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In interview, Romney disavows ’47 percent’ remark

Published: Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 8:45 a.m. CDT
(Photo by Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/MCT)
GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney delivers remarks at a send-off rally on the tarmac at the airport in Lakeland, Florida, Friday, August 31, 2012. After the Lakeland event, Romney was slated to go to New Orleans to tour hurricane damage.

LOS ANGELES (MCT) — Mitt Romney disavowed his much-criticized statement that the 47 percent of Americans who supported President Barack Obama paid no income taxes, considered themselves victims and refused to take responsibility for their lives, saying Thursday night that he had been “completely wrong.”

“Clearly in a campaign with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question and answer sessions, now and then you say something (that) doesn’t come out right,” the Republican presidential nominee told Fox News. “In this case, I said something that’s just completely wrong.”

Romney spoke in an interview with Sean Hannity, who asked what he would have said if Obama had brought up the 47 percent remark during their Wednesday night debate. Democrats have used the line in campaign ads.

For more than two weeks, Romney has faced a backlash after the covertly taped video of him speaking to donors was published online by Mother Jones. Romney has previously stood by his remarks but said they were “not elegantly stated.” He has also strived to emphasize that he cares for all Americans.

“I absolutely believe my life has shown that I care about 100 percent, and that has been demonstrated throughout my life, and this whole campaign is about the 100 percent,” he said.

Political analysts had expected Obama to raise the 47 percent comment during the debate, but he did not.

Romney told Fox he was glad the debate had focused on issues rather than gaffes, calling it “an evening of substance.”

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