Romney: Note to Running Mate Ryan

Photograph by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Paul Ryan during a campaign rally on Sept. 18, 2012 in Newport News, Virginia.

When Mitt Romney first tried to explain his remarks about 47 percent of the American electorate being dependent on government — “victims,” as he put it, and unreachable politically for him — he called his words inelegant.

Romney’s running mate had another word for those words today: “inarticulate.”

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin was asked about Romney’s remarks, recorded in a secret video account of his appearance at a May 17 fundraising dinner in Florida, in Ryan’s interview today with  KRNV-TV in Reno, Nevada, one of eight or nine states which the Republicans are attempting to reclaim from President Barack Obama.

“He was obviously inarticulate in making this point,” Ryan said in the Reno interview, adding that the point the Republicans are making is that, under the Obama economy, government dependency is up and economic stagnation is up.

Asked if he thinks the Republican presidential nominee regrets his fundraising remarks about the 47 percent of Americans who pay no federal income tax, Ryan said he thinks Romney would have stated it differently, adding, “that’s for sure.”

Last night, addressing reporters at an impromptu session before another fundraiser in California, Romney explained that he had spoken “off the cuff” in response to a question. “It’s not elegantly stated,” Romney said outside the fundraising event in Costa Mesa. “Of course I want to help all Americans — all Americans — have a bright and prosperous future.”

Today, in an interview with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto, Romney reiterated what he had said about that 47 percent at the Florida fund-raiser: “I’m not going to get them.”

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