Obama jabs at Romney over video

Obama jabs at Romney over video

SALT LAKE CITY - The Associated Press
Obama jabs at Romney over video

President Barack Obama talks with David Letterman in a TV show. AP photo

President Barack Obama declared that the occupant of the White House must “work for everyone, not just for some,” jabbing back at Republican rival Mitt Romney’s jarring statement that as a candidate, he doesn’t worry about the 47 percent of the country that pays no income taxes.

Obama took the high road but aimed a shot at Romney, who was still trying to regroup after the release of secret videos showing him disparaging Obama voters as government dependents who cannot take responsibility for their own lives, Agence France-Presse reported. “One of the things I learned as president is you represent the entire country. If you want to be president, you have to work for everyone,” Obama told CBS talk show host David Letterman. “When I won in 2008, 47 percent of the American people voted for John McCain,” Obama said, referring to his Republican opponent that year. “They didn’t vote for me, and what I said on election night was: ‘Even though you didn’t vote for me, I hear your voices, and I’m going to work as hard as I can to be your president.’”

Romney neither disavowed nor apologized for his remarks, which included an observation that nearly half of the country believe they are victims and entitled to a range of government support, The Associated Press reported.

Instead, Romney cast his comment as evidence of a fundamental difference with Obama over the economy, adding the U.S. government should not “take from some to give to the others.” In a next-day interview on Fox, the network of choice for conservatives, Romney said he didn’t intend to write off any part of a deeply divided electorate, including seniors who are among those who often pay no taxes.

Instead, he repeatedly sought to reframe his remarks as a philosophical difference of opinion between himself and Obama. “I’m not going to get” votes from Americans who believe government’s job is to redistribute wealth,’ he said, adding that was something Obama believes in. He also said he wants to be president so he can help hard-pressed Americans find work and earn enough so they become income taxpayers.

Romney was seen telling donors in video released on Sept. 17 that 47 percent of U.S. voters were with Obama because they depended on the government for health care, food and housing, and viewed themselves as “victims.” Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, said the Republican presidential nominee was “obviously inarticulate” in trying to make his point. Ryan told KRNV-TV in Reno, Nevada, “The point we’re trying to make here is, under the Obama economy, government dependency is up and economic stagnation is up.”