actually, they don’t, necessarily. While President Obama gets a majority of his campaign money from small donations, someone like Senator Bernie Sanders in Vermont is entirely funded by small donors.

    It just is a damaging cliche, I think, the idea that becoming a politician is inherently an assholish endeavor. Even the idea of wanting to be in charge, if your goal is to help people, doesn’t seem that assholish to me. I’m a fan of Michelle Obama, for example, but I don’t see why I would become less of a fan just because she became involved in politics more directly.

    And the reason this cliche is damaging is that it gets people tuned out of politics, which, I’m sorry, is incredibly important in this country. We’ve seen how horrible people like Todd Akin and Paul Ryan have voted hundreds of times against women’s rights. And in Texas, politicians have just made it incredibly hard for poor women to get healthcare, by targeting Planned Parenthood for being 3% involved in helping women get abortions.

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