Mitt Romney May Not Care about the 47 Percent, but the Numbers Are Not in His Favor
Any candidate for president of the United States should want to be the candidate for all Americans, not just 53 percent of them. Unfortunately, Mitt Romney’s offhand remarks at a private fundraiser showed he’s not that person.
A leaked video of a Romney fundraiser reveals quite a bit about the candidate’s true opinions:
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.” He went on: "[M]y job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
Sadly, his statements aren’t that surprising when you look at his policies. He has promised to do everything he can to take away basic access to affordable health care and restrict women’s access to preventive care like cancer screenings and breast exams. Just look at the numbers…
More than five million. Romney wants to eliminate Title X, which provides family planning and lifesaving preventive care to more than five million low-income individuals each year. An incredibly popular program, these women and men rely on Title X for basic preventive health care, including lifesaving cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, and birth control.
When these women and men schedule their checkups, they are taking personal responsibility for their own lives. The fact that every dollar invested in family planning saves taxpayers nearly $4 doesn’t faze Romney, who apparently considers people who rely on Title X freeloaders.
Forty-five million and counting. Romney has pledged to overturn Obamacare “on day one” of his presidency. That means denying access to the more than 45 million women who have already received preventive services without co-pay. That’s access to well-woman exams, mammograms, and Pap tests. And it means a return to denying insurance coverage based on pre-existing conditions like pregnancy and domestic violence.
Nearly three million. Planned Parenthood health centers provide affordable, quality care to nearly three million patients each year. For many women, Planned Parenthood is their primary source of health care, but that isn’t stopping Mitt Romney from promising to “get rid of” it. Considering that one in five American women has gone to a Planned Parenthood in her lifetime, this threat is not something to ignore. If you want to see what happens when Planned Parenthood is banned as a public health care option, look at Texas.
While the public continues to debate the meaning of the 47 percent, the sentiment is really nothing new for women voters. Even before the video became public, women favored Barack Obama over Mitt Romney by 14 points, and a whopping 38 points among unmarried women. The more women learn about Romney’s record and positions on women’s health, the less likely they are to support him. In fact, after hearing Romney’s on-the-record statements about women’s health and preventive care, the percentage of women who describe him as “out of step” grows by 20 percentage points.
Mitt Romney may not care about the percentage of the population that needs access to affordable health care, but they definitely care about him and will remember where he stands when they head to the polls.