Did '47%' Video Cost Mitt the Election?

Pundits analyze Romney's income tax assertion

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 18, 2012 10:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Leaked video of a May Mitt Romney fundraiser—in which the candidate calls half the country self-proclaimed 'victims'—has the pundits swarming, with some saying it just might cost him the election. Here's what they're saying:

  • The video "has killed Mitt Romney's campaign for president," writes Josh Barro at Bloomberg."Romney already has trouble relating to the public and convincing people he cares about them. Now, he's been caught on video saying that nearly half the country consists of hopeless losers."

  • You could rationally argue that the country has grown too dependent on government benefits—but that's not what Romney did, writes David Brooks in the New York Times. Instead, he revealed his ignorance about his own country, offering a "country-club fantasy" that divides us into "makers and moochers"—and "reinforces every negative view people have about Romney."
  • This divide is central to Romney's agenda, notes Ezra Klein in the Washington Post, but it's "not true." Some 61% of those who don't pay income tax pay 15% of their income in payroll tax—more than Romney himself paid—and 22% are elderly. What's more, GOP tax cuts are a big factor in the no-income-tax phenomenon.
  • On top of that, most of these "non-income tax filers" come from firmly red states. "Out of the 10 states with the highest percentage of filers with no liability, all but one—Florida—are reliable Republican stalwarts," observes Brett LoGiurato at Business Insider.
  • Keith Olbermann, meanwhile, is at a rare loss for words.

Mitt Romney leaves the podium after he spoke to reporters about the secretly taped video from one of his campaign fundraising events in Costa Mesa, Calif., Monday, Sept. 17, 2012.
Mitt Romney leaves the podium after he spoke to reporters about the secretly taped video from one of his campaign fundraising events in Costa Mesa, Calif., Monday, Sept. 17, 2012.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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