DENVER — Everybody watching this weekend’s Redskins game saw the ad featuring Mitt Romney saying it. In focus groups, pollsters only have to say “47 percent” for voters to know what they’re talking about. And lest anyone in Ohio or Florida or Virginia forget, President Obama reminds them at each of his campaign stops.
The remarks in question were, as most of the country now knows, uttered by Romney in May to wealthy donors at a private fundraiser, at which he said that 47 percent of Americans will support Obama’s reelection and are government freeloaders who pay no income taxes, see themselves as “victims” and can’t be persuaded to “take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
In the two weeks since a surreptitious video of the remarks surfaced, they have pierced the national consciousness in a way that few blunders do. In the closing stretch of the presidential campaign, the moment has become a defining element of Romney’s candidacy.