Apparently Republican representative Rob Woodall of Georgia didn’t get the memo about his party’s “rebranding” effort to avoid offending half the population, or at least avoid getting caught doing it on camera.
Woodall, who sits on Paul Ryan’s House Budget Committee, said last month at a town hall meeting that Mitt Romney was right in his secretly videotaped remarks that 47 percent of Americans don’t pay taxes.
“You know, folks mock Mitt Romney for what he said, but he’s right,” Woodall says in the video. “Forty-seven percent of American citizens pay zero in income taxes. It’s just true.”
Many pundits believe those remarks significantly contributed to Romney losing the election. And even Romney himself admitted in an interview last October that his comments were “completely wrong.”
Romney was right about being wrong. The Washington Post points out that “Among the Americans who paid no federal income taxes in 2011, 61 percent paid payroll taxes — which means they have jobs, and, when you account for both sides of the payroll tax, they paid 15.3 percent of their income in taxes, which is higher than the 13.9 percent that Romney paid. Another 22 percent were elderly.”
The Republican “rebranding” has not been going as planned, as the GOP leadership appears to have no control over right-wing members of the party who continue to make inflammatory remarks that offend the millions of Americans the party would like to win over. Two recent examples include Representative Don Young (R-AK) using a racial slur about Hispanics and Georgia GOP chair Sue Everhart saying that “if same-sex marriage is legalized across the country, there will be fraud.”
And Americans are not buying the Republican “rebrand” so far. A recent Gallup poll shows that 21 percent of national adults and 26 percent of Republicans themselves believe the GOP is “inflexible” and “unwilling to compromise.”
Here is the full video, which was appropriately released on Tax Day by Georgia Fair Share — a group that advocates for a fairer and more progressive tax code in the United States.