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*** UPDATED x1 *** VIDEO: Joe Walsh explains Mitt Romney’s 47 percent remarks

Wednesday, Sep 26, 2012

* Unsurprisingly, Walsh doubled down

* Transcript

But what Mitt Romney meant to say was this: Here’s why this is the most important election in our nation’s history: Because we are at a very scary point right now where there are too many Americans dependent upon government right now. Or as a very wise woman told me in the last campaign, we have too many people in the wagon and not enough people pulling the wagon. And if we don’t get this election right, the people pulling the wagon are going to put the wagon down and say, “You know what? I’ve had it, I’m tired.” That’s what this election is all about.

* But a Public Policy Polling survey of 508 likely voters taken Sept. 18-20 shows Mitt Romney isn’t doing too well in the district

Other polling has shown this race much tighter.

*** UPDATE *** The Hill reports that the NRCC is not doing much of anything for Walsh

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has no airtime reserved for three of its most vulnerable incumbents, a sign it might think Reps. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), Frank Guinta (R-N.H.) and Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) are beyond saving at this point.

Walsh and Guinta share media markets with other embattled GOP candidates for whom the NRCC has recently begun to air ads, leaving no ad time for their races.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - ChicagoR - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 9:48 am:

    Sounds like Walsh got the same Ayn Rand tattoo as Ryan.

  2. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 9:51 am:

    As I have said, Duckworth doesn’t need to talk. Joe Walsh is his own worst enemy.

  3. - Tom Robb - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 9:59 am:

  4. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 10:28 am:

    Although Walsh starts with “What Romney meant to say . ..” both said the exact same thing.

    Buy the ticket, take the ride. Just because the rest of the country is running from Romney’s remarks doesn’t mean that Walsh will so do. That is what Walsh stands for. It is pretty clear that he does believe that half of voters are baggage, so he may as well stick to what got him to Washington in the first place.

  5. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 10:42 am:

    Does he actually thing that the current crop of elderly didn’t pull the wagon in their time? Does he think the folks earning 20K a year aren’t pulling a share of that wagon? The folks in Afghanistan working for the military (OK, these folks aren’t pulling the wagon, they’re the advanced scouts trying to keep the wagon safe)? And doesn’t it occur to him that many of the people “pulling the wagon” have friends, associates, and relatives in the wagon? Or that they might have been in the wagon at one time?

    Honestly! The only public aid I have ever received were IL merit scholarships which helped me go to college. And the federal student work program that kept me employed at my college’s computer center. I’ve been extraordinarily lucky in being employed constantly since graduation.

    And yet, I support policies that provide for the elderly, poor children, and what I consider the general welfare of the whole society. And I’ve got friends and relatives who have used those programs and I’m glad they were there for them. And I’m not the only one. If they write off the ones receiving benefits, and they write off the ones who don’t receive benefits but support said benefits, how exactly does that result in a majority? Or even a larger plurality?

  6. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 10:44 am:

    There are better ways to try and put Romney’s remarks in context, but Joe Walsh is not the person to do it. I do not consider Social Security or Medicare to be a program of dependency. If you want to call them entitlement programs, that’s fine. But dependency makes those two vital programs seem to be initiatives that did not require any participant sacrifice. Most recipients have paid into the system for a long time and, in the case of Medicare Parts B & D, beneficiaries still pay premiums, deductibles and co-pays. That is not the definition of dependency - at least not in my view of the world.

  7. - Shore - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 10:55 am:

    not a good thing for democrats that they gerrymandered a district and it’s more competitive in obama’s re-elect, makes you wonder what 2014, 2016, and 2018 will be like when they don’t have president hopium’s coattails. If I’m dillard or rutherford, I’m sweating walsh right now because I think he could easily beat them in a primary in 2014.

  8. - dave - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 11:00 am:

    **I’m sweating walsh right now because I think he could easily beat them in a primary in 2014. **

    And every Democrat is thinking, “RUN JOE RUN!!” Even Pat Quinn could beat Joe Walsh state wide.

  9. - Colossus - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 11:05 am:

    How Republicans publicly respond to the 47% question is rapidly becoming this election’s shibboleth - depending on how you answer, you will be either accepted or driven out because there’s no faking it, it’s a strictly binary decision. Do you believe in a fantasy world where “they” are coming for your wealth, or do you have a basic comprehension of the complexity of the 21st century?

  10. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 11:08 am:

    I’m pretty sure the folks who get Social Security and Medicare pulled the wagon for quite some time.

    Same with the soldiers. Same with the folks pulling down short pay at the gas stations, convenience stores, restaurants and hotels.

  11. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 11:40 am:

    With friends like Walsh …

  12. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 11:52 am:

    Let’s not forget college students who will be pulling the wagon for the next forty years too. The federal aid they receive now is more than made up for in future income taxes after they graduate and our economy can’t hire enough of them.


  13. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 11:52 am:

    The GI bill, and working 40 hours a week off-campus, got me through college. Does that make me one of the 47%, dependent on government, and without responsibility for my life?

    I went on to found companies, create jobs, and even professionally compete with Bain.

    I pulled the cart in the military, rode a little, pulled again for most of my life, and will retire to ride some more.

    Most Dems deal with reality, work hard, and understand the true gifts of America; the extreme Repubs like Walsh believe in economic myths, and love to see themselves as the real victims in America.

  14. - Boone Logan Square - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 11:56 am:

    Tracking ad buys from the national parties will be instructive the next 2-3 weeks.

  15. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 12:01 pm:

    One item that people like Romney and Walsh don’t seem to understand is that for a lot of people, paying more in taxes is good. We know life can be tough, and paying more is taxes shows that for a year at least, life was comparatively easy.

    I’ve had years where I’ve paid a lot in taxes and some years where I did not pay much at all. Those years of paying a lot in taxes were the easy years. They were the “buy a new BMW” years and the “Heck, as long as we are going to a Four Seasons in Hawaii for a week, we may just as well extend it out for a few more days” years.

    The low tax years? They were the “how the heck are we going to pay the mortgage next month” years.

    I would much rather pay more in taxes than less. It means I did well that year.

    Somebody like Walsh, who has also had some serious ups and downs in his life, should get it. He doesn’t, which is part of the reason he shouldn’t be in Congress.

  16. - No Sure Yet - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 12:15 pm:

    As I watch the craziness unfold, it seems we hang politicians for saying what we all think. I feel bad for many folks that can not find a job. Some of these folks are enjoying doing nothing on our dime. It is sad, but true. We are all going to sink at this rate anyway.

  17. - Jake From Elwood - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 12:20 pm:

    The SuperPAC TV ad for Joe Walsh that that is running this week on the 10pm news includes a photo of Walsh with his arm around Sen. Suzi Schmidt. I was surprised to see that photo in the ad given her recent notoriety.

  18. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 12:23 pm:

    –As I watch the craziness unfold, it seems we hang politicians for saying what we all think–

    Believe it or not, many of us don’t think half the country are shiftless moochers.

    The 47% comment was absurd and unsupportable by any measure.

  19. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 12:23 pm:

    ===it seems we hang politicians for saying what we all think===

    Sometimes what we all think is just plain wrong. Leaders, by definition, aren’t supposed to follow. They’re supposed to lead. Leadership starts with confronting inconvenient truths and it takes guts to stand up for the truth in the face of ignorance.

    In my experience, we too often reward politicians for saying what we all think because that’s better than having what we think challenged. Being challenged makes us uncomfortable, but sometimes it’s necessary.

  20. - Marie - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 12:38 pm:

    Just to clarify, Joe, the 47% you’re disparaging are simply doing the same thing Mitt’s doing: not paying a penny more than they owe.

  21. - Will Caskey - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 12:39 pm:

    As I’ve written (, the real blunder Romney made with the 47 percent speech was actually in telling the truth about conservatism. We should thank Walsh for joining the top of the ticket in such uncharacteristic honesty.

  22. - Bill Baar - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 12:47 pm:

    The dependency argument makes sense if it’s presented as plain old patronage. That’s really what I think Romney had in his head.

    It’s so basic a strategy in Chicago and Illinois we take it for granted. Had the CTU calmed down a bit, and made the case the Mayor’s Charter Schools would really be nothing more than patronage to Charter School companies who were friends of the Mayor (or soon to become friends to hold on to those contracts), the CTU would have garnered some greater support and a contract that would have limited or rolled back some of these schools. Anyways, that’s the kind of dependency Walsh should be doubling down on, and Romney should be explaining better.

  23. - Aaron - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 1:30 pm:

    Walsh is probably one of the people on that wagon since “nearly all Americans — 96 percent — have relied on the federal government to assist them.”

    And does Walsh want to raise taxes on the elderly and the non-elderly who make less than $20k?

  24. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 2:29 pm:

    Marie, Romney didn’t claim all of his tax deductions, in order to keep his 2011 rate higher. Before this, Romney said that if he paid more in taxes than he was due he would not be qualified to be president.

  25. - late to the party - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 2:50 pm:

    “I feel bad for many folks that can not find a job. Some of these folks are enjoying doing nothing on our dime.”

    Really? People who worked actually PAID into unemployment benefits. That’s why it’s called unemployment insurance. When your health insurance company pays for part of your physical, are you getting health care on somebody else’s dime? No, you paid for the benefit. This concept is really not hard to understand.

    You would think all these right winger who call themselves ‘job creators’ would understand a basic part of creating a job.

    But i think this is the disconnect in our society right now. When ‘I’ collect benefits, I worked hard, paid into them and deserve them. When ‘you’ collect benefits, you are ‘doing nothing on our dime.’

  26. - mongo - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 5:13 pm:

    What has Shore been smoking? Walsh is a disaster for the Rs, every time he speaks it requires a defense. The election cycle should be about offense, not defense.

    And as Colossus and others make clear, he (and some other Rs) don’t get it. I can’t decide which R I’d rather see run…Walsh or Dairyman.

  27. - Sideliner - Wednesday, Sep 26, 12 @ 7:53 pm:

    Walsh must be done then. Tammy can come back out to Illinois, maybe campaign little out here, what the heck, eh? How badly could she screw things up with only six weeks and a 14 pt poll lead?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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