On the same day Mother Jones released the full 50 minutes of footage of Mitt Romney speaking at an exclusive fundraiser, Sean Hannity was in serious damage control mode. For days he'd been trying to tamp down the firestorm surrounding a short "preview" clip in which Romney famously said it's not his job to worry about the 47% who pay no federal income tax, "unable to take responsibility for themselves".
Hannity cheered this as right wing staples like Peggy Noonan, David Brooks and Bill Kristol denounced the comments. Even Senator Scott Brown spoke up against the inaccuracies while noted "theo-cons" like Rusty Reno and Rod Drier quickly spoke out from the religious right.
In the full tape, Romney admitted he would not pursue government corruption. He admitted he had no intention to further Israeli-Palestinian peace. He insulted Hispanics and swing voters, but Hannity selectively ignored these and all the many other topics that afternoon. Romney's 'dirty bomb' gaffe was headline news on cable by evening, so it was even more strange that Hannity blanket-endorsed everything said on the tape.
The one thing Hannity took exception with was Romney's disbelief that half the country would still vote for him "if given the opportunity". If given the opportunity? Is that assuming they are not disenfranchised by Karl Rove or Florida election officials?
Mitt Sucking Hard on Government Teat
Romney was jeered for weeks for misstating the composition of the 47% of Americans who do not pay any federal income tax, often retirees, veterans, the disabled or full-time workers with legitimate deductions like a big family, an adoption or student debt. In large part, the working poor struggling to stay off assistance, the heart of the electorate.
Mitt's verbal "inelegance" came as he mixed in hardworking folks with lazy welfare scammers, certainly a much smaller number. Paul Ryan lowered this "Mittscalculation" to 30% within two weeks. Called a "vulture" by Republican primary opponents, Romney surely was himself a trailblazing tax evader for decades. This breaking report shows Romney secretly "rented" his church's tax exempt status using a now-prohibited loophole.
But another damning video has resurfaced, glossed over during the primaries when Romney was getting 25% of the vote. Filmed surreptitiously in 2002 during his run for governor in Massachussetts, Mitt eagerly unpacks his secret agenda to use "personal associations" to get millions out of "every department, every agency" of government using grants, contracts and funding for "projects". (ABC News, Raw Story)
Hear Romney brag about being the corporate welfare king, describing how large and "creative" his government hand outs got:
Romney Confesses His Original Comments "Completely Wrong"
Finally, after weeks of doubling down on Romney's "47%" comments, Hannity's own exclusive TV interview with Romney revealed the claims made on the tape were "completely wrong", ending the debate once and for all.
To this day, Hannity has not offered his own retraction, confident his listeners will tune in again and again, but how many even remember what Hannity said just one month ago?
How many listeners recall Hannity's insistence we must invade Iraq because they were going to attack us with WMD? Is there any price to pay for being so dead wrong?