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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Romney in Miami is the candidate for 100%



Mitt Romney had no time to warm up Wednesday before he was asked onstage in Coral Gables about his hidden-video remarks where he suggested that 47 percent of taxpayers were moochers.

Those taxpayers include veterans, Univision's Jorge Ramos pointed out.

Romney was ready.

“This is a campaign about the 100 percent. And over the last several years, you’ve seen greater and greater divisiveness in this country,” he said at the Gran Encuentro event at the University of Miami, which was broadcast later that evening by the Spanish-language, Doral-based powerhouse network.

“We had hoped to come back together,” Romney said. “But instead you’ve seen us pulled apart. And politics has driven us apart in some respects.”

The Republican presidential candidate never explicitly blamed President Barack Obama by name, but he soon ticked off the troubles of the past four years: 47 million people on food stamps, 23 million people out of work or under-employed, high poverty rates.

Romney said he would do better.

“I have a record,” Romney said. “I’ve demonstrated my capacity to help the 100 percent when I was governor.”

Ear-splitting applause – not the last – rippled through the friendly crowd of Romney supporters gathered at UM's BankUnited Center. The rest of the 35-minute interview with Ramos and co-host Maria Elena Salinas followed suit.

Ramos, Salinas and a few audience members questioned Romney on immigration, education and the economy, though they had little time to delve into specifics.

A comfortable Romney stayed on message, tailoring his remarks at times to the Spanish-speaking audience. The mention of the recently released surreptitious video of the May fundraiser in Boca Raton fell off the agenda from that point on.


But that doesn’t mean his remarks about nearly half the taxpaying public will die.

President Obama appears at the same event on Thursday, where he plans to stay for the entire hour.

If Obama’s campaign is any measure, the president is sure to reference the video in which Romney said he wouldn’t get the vote of the 47 percent of people who don’t pay income taxes because they’re “dependent upon government [and] who believe that -- that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they're entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing, to you name it."

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[Last modified: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 9:46pm]


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