90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Romney’s ‘ 47 Percent Slur’ Reverberates On Social Media

Here are some Tweets blasted out in response to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s comments at a private fundraiser that 47 percent of Americans are dependent upon government and pay no income tax.

From Garrett Nolan of Roanoke, Virginia:

Jonah Peretti of BuzzFeed compared Romney’s remarks to Barack Obama’s comments in 2008 at a private fundraiser:

Former Obama adviser David Axelrod also weighed in:

Stu Burguiere, who writes for the Glenn Beck program Tweeted:

Nicholas Kristof started a Twitter hashtag #Romneyencore responding to Romney’s comments. You can read those Tweets here.

We also got reaction on our Facebook page:

James DuPont writes:

You can quibble over the percentage [but] the truth is there are more people in America now than ever before who have been raised to believe they are not responsible for themselves whatsoever…if I were to cite a major difference between the two major parties this would be it: one panders to, enables, encourages, and enlists those who see anyone but themselves as being responsible for their status in life, the other is the refuge of those who have persevered and risen to the challenge of life, warts and all.

Lindsay Chance disagrees, she writes

Just confirmed the judgemental elitist attitude I thought he had. No surprise here.

But Susan Clark wonders why we’re talking about Romney’s gaffe any way

Is this not another example of wag the dog…..so much wrong is going on that this is what is being focused on?

What do you think about Mitt Romney’s remarks? Tell us in the comments section, on Twitter @hereandnow and @hereandnowrobin or on our Facebook page.


  • Alex Fitzpatrick, covers the presidential campaigns and social media for the social media site Mashable

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Anita Paul

    Ronald Reagan – Welfare Queens

  • Planetvagabond

    so just what is the definition of ‘government handouts”?
    Does it include mortgage interest deductions?  Childcare deductions? Oil and gas exploration deductions? 
    Shall we continue? 
    So when an equity fund manager uses some tricky ‘carry forward’ tax rule to avoid taxes on interest returns, is he or she part of that “47%”??
    Consider this: if we increased the minimum wage such that it provided the ‘minimum necessary to live’, then maybe we woudl reduce that 47%. So maybe those government handouts are “pass thru’ subsidies to the companies that fight against increases in the minimum wage? 

    You see, part of the 47% includes people who reduce their INCOME tax burden to 0% by the careful use of deductions, credits and exemptions….kind of like setting up holding companies and banking in the Cayman Islands but not quite as lucrative.    

  • http://www.ArchitectureWeek.com/ Kevin at ArchitectureWeek

    What is the distribution of party affiliation among Americans exempt from income tax? 
    This is a critical element in the discussion. Romney equates non-income-taxypayers with Obama supporters, but that’s not accurate.
    Providing some data to dispel this myth and prejudice would be important journalism and a very timely public service.

  • Mike

    Some of us are dependent on the government because the private sector won’t.   I was laid off long ago (probably due to age), couldn’t get another job.  The private sector doesn’t want to support me (paycheck, health care).

      I live in a big city, so I can’t “live off the land”.  So what choices do I have?   Charities, government assistance, retirement savings.  Charities can provide some food, but not rent.  Savings will run out fast.   Only government assistance can last a lifetime.   Without it, life is at risk.

  • sjw81

    ron paul is right. our govt is too big and the debt bubble will burst soon enough…then we will be in a depression the world has never seen. 47% pay no income tax, and the fed govt keeps borrowing money it doesnt have, and gives it out …cant go on forever, just like the housing prices cant go up forever…

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

August 19 Comment

Abandoned Homes In Buffalo, N.Y. Selling For $1

Instead of tearing the homes down, city officials are selling them for $1, as part of the "Urban Homestead Program."

August 19 Comment

A Look At U.S. Military Options In Iraq

Retired Admiral William Fallon, who was head of United States Central Command during the Iraq War, discusses the current conflict.

August 18 34 Comments

More Americans Are Flocking To The South

A New York Times interpretation of census data finds the South is seeing significant in-migration for the first time.

August 18 10 Comments

As Pot Laws Relax, Restrictions On Research Still Tight

The firing of a University of Arizona doctor highlights the complexity and politics of marijuana research.