Clinton: Romney faces burden in debates

Sept. 21, 2012 at 3:31 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Former President Bill Clinton says presidential nominee Mitt Romney's disparaging comments on 47 percent of Americans will put a "burden on him in the debates."

At a private fundraiser in May, Romney was videotaped saying his "job is not to worry about" the 47 percent of Americans who are "dependent on government."

Since the video, which was recorded without Romney's knowledge, surfaced this month, the Republican nominee has said his comments were "not elegantly stated" and that he was "speaking off the cuff," but has defended the sentiment, The Hill reported.

On Friday, Clinton asserted Romney's comments ups the ante for him to perform well in the debates with President Barack Obama.

"I think it puts a heavier burden on him in the debates to talk about what he meant," Clinton said in an interview with CNN.

"The 47 percent, those that are adults, they do pay taxes. They pay Social Security taxes. They pay Medicare taxes. They pay state and local taxes," said Clinton. "But all of those people who don't pay ordinary income tax would love to be back paying ordinary income tax. They'd love to have a full-time job instead of a part-time job, or any job at all, or be able to get a pay raise."

When asked whether Romney's comments would create an electoral landslide in Obama's favor, Clinton said it is possible, but will depend on voter turnout.

"I still think you have to assume it's going to be a close race, assume it's a hard fight and then fight through it," Clinton told CNN. "But I think the president has the advantage now. We did have a very good convention. He got a good boost out of it."

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