Is 30 percent the new 47 percent?
A new video has surfaced showing that vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan seems to agree with Mitt Romney's now infamous statement that 47 percent of the country are dependent on the government.
In a 2011 speech unearthed by the Huffington Post, Ryan said that nearly one third of Americans don't have any motivation to improve their lives.
"Seventy percent of Americans want the American dream. They believe in the American idea. Only 30 percent want their welfare state," Ryan said.
"Before too long, we could become a society where the net majority of Americans are takers, not makers."
Ryan gives credit to half of that 30 percent, who he says are not in that situation because they want to be.
The good news is survey after survey, poll after poll, still shows that we are a center-right 70-30 country. Seventy percent of Americans want the American dream. They believe in the American idea. Only 30 percent want their welfare state. What that tells us is at least half of those people who are currently in that category are there not of their wish or their will.
He made the comments in his keynote speech to a conservative audience at The American Spectator's 2011 Robert L Bartley Gala Dinner in November - six months before Romney's videotaped remarks.
Ryan's speech in full: (the good stuff starts at 7:15)
Brendan Buck, Ryan's campaign spokesman, told the Huffington Post that the comments were part of the candidate's message.
“Paul Ryan’s message at this open forum -- just as it is every day on the campaign trail –- was one of upward mobility and opportunity for all Americans. The discussion was about the size of government and nothing more.”
Ryan's speech seem to align with his running mate, who said in a video unearthed by Mother Jones that he believed nearly half the country do not take responsibility for their own lives.
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Romney said in the secretly recorded video. "All right -- there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing."
The comments have not helped the Romney/Ryan ticket connect with middle class voters. According to CNN, Romney trails President Obama by a wide margin on the question of who would do more to help the middle class.