“47 Percent” Remark: Quote of the Year

Shen Hong/Xinhua/ZUMAPress

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Here’s another honor for Mitt Romney: He is responsible for the most notable quote of the year, according to the editor of the Yale Book of Quotations. The failed presidential candidate topped the list with his now very infamous “47 percent” remarks. Fred Shapiro, who compiles the annual list of the most significant utterances from the previous 12 months, selects quotes that “are famous, important or revealing of the spirit of the times, not necessarily ones that are the most eloquent or admirable,” Associated Press reported. And Romney, with his 47 percent rant, beat out himself for the No. 1 spot. His “binders full of women” comment placed second on Shapiro’s rundown. Below is the full list:

 

1. “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what…who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims. …These are people who pay no income tax. …and so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

—Mitt Romney, remarks at private fundraiser, Boca Raton, Fla., May 17

2. “We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet (in Massachusetts). I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks?’ and they brought us whole binders full of women.”

—Mitt Romney, second presidential debate, Hempstead, N.Y., Oct. 16

3. “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that.”

—Barack Obama, remarks at campaign appearance, Roanoke, Va., July 13

4. “Please proceed, Governor.”

—Obama, second presidential debate, Hempstead, N.Y., Oct. 16 (lead-in to Romney’s denial that Obama had called Libya attack an act of terrorism)

5. “You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military has changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.”

—Obama, third presidential debate, Boca Raton, Fla., Oct. 22

6. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

—Missouri senatorial candidate Todd Akin, KTVI-TV interview, Aug. 19

7. “You hit a reset button for the fall campaign; everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch-a-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again.”

—Romney senior campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, CNN interview, March 21

8. “I’m an honorary consul general, so I have inviolability.”

—Socialite Jill Kelley, telephone call to a 911 dispatcher, Tampa, Fla., Nov. 11, about media crews that came to her home as news broke of her involvement in the scandal over the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus

9. “Oppan Gangnam style.”

—South Korean rapper PSY, “Gangnam Style” (song)

10. (tie) “Under current law, on January 1st, 2013, there is going to be a massive fiscal cliff of large spending cuts and tax increases.”

—Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, testimony at House Committee on Financial Services hearing, Feb. 29

10. (tie) “I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge.”

—Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), WMAZ-TV television interview about Taxpayer Protection Pledge, Nov. 21

10. (tie) “I have a job to do. …If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics, then you don’t know me.”

—New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Fox News interview about Hurricane Sandy, Oct. 30

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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