Republican U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon was quick to denounce Mitt Romney’s secretly videotaped remarks to donors about the “47 percent” of the U.S. electorate who support President Obama and believe they are entitled to government handouts.
“I disagree with Governor Romney’s insinuation that 47% of Americans believe they are victims who must depend on the government for their care. I know that the vast majority of those who rely on government are not in that situation because they want to be. People today are struggling because the government has failed to keep America competitive, failed to support job creators, and failed to get our economy back on track,” McMahon said in a statement posted on her website this morning.
“I am sympathetic to the struggles that millions of Americans are going through because I’ve been there. As a young couple Vince and I lost our home and our car. With two small children it was not an easy time for my family.
“That’s why I am running for the Senate, because I have been there before and I know the way out. My financial struggles were part of the foundation that I built my jobs plan on. It’s why I want to give the middle class a tax break that will put an extra $500 a month in the pockets of an average Connecticut family next year. My sole focus if elected to the United States Senate will be to create good jobs for middle class families and get the American economy turned around.”
UPDATE: Chris Harris, spokesperson for American Bridge 21st Century, a Super PAC that backs liberal candidates, dug out a year-old clip of McMahon referring to the 47 percent.
The video from WTNH News 8 features McMahon talking about the need for all Americans to “pay their fair share” of taxes, even the 47 percent of Americans who she says don’t pay taxes. It aired in September of 2011, when McMahon announced her second bid for Senate.
The McMahon campaign says her remarks cannot be taken in the same context as Romney’s. McMahon was simply pointing out a fact: 47 percent of Americans pay no federal income tax, said Todd Abrajano, McMahon’s campaign spokesman.
“There’s a huge difference between stating a fact and what Mitt Romney said,” Abrajano said. (By the way, CBS News fact-checked Romney’s 47 percent comment and found it true but incomplere: “nearly two-thirds of households that paid no income tax did pay payroll taxes. And most people also pay some combination of state, local, sales, gas and property taxes,” CBS reported.
Meanwhile, Chris Murphy, McMahon’s Democratic opponent, dismissed McMahon’s criticism of Romney as a “desperate attempt to distance herself from the right-wing agenda and Republican party she strongly supports.”
Murphy spokesman Eli Zupnick released the following statement: “No amount of campaign spin can change the fact that Linda McMahon supports Romney’s right-wing Republican agenda to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires like her while dismantling Medicare and devastating the middle class here in Connecticut. The fact is the leader of her party was caught speaking honestly about the real McMahon-Romney agenda that would give Linda an additional $7 million tax break. Just like Romney, McMahon has a long disturbing history of laying off 10% of her workforce while taking $10 million in taxpayer money, as well as a plan to give millionaires like her a massive tax cut at the expense of middle class families.”