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World/National News

September 19, 2012

Obama jabs Romney over his '47 percent' remarks

(Continued)

The Romney campaign confirmed last night that it took out the loan in August, using its general election accounts as collateral. The National Review Online first reported the loan.

The most recent controversy in a campaign filled with them was ignited by the emergence of a videotape, made last May, in which Romney told donors at a fundraiser that 47 percent of Americans pay no income taxes. They “believe the government has a responsibility to care for them ... believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that’s an entitlement.”

He said, “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

In a next-day interview on Fox, the network of choice for conservatives, Romney said he didn’t intend to write off any part of a deeply divided electorate, including seniors who are among those who often pay no taxes. Instead, he repeatedly sought to reframe his remarks as a philosophical difference of opinion between himself and Obama.

“I’m not going to get” votes from Americans who believe government’s job is to redistribute wealth,” he said, adding that was something Obama believes in.

He also said he wants to be president so he can help hard-pressed Americans find work and earn enough so they become income taxpayers.

Romney didn’t say so, but the U.S. income tax is designed to be progressive, so those who earn the most theoretically pay the most. Through programs as diverse as Social Security, Medicare, health care and food stamps, the government collects tax revenue and pays it out in the form of benefits for those who qualify.

Obama responded during an appearance on the David Letterman show.

“One thing I’ve learned as president is that you represent the entire country,” he said. As for Romney’s statement about the 47 percent, he said, “There are not a lot of people out there who think they are victims” or simply entitled.

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