Mitt Romney took to Neil Cavuto's show on Fox News today to defend his comments that 47% of Americans don't pay taxes and see themselves as "victims" who depend on the government, reports Politico. He may be taking plenty of heat, but Romney sees this as a chance to contrast his big-picture views with Obama's, reports the New York Times.
- On government: “The president’s view is one of a larger government. I think a society based upon a government-centered nation, where government plays a larger and larger role, redistributes money—that’s the wrong course for America.”
- On taxes: “There are a number of retirees and members of the military and so forth who aren’t paying taxes, and that’s how 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. I think people would like to be paying taxes.”
- On government help: "The problem right now is, you see in this country, 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.”
- Will this hurt him in November? “No, I’m talking about a perspective of individuals who I’m not likely to get to support me," he said. “Those that are dependent on government and those that think government’s job is to redistribute, I’m not going to get them.”
- Obama weighs in: “One of the things I’ve learned as president is you represent the entire country,” he tells David Letterman in an interview airing tonight. “If you want to be president, you have to work for everyone.”
- Mother Jones has released the full video from the fundraiser here. See the part about the 47% here.