Mother Jones
Mother Jones

The now-infamous "47 percent" comment was more like President Obama's "You didn't build that" comment than anything else, The Root's contributing editor, David Swerdlick, writes at the NY Daily News.

Yesterday, when I heard Mitt Romney's blockbuster comment that "47% of Americans" are voting for President Obama because they're "dependent on government," I had the same reaction lots of other folks did:

This was Romney's "bitter/clinger" moment.

Because just like Obama's 2008 suggestion that voters beyond his campaign's reach were throwbacks who're "bitter" and "cling to guns or religion," both candidates damaged themselves by having comments go public that were only meant for private consumption.

On further review, though, Romney's comments, unearthed by Mother Jones, might have been less "bitter/clinger" and more like Romney's "you didn't build that" moment. Because like the President's infamous — and poorly worded — defense of public-private partnership, Romney argued something that's an article of faith on his side, but did it in a way that the other side takes [as] proof of bad faith.

He's saying too much government makes people "victims." But even if you agree with that premise — and Republicans do — it's misleading and cynical to suggest that the dividing line between his supporters and Obama's runs along the victimhood axis.


Read David Swerdlick's entire piece at the New York Daily News.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.


David Swerdlick is an associate editor at The Root. Follow him on Twitter

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