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Obama hits Romney on 47 percent: 'I don't see a lot of victims'

 

Carolyn Kaster / AP

President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event at G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, in Woodbridge, Va.

President Barack Obama struck back Friday at Mitt Romney's attempt to cast himself as a candidate of "change" as well as the GOP nominee's surreptitiously-recorded comments at a fundraiser earlier this year.

The president delivered some of his most forceful criticism of Romney at a campaign rally in northern Virginia, seizing on Romney's secretly videotaped remarks that he was not looking to appeal to 47 percent of the country.

“The values we believe in don't just belong to workers or businesses, the 53 percent or the 47 percent, the rich or the poor, the 1 percent, the 99 percent -- these are Americans values. They belong to all of us!” Obama said to a cheering crowd of 12,000 at a minor-league baseball stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia.

Obama also noted as a point of contrast that he happened to lose, as a matter of coincidence, 47 percent of the vote in the 2008 election, but still looked to lead as president those Americans who did not vote for him.

“In 2008 47 percent of the country didn't vote for me. But on the night of the election I said to all those Americans, I may not have won your vote but I hear your voices, I need your help and I will be your president,” he said.

“And for everybody who's watching or anybody here who's still undecided, I don't know how many people are going to vote for me this time around, but I'm telling the American people, I will be fighting for you no matter what,” he continued.

The president also took issue in Woodbridge with Romney’s statement during the fundraiser that that 47 percent of voters, who don’t pay income taxes and may be on government assistance, are “victims.”

“I don't see a lot of victims in this crowd today,” he said. “I see hard-working Virginians.”

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Obama also struck back on Romney’s criticism Thursday after Obama, speaking at a Univision town hall that day, said he realized after taking office that “you can’t change Washington from the inside.”

At a rally in Sarasota, Florida, shortly after Obama finished his town hall, Romney retooled his stump speech to include this criticism: “The president today threw in the white flag of surrender again. He said he can’t change Washington from inside, he can only change it from outside. Well, we’re going to give him that chance in November. He’s going outside!”

“I can change Washington, I will change Washington, we’ll get the job done from the inside,” Romney continued.

Friday, Obama turned Romney’s words against him, mocking him for getting “really excited” about the remark and rewriting his speech.

“He stood up at a rally. Proudly declared: I'll get the job done from the inside,” Obama said. “What kind of inside job is he talking about?”

Later, he repeated the charge: “We don't want an inside job in Washington. We want change in Washington!”