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Gov. Defends Poor Voters

Gov. Susana Martinez on Tuesday emphasized the value of the government support services in response to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s remarks criticizing “47 percent” of voters as overly dependent on government.

Martinez, who was asked to speak on behalf of Romney at the Republican National Convention last month, added that low-income voters in New Mexico should not be written off by Romney’s campaign.

“We have a lot of people that are at the poverty level in New Mexico, but they count just as much as anybody else,” Martinez said. “There is a net that does allow them to be caught and taken care of, whether it be through medical services, whether it be food services, whether it be with funding for apartments, for housing.

“I think, certainly the fact that New Mexico provides that safety net is a good thing,” the Republican governor said.

Romney drew criticism this week after a hidden recording during a closed-door fundraiser in May was released. Critics interpreted Romney’s remarks as writing off nearly half the nation’s voters because they’re too reliant on government services to care about his message of lower taxes and vote against President Barack Obama.

“There are 47 percent who are with him (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 health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. … These are people who pay no income tax,” Romney said.

Romney went on to say his job as a candidate “is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

After the hidden recording was released Monday by the magazine Mother Jones, Romney said his remarks were “not elegantly stated,” and were intended to reflect the deep partisan divide between American voters.
— This article appeared on page A5 of the Albuquerque Journal