Lautenberg rips Romney on '47 percent' comment

A videotape of Romney speaking to wealthy campaign donors in Florida, showed him saying that 47 percent of Americans support President Obama because they don’t pay federal taxes and rely on federal programs. He added that if elected president he wouldn’t care about those people, who he’d never be able to convince to take "responsibility for their own lives."

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Lautenberg said the American people deserve a better presidential candidate than Romney.

“America deserves better in a potential presidential candidate,” Lautenberg said. “He has the audacity to say these people aren’t worthy of honor and thanks for their contribution.

“All this time it was thought that Mitt Romney just didn’t get it, but it’s worse he just doesn’t care.”

Lautenberg said that 47 percent is made up of families, seniors and veterans.

“Mitt Romney seems to think they’re just a bunch of lazies who take money from the federal government,” Lautenberg said. “They don’t deserve Mitt Romney’s condemnation.”

Lautenberg said he took particular offense, being a veteran himself. He said veterans don’t pay taxes on their combat pay or disability benefits, nor should they.

“Should they pay taxes on these benefits so that they’re more honorable in Mitt Romney’s eyes,” Lautenberg said. “These veterans know a lot more about personal responsibility and sacrifice than Mitt Romney certainly does.”

Lautenberg added that Romney was expressing views commonly held by other Republicans.