Days after a video leaked about presidential nominee Mitt Romney telling supporters that 47 percent of the nation is overdependent on government support, the nationwide discussion has trickled down to Gainesville.
Across the city, people chattered. Two veterans and a minister sat outside of the downtown Starbucks late Wednesday morning, sipping coffee and discussing the newly termed “47 percent.”
Democrats planned a roundtable meeting Wednesday to speak their peace.
At the Organizing for America headquarters, at 315 SE Second Ave., 60-year-old mental health psychologist Dawn Burgess-Krop talked with two other Democrats about why she feels Romney has his facts wrong.
“When I hear Mitt Romney talk about us being victims and wanting a handout from the government, I don’t know who he’s talking about — some imaginary people I don’t know,” Burgess-Krop said.
Thomas Hawkins, a 32-year-old city commissioner at large, spoke about how the government has helped him out with paying back student loans and his mortgage.
During this national debate, Republicans have come to Romney’s aid.
“It’s not that he doesn’t care about these people,” said Katy Melchiorre, chairwoman of UF College Republicans. “He just feels their vote is a lost cause.”
Frank Moehrle, chairman of Gators for Romney, said he thinks the ordeal has been blown out of proportion.
“It’s more of media story than anything else,” he said.
Alex Masi, Gators for Obama co-chairman, said he feels Romney should apologize for his remarks.
“I think it’s time Mitt apologized to the American people for his comments for students like me,” he said. “I’m not a victim.”
Contact Alex Catalano at [email protected].