Mitt Romney came full circle on his “47 percent” remarks Thursday night, calling them “just completely wrong” in an interview on Fox News.
When asked by host Sean Hannity what he would have said if President Barack Obama had brought up the controversial comments in the first presidential debate, the Republican nominee said that such stumbles happen while campaigning, and “in this case, I said something that’s just completely wrong.”
“I absolutely believe, however, that my life has shown that I care about 100 percent and that’s been demonstrated throughout my life,” Romney said. “And this whole campaign is about the 100 percent. When I become president it will be about helping the 100 percent.”Echoing a line he had used previously to mitigate the remarks’ fallout, Romney told Hannity that he cares about the “100 percent.”
Previously Romney had said his remarks, surreptitiously recorded during a private fundraiser in May, were not “elegantly stated.” They included the comments that “47 percent” of people voting for Obama are dependent upon government and do not pay income tax.
Many commentators on the left and right expressed surprise that Obama didn’t broach the subject during Wednesday night’s debate. On The O’Reilly Factor Thursday, conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer called the omission “shocking.”
Romney told Hannity it was obvious “the president wasn’t happy with the response to our debate last night.”
“It was an evening of substance. I’m happy Jim Lehrer was willing to ask us our positions on issues and we could describe those. It wasn’t a big gotcha night coming from the moderator, but a chance for the president and I to go toe to toe on important issues people care about,” Romney said.
Romney sought earlier Thursday to focus his campaign messaging on Obama’s tax pledges, while campaigning in Virginia with running mate Paul Ryan.
Ryan joined Romney briefly on Thursday’s show, during which Hannity tried to get Romney and Ryan to discuss their “slight disagreement” on Medicare. Romney responded “Probably not. My guess is we’ll be debating with the other guys.”
Read more at POLITICO.