If Republicans are trying to shy away from the notion that America is divided between productive capitalists and dependent moochers, they forgot to tell John Sununu. The former New Hampshire governor and Mitt Romney campaign surrogate said Tuesday that Democrats and President Barack Obama won reelection by turning out the moochers.
"They aggressively got out the base of their base, the base of their base that’s dependent, to a great extent economically, on government policy and government programs," Sununu said at a forum with two other Republican governors, according to the Concord Monitor.
Sununu's comment recalled Romney's infamous statement during the campaign that 47 percent of Americans are dependent on government and would vote for Obama no matter what. The remarks, delivered at a big-donor fundraiser in May, roiled the campaign.
"There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them," Romney said. "I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
As it happens, Romney's former running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), repudiated that notion during an awards dinner in Washington on Tuesday evening.
"Both parties tend to divide Americans into 'our voters' and 'their voters,'" Ryan said, according to Politico. "Republicans must steer far clear of that trap. We must speak to the aspirations and anxieties of every American. I believe we can turn on the engines of upward mobility so that no one is left out from the promise of America."
Romney, for his part, initially defended his "47 percent" comment, then said he had been "completely wrong." But after the election he returned to the idea, saying Obama won by giving "gifts" to blacks, Hispanics and young voters.