Gay US congressman Barney Frank slams Mitt Romney over leaked video

Says beleagured Republican presidential nominee's comments 'an attack on the moral character' of many Americans

Gay US congressman Barney Frank slams Mitt Romney over leaked video
18 September 2012

It’s clear that Barney Frank, the first openly gay congressman in US history, is no fan of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney who he has previously referred to as ‘myth Romney.’

Now a secretly recorded video which surfaced late Monday (17 September) in which Romney describes nearly half the US electorate as ‘dependent on government’ because they don’t pay federal income taxes has Frank blasting Romney with renewed vigor.

‘Mitt Romney’s attack on the moral character of disabled veterans, elderly and disabled Social Security recipients, and hard-working Americans in low-wage jobs because they do not pay income taxes is especially galling given the great energy he has put into evading income taxes on his very high income,’ Frank writes in a Facebook post.

On the tape, Romney says to a group of wealthy donors: "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 on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing. My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.’

In response, Frank says that ‘many of those whom Mr. Romney impugns pay a significant portion of their income in payroll taxes which support Social Security and Medicare. Until Mr. Romney stops hiding his own tax records, we can speculate that those people pay a higher percentage of their income in these taxes than Mr. Romney does on his foreign accounts, tax shelters, and other evasive devices.’

Romney has refused to release more than two years of his income tax returns. At a hastily called press conference Monday evening in Southern California, Romney did not apologize for his comments but did acknowledge that he could have been more artful in the way he expressed his sentiments.

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