Romney: 47 percent comment ‘completely wrong’

Republican Mitt Romney continued his victory lap celebrating his well-received performance in the first presidential debate with a stop on Sean Hannity's show on Fox Thursday night, where he said his comment disparaging 47 percent of the nation's population as "completely wrong."

Hannity asked Romney how he would have responded had President Obama brought up the comment the GOP candidate made at a fundraiser last spring saying that he was unconcerned about the 47 percent of people who see themselves as victims entitled to government support.

"Well, clearly in a campaign, with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question-and-answer sessions, now and then you're going to say something that doesn't come out right," Romney said. "In this case, I said something that's just completely wrong."

Up until now, Romney has said that he had chosen his words poorly, but had not disavowed his comment. Thursday night he repeated the slogan he adopted in response to criticism of his comment, saying that his campaign is "about the 100 percent." 

Romney, who was joined for part of the 15-minute interview by his running mate Paul Ryan, for the most part did not gloat about his good reviews from Wednesday's debate, demurring when the host asked him if perhaps Al Gore was right that Obama's poor performance could be attributed to altitude sickness. He just chuckled and said that the country had finally gotten a chance to hear him talk about his plans to create jobs and improve the economy.

Hannity asked Romney to respond to Obama's assertions since the debate that the GOP nominee was not honest in his answers during the 90-minute give-and-take. Romney said that the president could not defend his record and was merely continuing his campaign  of "character assassination."

Romney also did not  as far as Hannity in describing the Obama administration's handling of the deaths of four Americans at the U.S. Consulate in Libya as "a cover-up."  But he did say the deaths were the result of a "failure" to heed "warnings of a possible attack" and that so far the public has not gotten "transparency" from the administration.

Ryan, who left the interview early, said that during Wednesday night's debate the country got to see "the man I know," describing Romney as a "decisive" and "optimistic" leader.

Vanessa Williams is a deputy national editor at The Post and edits the She The People blog. She has covered and edited local and national politics for the paper. Contact her at Vanessa.Williams@washpost.com.
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David Nakamura · October 4, 2012