Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Political Cornflakes
Tribune Political Reporters
Political Cornflakes is a clearinghouse for all kinds of intriguing political tidbits from our political team in Salt Lake City and Washington, D.C.

» E-mail

Subscribe (RSS)

Sign up for Political Cornflakes. Want to be in the know? Join the growing list of political junkies who receive the latest political news in an easy-to-read morning email.

Email cornflakes@sltrib.com to subscribe.

State of the race: Romney's 47 percent hits home in Utah

>Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's offhand comments about the non-tax-paying, victim-playing, entitled 47 percent of America could continue to haunt his campaign until Election Day. Democrats will make sure of that.

The remarks, playing over-and-over on a television near you, are reminiscent of President Barack Obama's gaffe in 2008 about voters "clinging to their guns and religion," and sting just as much since it strikes at what the candidate really thinks.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

In Utah, some 38 percent of Utahns didn't have any liability on their federal income taxes in 2008, ranking the state 13th in the country for the number of non-taxpayers, according to the Tax Foundation where Romney pulled his national average of 47 percent.

Sen. Orrin Hatch has made this an issue before, arguing that since half of Americans don't pay into the income tax system, it's left to the middle class to prop up the government's bank account.

"American taxpayers are skeptical that the answer to our fiscal problems is for them to sacrifice more, when almost half of all households are not paying any income taxes," Hatch said last year.

Hatch, however, didn't say that those who don't pay income taxes are "victims" like Romney or that he doesn't care about them. That's the part that may irk voters the most.

It took less than two hours for Romney's campaign to issue a statement saying that he "wants to help all Americans struggling in the Obama economy." It took about the same amount of time for the pro-Obama Super PAC American Bridge to produce an advertisement highlighting the initial comment.

The election, like all that have come before, is full of problematic statements: You didn't build that. They're going to put you back in chains. And don't forget that people are corporations, too, my friend.

Like all political flare-ups, this too shall pass.

The most damaging thing about the comment, though, is the timing. Just as Obama's post-convention bounce appeared to be fading and Romney had a chance to climb back up, he again finds himself on the defense and off message.

Obama, meanwhile, had a previously scheduled engagement in New York City this afternoon: an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman.

49 days left to go.

-- Thomas Burr


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.