NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s comments about 47 percent of the population dependent on the government and “binders full of women” topped this year’s best quotes, according to a Yale University librarian.
Fred Shapiro, associate librarian at Yale Law School, released his seventh annual list of the most notable quotations of the year.
“Debate remarks and gaffes actually seemed to play an important role in the ups and downs of the election campaign and may even have affected the ultimate outcome of the election,” Shapiro said.
Romney, who lost the November election to President Barack Obama, made the 47 percent comment at a private fundraiser in May that was secretly recorded and posted online in September by Mother Jones magazine.
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what … who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims. … These are people who pay no income tax. … and so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” Romney said.
Romney spoke about reviewing “binders full of women” as governor when he sought to diversify his Massachusetts administration.
“It contributed to an image of him as being somewhat out of touch and maybe particularly out of touch with issues related to women,” Shapiro said.
Obama made the list, too, for his “you didn’t build that” comment, his contention that people who built businesses had help, from teachers, family and other supporters — and sometimes the government.
“It was probably the leading line that Obama wished he hadn’t made during this year,” Shapiro said.
Obama’s “horses and bayonets” debate rebuke of Romney in an exchange over the size of the Navy also made the list.
The original “Yale Book of Quotations” was published in 2006, and Shapiro has updated it with an annual list of the top 10 quotes. Shapiro picks quotes that are famous, important or revealing of the spirit of the times, not necessarily ones that are the most eloquent or admirable.
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