Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is trying to reframe the Republican nominee’s comments at a fundraiser in Florida earlier this year in which he said 47 percent of Americans wouldn’t vote for him because they receive government benefits and pay no taxes.
A memo from campaign manager Matt Rhoades distributed to reporters Wednesday morning tries to cast those comments as part of Romney’s broader narrative of trying to achieve an “opportunity society” as opposed to the “entitlement society” he has said President Barack Obama is trying to create.
Romney’s campaign is jumping on the newly-revealed tape from 1998 showing the now-president defending redistribution to establish a baseline for all Americans to start from.
The memo is below:
MITT ROMNEY PRESS | SEPTEMBER 19, 2012Location
Boston, MAUnited StatesFrom: Matt Rhoades, Campaign ManagerTo: Interested PartiesDate: September 19, 2012Re: Two Visions for America
48 days remain until Election Day. As the choice voters face comes into greater focus, the different visions that Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have for America are becoming more sharply defined.
Mitt Romney’s vision for America is an opportunity society, where free people and free enterprise thrive and success is admired and emulated, not attacked. President Obama’s vision for America is a government-centered society, where government grows bigger and more active, occupying more of our everyday lives.
In a newly-unearthed set of remarks, we can hear Barack Obama in his own words advocating for government as a means to redistribute wealth:
“[T]he trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure everybody’s got a shot.”
Mitt Romney has a very different idea. He knows that we need to foster growth and create wealth, not redistribute wealth, if our economy is to grow the way it has in the past.
We don’t have to look far to see the failure of President Obama’s approach. We can look at his record. First came the stimulus – and nearly a trillion dollars of government spending later, the unemployment rate is almost 3 percentage points higher than where President Obama projected it would be.
Then came Obamacare. Even though it has yet to take effect, businesses are already grappling with the new taxes, regulations, controls, and bureaucracies that are impeding hiring and adding to our uncertainty.
We are experiencing the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression. More Americans than ever before are in poverty or on food stamps. President Obama’s government-heavy policies have not worked, and we need a new direction.
Mitt Romney places his trust in the American people, not in government. His plan includes tax relief to spur growth and increase take-home pay, trade policies that allow American companies to compete and win, and a commitment to championing small business as the engine of our economic growth. Policies like these define what an opportunity society is all about.
There is no doubt that Americans are not better off today than they were four years ago, and this race is a choice between two very different visions. In the next 48 days, Governor Romney will describe the difference in these visions and what that difference means for our future.
Americans don’t want the next four years to look like the last four. We believe they’ll elect a president who will restore the American promise for everyone. Mitt Romney will be that president.