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Republicans criticize Romney’s disdainful remarks about 47% of the country

Republicans across the ideological spectrum are slamming Mitt Romney’s inaccurate and outrageous comments that 47% of Americans see themselves as “victims” entitled to handouts. POLITICO published a rundown of the criticism—here’s a sample:

David Brooks, The New York Times: “[As] a description of America today, Romney’s comment is a country-club fantasy. It’s what self-satisfied millionaires say to each other. It reinforces every negative view people have about Romney.”

Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal: “It’s time to admit the Romney campaign is an incompetent one.”

Kevin Glass, Townhall.com: “Romney’s just wrong on the facts here.”

Jonah Goldberg, “The Corner” blog, National Review: “Ultimately Romney’s division of the electorate has an odd Marxist twang to it, as if those dependent on government are simply voting their naked economic self-interest.

“… Which raises the other, bigger, problem with the blanket derogation of people who don’t pay income taxes. Undoubtedly moochers and layabouts are overrepresented in the ranks of the non-filers of income taxes. But so are the working poor (thanks to, among other things, the Earned Income Tax Credit), retirees, college students, et al.”

David Frum, Newsweek/The Daily Beast: “Mitt Romney has just committed the worst presidential-candidate gaffe since Gerald Ford announced in 1976 that ‘there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.’

“Irreparable? To Romney’s image, yes; to his election chances … we’ll see.”

Michael Warren, The Weekly Standard: “The political argument, that those who are ‘dependents’ won’t be voting for Romney anyway, is demonstrably wrong, and the content and tone of Romney’s remarks don’t strike many conservatives (and others) as particularly presidential.”

Ramesh Ponnuru, Bloomberg View: “Republicans dwell on the heroic entrepreneur held back by taxes and regulation, which must be part of the story that a free-market party tells. But most people don’t see themselves in that storyline, any more than they see themselves as dependents of the federal government. They don’t see Americans as divided between makers and takers.

“To the extent Republicans do, they’re handicapping themselves.”

W. James Antle III, The Daily Caller News Foundation: “Since when has it been the job of Republicans and conservatives to make sure everyone has IRS obligations?”

Linda McMahon, GOP Senate candidate, Connecticut: “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.”

Ross Douthat, The New York Times: “… Romney finds himself conducting a winnable (yes, still) campaign from the weakest possible position.”

Reihan Salam, National Review: “We need conservative politicians who are willing to explain why low-income and middle-income parents should be removed from the tax rolls during the years they are making the biggest investments in their children, and who are willing to make the case for the EITC program as an alternative to worklessness and lifelong dependency.”

Susana Martinez, governor, New Mexico: “We have a lot of people that are at the poverty level in New Mexico, but they count just as much as anybody else.”

Scott Brown, U.S. Senator, Massachusetts: “As someone who grew up in tough circumstances, I know that being on public assistance is not a spot that anyone wants to be in.”

Matt Welch, Reason: “This is economic determinism at its worst, going against the very message the Republican Party was trying to sell to the world during its quadrennial national convention last month.”

Dean Heller, U.S. Senator, Nevada: “You got to understand, I grew up with five brothers and sisters. My father was an automechanic. My mother was a school cook. I just don’t view the world the same way he does.”