Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search

Decoder Buzz

Mitt Romney fact check: Is he actually against redistribution? (+video)

Mitt Romney is treating 'redistribution' like a dirty word. But while he might like it less than Democrats do, Romney clearly believes in redistribution, too.

By Correspondent / September 20, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign fundraising event in Atlanta on Wednesday.

Charles Dharapak/AP


Scrambling to change the subject from his now infamous remarks calling 47 percent of the population “victims,” Mitt Romney has jumped on a newly uncovered (though actually very old) tape of then-Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama saying he believes in “redistribution” of wealth. Excerpts from the Obama tape first ran Wednesday on The Drudge Report – and at a fundraiser Wednesday in Atlanta, Mr. Romney went all-in on the attack:

Skip to next paragraph


Liz Marlantes covers politics for the Monitor and is a regular contributor to the Monitor's political blog, DC Decoder.

Recent posts

Monitor correspondent Liz Marlantes documents recent gaffes by politicians on the campaign trail.

"There are some who believe that if you simply take from some and give to others then we’ll all be better off. It’s known as redistribution. It’s never been a characteristic of America. There’s a tape that came out just a couple of days ago where the president said yes he believes in redistribution. I don’t. I believe the way to lift people and help people have higher incomes is not to take from some and give to others but to create wealth for all."

Let’s put aside the fact that the Obama tape is 14 years old – though, as The New Republic’s Timothy Noah points out, back then Romney was “still pro-choice, still pro-gun control, still pro-stem cell research, and still in favor of gays serving openly in the military.”

The real reason Romney’s attack is likely to be a flop is that the president’s remarks – when examined in full – aren’t likely to be seen by most Americans as particularly controversial. In fact, it's clear that Romney himself essentially agrees with much of what Mr. Obama said.

Here’s the complete text of Obama’s comments (as opposed to the shortened clip circulated by Republicans), which was tracked down by NBC News


  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer

Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!