Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comment at a May fundraiser, which came to light this week, sealed his second straight “Worst Week in Washington.”
Modern politics has killed at least two things: privacy and context.
Mitt Romney (re)learned that lesson this past week when an amateur video from a fundraiser went viral. It shows him telling a group of well-heeled donors that, among other things, “there are 47 percent who are with [President Obama], who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them.
For a campaign that has struggled to play offense since the GOP convention late last month in Tampa, the “47 percent” video couldn’t have taken off at a worse time.
By later in the week, Romney seemed to have decided that pivoting from the “47 percent” controversy was smarter than doubling down on it. “My campaign is about the 100 percent of America,” Romney told a crowd at the University of Miami on Wednesday.
Republicans insist that Obama’s comments about not being able to make change from Washington will refocus the campaign on the president’s first-term failures, but that’s for next week, not this one.
This week’s damage has certainly eroded Romney’s support: Gallup polling showed that 36 percent of registered voters said the “47 percent” comments made them less likely to support Romney, while 20 percent said it made them more likely to back him. Forty-three percent said the comments would not affect their vote.