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WSJ positions itself on Romney's '47 percent' remark in hard news story


There's a lot of debate over the intent of Mitt Romney's "47 percent" comment in which he dismissed half the country as un-winnable votes. One interpretation is that Romney was explaining the number of voters who won't find his campaign message attractive for political reasons. The other is that Romney was writing off almost half the country as moochers.

It's clear where the Wall Street Journal comes down on this, even in a hard news story about the state of both the Obama and Romney campaigns (emphasis mine):

The Obama campaign also plans to track Mr. Romney's Ohio tour with a new TV ad that highlights his secretly recorded comments about the 47% of citizens who Mr. Romney said pay no federal income taxes. The ad will run in the markets that Mr. Romney plans to visit.

"Mitt Romney attacked 47% of Americans who paid no income taxes, including veterans, elderly, the disabled," the announcer says. It then shows Mr. Romney saying, "My job is not to worry about those people."

Mr. Romney was talking about his job as a candidate in winning votes. The ad suggests he was making a broader point. "Doesn't the president have to worry about everyone?" it asks.

For the record, I say Romney was simply referring to the politically divided landscape of the country. But it's noteworthy that a mainstream national newspaper has made clear its interpretation of Romney's comments outside of the editorial page.

[Wall Street Journal]

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