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Romney's '47 percent' chosen as year's best quote

Published December 9, 2012 10:04 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

New Haven, Conn. • Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's comments about 47 percent of the population dependent on the government and "binders full of women" topped this year's best quotes.

Fred Shapiro, associate librarian at Yale Law School, released his seventh annual list of the most notable quotations of the year.

Romney, who lost the November election to President Barack Obama, made the 47 percent comment at a private fundraiser in May that was secretly recorded and posted online in September by Mother Jones magazine.

Obama made the list, too, for his "You didn't build that" comment, his contention that people who built businesses had help, from teachers, family and other supporters — and sometimes the government.

Here's the list:

1. • "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what ... who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims. ... These are people who pay no income tax. ... and so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

Mitt Romney, remarks at private fundraiser, Boca Raton, Fla., May 17

2. • "We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our Cabinet [in Massachusetts]. I went to a number of women's groups and said, "Can you help us find folks?" and they brought us whole binders full of women."

Romney, second presidential debate, Hempstead, N.Y., Oct. 16

3. • "If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business — you didn't build that."

President Barack Obama, remarks at campaign appearance, Roanoke, Va., July 13

4. • "Please proceed, governor."

Obama, second presidential debate, Hempstead, N.Y., Oct. 16 (lead-in to Romney's denial that Obama had called Libya attack an act of terrorism)

5. • "You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military has changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines."

Obama, third presidential debate, Boca Raton, Fla., Oct. 22

6. • "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Todd Akin, Missouri senatorial candidate in KTVI-TV interview, Aug. 19

7. • "You hit a reset button for the fall campaign; everything changes. It's almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again."

Eric Fehrnstrom, Romney senior campaign adviser in CNN interview, March 21

8. • "I'm an honorary consul general, so I have inviolability."

Jill Kelley, in telephone call to a 911 dispatcher, Tampa, Fla., Nov. 11, about media crews that came to the socialite's home as news broke of her involvement in the scandal over the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus

9. • "Oppan Gangnam style."

Psy, South Korean rapper in "Gangnam Style" (song)

10 (tie) • "Under current law, on January 1st, 2013, there is going to be a massive fiscal cliff of large spending cuts and tax increases."

Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve chairman in testimony at House Committee on Financial Services hearing, Feb. 29

10 (tie) • "I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge."

Saxby Chambliss, Georgia senator in WMAZ-TV television interview about Taxpayer Protection Pledge, Nov. 21

10 (tie) • "I have a job to do. ... If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics, then you don't know me."

Chris Christie, New Jersey governor in Fox News interview about Hurricane Sandy, Oct. 30