“Victims” and “redistribution” dominate US airwaves
US President Barrack Obama publicly chastised Mitt Romney for saying that 47% of Americans were "victims".
Speaking on the David Letterman show, the President said: "One thing I've learnt as president is you represent the entire country.”
"My expectation is if you want to be president, you've got to work for everybody, not just for some," Mr. Obama said amid applause from the studio audience.
Mr. Obama was referring to comments made by Mitt Romney at a private event with Republican donors.
"There are 47% who are with him [Mr Obama], who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing, to you-name-it," Romeny had said.
The Republican presidential candidate went on to state that he “did not worry about them” because they would never vote for him.
The Democrats seized upon Romney's comments, reiterating that the Republican is out of touch with middle class Americans.
But the former MA Governor did not apologise for his comments. In an interview with Neil Cavuto on the Fox News Channel, he instead chose to attack Obama by saying that many people support the President for his “redistribution” policies.
“There’s a tape that just came out today with the president saying he likes redistribution,” Romney told Cavuto. “I disagree.”
He was referring to a new video clip that shows the then State Senator Barrack Obama saying he prefers some sort of “distribution” of wealth.
Obama had said, “My suggestion would be the trick … is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pull resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody’s got a shot."
In an attempt to move away from the furore caused by his own statement, Romney is using the video of the President to argue that this Presidential election is about two distinct approaches.
“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,’ he argued. “I believe the right course for America is one where government steps up to help those that are in need; we are a compassionate people, but then we let people build their own lives, create enterprises….The right course for America is to create growth, create wealth, not to redistribute wealth.”
But even senior Republicans have been forced to say that Romney’s comments were “inadvisable”.