Congressional candidate Charles Dumas stood alongside local Democrats in condemning Mitt Romney Wednesday for his recently released remarks that 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay income tax see themselves as “victims.”
Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, told donors that those Americans are guaranteed to vote for President Barack Obama in November.
“There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it,” Romney said in a video first obtained by the magazine Mother Jones.
In reality, 46 percent of Americans don’t pay income taxes.
Romney said he can “never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
Dumas is running against Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Dumas said he’s been a Democrat all his life, but he was shocked by Romney’s comment.
The people who don’t pay taxes are senior citizens and students who don’t make enough money to be taxed, Dumas said.
Obama has laid out a specific vision for moving the country forward, Dumas said, while Romney is only trying to advance the top one percent of American taxpayers.
“We cannot put this man, who doesn’t care about us, in the office of president,” Dumas said.
Centre County Commissioner Michael Pipe and former Centre County Democratic Committee Chairman Bob Shepherd joined Dumas in labeling Romney’s economic policies bad for the middle class. A handful of Democratic supporters gathered for their remarks at the State College Obama campaign office.
Thompson said Romney’s remarks were taken out of context. Obama’s policies, especially on energy, hurt the poor and middle class the most, he said.
“When you have policies that essentially increase their cost of living, it’s just wrong morally,” Thompson said.
House Republicans oppose Obama’s higher fuel efficiency standards and regulations on the coal industry. Republican ads say that Democratic energy policies have driven up costs.
Daryl Schafer, Chairman of the Centre County Republican Party, said Romney’s comment was taken out of context. Romney was referring to his campaign, not his future presidency.
His campaign message about lowering taxes for everybody won’t resonate with the people who aren’t taxed, Schafer said.
Romney has the know-how to turn around the economy, Schafer said. He can take an entity that’s in trouble, like the U.S. economy, and make it work, because he understands the free enterprise system.
Once Romney is able to start increasing the number of jobs, the economy will pick up steam, he said.
“That will help all households across the full spectrum of the economy, and especially the middle class,” Schafer said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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