Republican Mitt Romney will be ready for the 47 percent question.
So says Ed Gillespie, a senior adviser to the Romney campaign, talking about the first of the presidential debates this week.
“We wouldn’t be surprised, obviously if it came up in the debate, and the governor’s prepared, obviously, to respond,” Gillespie said in a conference call with reporters this morning, as both Romney and President Barack Obama prepare for their first face-off Oct. 3 at 9 pm EDT in Denver. “We believe the voters will see and appreciate the fact that what Governor Romney’s talking about would improve the quality of life for 100 percent of Americans.”
The question is whether debate moderator Jim Lehrer or the president will bring it up first.
Obama has been making use of Romney’s videotaped remark at a May 17 fundraiser in Florida in campaign ads, as has the super-PAC backing Obama’s re-election, Priorities USA. Romney, telling diners in that only recently revealed appearance that 47 percent of Americans pay no taxes and are “victims” of government dependency, suggested they are unreachable by his campaign politically.
Romney’s tactic since Mother Jones first published that tape on Sept. 17 has been to accuse Obama of a strategy of income redistribution, taking money from the wealthy to pay for government, and has asserted that he cares about “100 percent” of the people.