Summary: Because 53 percent and 47 percent combine to make 100 percent, because Mr. Romney's campaign is for the presidency, and because if he were to win the presidency he would be president of 100 percent of Americans, we conclude that Mr. Romney's comment is a fact. Therefore, our ruling is true.
Last night, Mitt Romney told a live television audience that his campaign was "about the 100 percent of Americans." Mr. Romney's comments came during campaign forum broadcast live by Univision and was in response to a question about his comments disparaging 47 percent of Americans as moochers.
At Daily Kos, we believe facts are important, so we decided to put Mr. Romney's comments to the test. For context, here's Mr. Romney's full quote: "My campaign is about the 100 percent of Americans."
In appraising the factuality of Mr. Romney's statement, the first challenge we confronted was determining the motivation behind his remarks. Although one could literally interpret Mr. Romney's comment as a suggestion that he was aiming to achieve 100 percent of the vote, we decided that such an interpretation would be unfair to Mr. Romney, who has never before suggested that anyone—let alone he—could win every single vote. After all, President Obama is quite unlikely to cast his ballot for Mr. Romney, for example.
Our second interpretation of Mr. Romney's statement initially seemed more plausible. That interpretation held that Mr. Romney was trying to say that he believes his campaign agenda will help every single American, even though not all Americans will support him. That interpretation of Mr. Romney's comments does seem quite reasonable, but we decided that he wasn't trying to say that.
Why did we decide Mr. Romney was not trying to say that? Well, we based our ruling on the previous comments by Mr. Romney that he does not believe his job is to worry about the 47 percent of Americans who he believes pay no taxes because his economic policies will not help them. We also took into account that Mr. Romney has previously said that he is not concerned about the very poor as well as his oft-repeated assertion that people who own businesses are the center of the economy because they create jobs, unlike the people who work in those jobs or spend money buying the things sold by the business creators.
Based on his previous comments, Mr. Romney clearly does not believe that his policies would benefit 100 percent of Americans nor does he particularly care about 100 percent of Americans. Therefore, we ruled that Mr. Romney did mean to suggest that he did care about the 100 percent of Americans. This makes sense to us because we do not think Mr. Romney would have appeared on live television simply to tell lies.
This brings us to our third interpretation of Mr. Romney's comments, and it is the one upon which we based our ruling. We interpreted Mr. Romney's comments as merely reinforcing the fact that if he were to become president, that would be something that would have an impact on all Americans. This makes sense to us because there is only one president at a time, and therefore all Americans have the same president at any given time. 100 percent of Americans is the same thing as all Americans.
Indeed, you can find Mr. Romney make this very point in his secretly taped fundraiser when he divides America into the 53 percent who take responsibility for themselves and for the 47 percent who are mooching freeloaders. As every grade schooler knows, when you add 53 and 47 together, you get 100—the exact same percentage that Mr. Romney mentioned during his Univision appearance. Therefore, we have decided Mr. Romney did in fact tell a fact. Our ruling is true.