Republicans Distance Themselves From Romney On “47 Percent” Remarks
While political pundits still ponder the impact that Romney’s comments about the “47 percent” made at a May fundraiser, several Republican politicians are already starting to distance themselves from what Romney said. It started with Connecticut Senate candidate Linda McMahon:
Connecticut GOP Senate candidate Linda McMahon distanced herself Tuesday from Mitt Romney’s comments dismissing the “47 percent,” becoming the first high-profile Republican candidate to do so.
“I disagree with Gov. Romney’s insinuation that 47 percent of Americans believe they are victims who must depend on the government for their care,” McMahon said in a statement. “I know that the vast majority of those who rely on government are not in that situation because they want to be. People today are struggling because the government has failed to keep America competitive, failed to support job creators, and failed to get our economy back on track.”
In her statement, McMahon referenced her family’s early struggles, when she and her husband, Vince, declared bankruptcy and lost their car and house. The McMahons are now multimillionaires, having developed World Wrestling Entertainment, where Linda served as CEO from 1997 to 2009.
She was followed by her neighbor to the north, Senator Scott Brown:
Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) came out in opposition to Mitt Romney’s controversial remarks on the “47 percent.”
Brown, who has been distancing himself from elements of the Republican Party, joins GOP Senate candidate in Connecticut Linda McMahon in coming out against the statements.
“That’s not the way I view the world. As someone who grew up in tough circumstances, I know that being on public assistance is not a spot that anyone wants to be in. Too many people today who want to work are being forced into public assistance for lack of jobs,” he said in an email to The Hill.
Brown said that the large volume of Americans receiving public assistance and the growth in the food stamp program are part of the reasons he’s running for Senate, as Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren’s policies would lead to hundreds of thousands of lost jobs.
It’s not surprising that Brown and McMahon would do this. They’re both Republicans running in traditionally blue states and, while McMahon has typically taken a more conservative tack that Brown in the past, she’s moderated her tone in this election cycle, which many be one reason why she’s doing so well in the polls. Joining Brown and McMahon, though, was a politician not running for election this year, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez:
ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez distanced herself Tuesday from a statement by Mitt Romney that nearly half of Americans believe they are victims dependent upon government.
The GOP presidential nominee’s remarks, made to donors at a private fundraiser in May, came to light this week in a video posted online by the magazine Mother Jones.
Asked about the video at a news conference on prison reform in Albuquerque, Martinez said New Mexico has a lot of people at the poverty level.
“But they count just as much as anybody else,” she said.
The state has a strong safety net for those at or below the poverty level, and “that safety net is a good thing,” the governor said.
Depending on how this plays out, I’d expect to see some other Republicans follow suit with this distancing, especially Senate candidates in Blue and Purple states or states with close elections.