Romney comment causes some voters to reconsider support

Kate DeMay. Photo by Kelsey Misbrener.

Kate DeMay. Photo by Kelsey Misbrener.

Kelsey Misbrener

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lost at least one prospective voter after calling 47 percent of Americans dependent on government support and victims who do not believe in personal responsibility in a video clip that leaked Tuesday on

Kate DeMay, a senior fashion design major at Kent State, registered as an undecided voter and wanted to weigh each candidate’s qualities carefully before making the final decision. She was already leaning toward Obama, but the Romney video today sent her fully to the Democratic side.

“By calling me a victim you’ve pretty much just solidified that I’m not going to be voting for you,” DeMay said.

She mentioned before that she didn’t really trust Romney, and now he’s proven to her he’s blind to the 99 percent.

“I think he’s basically making himself the poster boy for the 1 percent,” DeMay said. “He is not doing himself any favors right now.”

In the video filmed on May 17 in Boca Raton, Fla. at a $50,000 per plate political fundraiser, Romney said 47 percent of Americans pay no taxes and are dependent on the government, according to . While the figure is almost true, it’s actually 46.4 percent who don’t qualify to pay taxes, according to 2011 Tax Policy Center statistics. And the fine print reveals more than just a nation of lazy people.

About half of the 47 percent don’t pay taxes because they are too poor. The other half use tax credits because they’re retired or low-income working families, according to the blog.

“I pay no income tax because I have no income,” DeMay said.

She’s spending the year preparing her senior collection, the culmination of four years of work in the fashion school. “My school schedule is so intense I don’t have time [for a job],” DeMay said.

DeMay thinks Romney will lose some voters who were previously unsure of their vote because of the video, but she thinks there will still be some people who agree with his government dependence idea.

Janet Esposito, chairwoman of the Portage County Republican Party and also the Portage County auditor, thinks the leaked video was unfair.

“I’m tired of the games. I think we need to follow Obama around at his private parties,” Esposito said. “I think it’s being twisted around like everything else in the media has been. I’m voting for Romney.”

Alan Rhea, secretary of the Kent State College Republicans, felt Romney’s personal comments were taken out of context.

“I think he was just referring to the fact that most of the Democratic Party will continue to support [Obama] no matter what, just as a certain amount of Republicans will support [Romney] no matter what,” Rhea said.

Rhea said he thinks some people are labeling Romney’s comments about the 47 percent as an attack on the poor, but said Romney does care about them.

“His comments didn’t come out right, but I do believe he intends to improve the lives of the lower and middle class,” Rhea said.

For more on undecided voters, visit:


Contact Kelsey Misbrener at [email protected].