Instead of apologizing for what Romney said, his campaign and its tame pundits have rushed to the defense of what he didn’t say, or what he wishes he’d said, or what he might have said that would have been true. They’re hoping that the voters don’t focus on what he actually said, to wit:
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 that 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. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. [snip]
I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
In other words:
Obama voters = people who pay no income taxes = people who think they are entitled to be given things by the government = people who cannot be convinced to take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
And that applies to 47 percent of the country.
Romney’s attempt to walk things back by saying he wants more people to have jobs with incomes high enough for income tax misses the point.
Speaking where he thought he was only being heard by his rich friends, Romney said that 47 percent of the people he proposes to lead are not merely lazy, entitled moochers expecting other people to take care of them, they’re permanently and hopelessly that way. “Never” is a long time.
Any defense of Romney (e.g., by Althouse), or any news story, that leaves out the line about personal responsibility is (probably deliberately) missing the point. Romney’s last, desperate hope is to make things as if he didn’t say what he actually said.