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Romney under fire following claims 47% of Americans “pay no income tax”

18 Sep 2012

A secret video recorded at the home of Sun Capital co-CEO Marc Leder has revealed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney claiming 47 per cent of Americans pay no income tax.

In the video, Romney said, “All right, there are 47 per cent who are with [Obama], who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.”

He added, “These are people who pay no income tax.”

Watch the video here.

Sun Capital co-CEO Leder hosted the fundraiser for rich Republicans at his Boca Raton, Florida home on 17 May  this year.

It is not clear whether Romney had in mind private equity professionals, who have most of their earnings taxed at the lower capital gains rate thanks to government legislation, when he made his comments.

Romney stood by his words during a hastily-arranged press conference, saying only that he had not “elegantly stated” his case and had spoken “off the cuff”.

His former private equity firm, Bain Capital, is understood to be among several considering taking US office supply retailer Staples private, Fortune reported late on Thursday citing unnamed sources.

Talks are understood to be at an early stage, the report said, adding that the earliest an actual offer could come would be later on in the year.

The wait is thought to be because of financing, but also because of Bain Capital’s history with Staples after taking the business private under Romney’s tenure in 1986.

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