Fortuño: I don’t agree on 47% claim
In recorded remarks at a Florida fundraiser earlier this year, Romney told donors “my job is not to worry about” the 47 percent of Americans who don’t earn enough to pay income taxes and are likely to support President Barack Obama. He also described them as people who are “dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe they are entitled” to a wide range of benefits including health care, food and housing.
The amateur video has burned up the Internet and aired continually on cable television since its release Monday by Mother Jones magazine. It’s thrown his campaign off track in a tight race with President Barack Obama and with less than seven weeks until election day. It has also drawn blowback from conservative pundits and Romney’s fellow Republicans.
Joining that list on Thursday was Fortuño, a national Republican who endorsed Romney during the presidential primary and gave a primetime speech during last month’s GOP convention in Tampa. His wife, first lady Lucé Vela, introduced Romney’s wife Ann for her convention speech.
“I don’t agree with the statements that have come out in the press,” the Puerto Rico governor said Thursday. “One does not always agree with everything that everyone says.”
Former island Sen. Miriam Ramírez de Ferrer, also a member of Puerto Rico’s statehood New Progressive Party and a national GOP activist, said Romney’s comments have hurt his chances to win the White House.
“It will be very hard for him to recover from the damage done by these comments,” she said according to a CyberNews report.
Ramírez said the fact that the comments were made behind closed doors may have made them more damaging than if he stood up and made the same case in public.
“It speaks to criticism that he is two-faced,” Ramírez said.
President Obama leads Romney among likely voters by a margin of 48 percent to 43 percent, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday. The Democratic incumbent has led the daily online tracking poll since September 7, shortly after the Democratic convention.