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Romney says 47 percent remark was 'completely wrong'

  • McClatchy Newspapers
  • Published Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, at 11:48 a.m.

Mitt Romney Thursday said he controversial remark about the 47 percent who are “victims” was “completely wrong.”

The Republican presidential candidate was asked by Fox News’ Sean Hannity what he would have said had the issue come up in Wednesday’s debate. He had said the 47 percent were unlikely to vote for him in November, and felt the government should support them.

“Now and the you’re going to say something that doesn’t come out right,” Romney said. “In this case, I said something that was just completely wrong.”

The remark, first disclosed by Mother Jones magazine last month, was made during a private fundraiser in Florida in May. Democrats seized on the comment and claimed i showed Romney, a multimillionaire, is insensitive to the less wealthy. It has been the subject of Democratic ads and is credited with giving President Barack Obama a slight lead in recent polls.

Romney had not backed down from the remark, saying the election was a choice between a society relying on government and one where people could prosper once free enterprise is healthy.

Romney had apparently hoped to explain his views in the Wednesday debate, but the issue did not come up. Thursday, he said people sometimes say things they should not.

"I absolutely believe however that my life has shown that I care about 100 percent,” he said. And that's been demonstrated throughout my life. This whole campaign is about the 100 percent. When I become president, it will be about helping the 100 percent.”

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