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Heller on Romney: ‘I don’t have that worldview’

Thu, Sep 20, 2012 (2 a.m.)

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Sen. Dean Heller is shown during a dedication ceremony for the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System Las Vegas Medical Center (VASNHS) in North Las Vegas Monday, August 6, 2012.

Sen. Dean Heller has joined the parade of Republicans rejecting GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s caught-on-hidden-camera comments suggesting the 47 percent of Americans supporting President Barack Obama are government dependents.

Romney also implied it’s not his job to worry about those Americans.

“I don’t agree with the comments that he made. I just don’t have that view of the world,” Heller told reporters Wednesday in the Capitol.

Although Heller distanced himself from Romney’s comments, Democrats spent the day trying to tie Heller to the sentiment behind the remarks.

“Mitt Romney and Dean Heller are reading from the same script when it comes to struggling middle-class families,” Heller’s Senate rival, Shelley Berkley, said in a statement. “Mitt Romney says they lack ‘personal responsibility’ and Dean Heller refers to them as ‘hobos.’”

Sen. Harry Reid echoed Berkley on Wednesday afternoon.

“We have a long line of people who are running from Romney as if the Olympics are still on,” Reid told reporters. “I’m told that Dean Heller is running, but Dean’s gotta be very careful. ... I think he recognized how toxic Romney’s comments are, but that’s interesting coming from someone who just a short time ago compared the unemployed people to hobos.”

Heller never directly referred to jobless Nevadans as “hobos,” but in a speech two years ago, he questioned whether extended unemployment benefits might create a new class of hobos for the first time since the Great Depression.

Heller hasn’t repeated that line since 2010. But in that 2010 speech, he did say he believes in a government support system. He echoed that statement Wednesday.

“You gotta understand my background. I have five brothers and sisters. My dad was an auto mechanic. My mom was a school cafeteria cook,” he said. “So I have a very different view of the world [than Romney]. I do believe that the federal government has certain responsibilities. One of the responsibilities is building bridges and roads and national defense, but I also believe in a safety net for individuals who need the help, so that’s why I would respectfully disagree with the comments that (Romney) made.”

But Heller didn’t completely run from Romney. When asked if the leaked video might damage the credibility of Republicans in Nevada — including himself — Heller was quick to deflect.

“I don’t think that’s the discussion,” he said of Romney’s comments. “The discussion today is Obama’s comments on redistribution of wealth. That’s what everybody’s talking about: If I work hard, if I work hard in this country, will I be rewarded? And this president says, 'No, you’re not going to be rewarded; you’re going to have to give that to somebody else' — that’s the issue; that’s what everybody’s talking about in Nevada.”

Heller wouldn’t say whether he agreed with Romney’s contention that 47 percent of Americans aren’t paying federal income taxes.

But Heller’s Republican colleague in the House, Rep. Joe Heck, waded into that debate.

“It is not about making some pay more, it’s about making more pay some,” Heck, a Romney campaign co-chair for Nevada, said in a statement Tuesday. “Every American benefits from the man or woman in uniform standing a post somewhere around the globe keeping us safe, and I believe every American wants to be supportive.

“Unfortunately, under this president’s administration and its failed economic policies, fewer Americans have the opportunity to be supportive."

But Democrats are asking how Republicans would go about increasing the tax contributions of the 47 percent.

“Whose taxes would Mitt Romney raise?” Reid asked on the Senate floor, rattling off people who would be hard-pressed to see their taxes go up — students, Social Security recipients, people with disabilities, veterans and active members of the military.

“The 47 percent are ordinary, hard-working Americans who deserve respect,” Reid said. “They’re not avoiding their tax bills using Cayman Island tax shelters or Swiss bank accounts.”

On Wednesday, Heller tried another tack to redirect the conversation — and give Romney a small bit of campaign advice.

“The issue is creating jobs. I mean, this is about jobs and the economy,” Heller said. “I’m hoping at the end of the day that that becomes Romney’s message, which I do believe it will be.”

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Discussion: 24 comments so far…

  1. Heller's comments are refreshing. But can we trust him to do what is reasonable? Well, Heller did pass the first test by voting on the Veterans Jobs Bill.

    We hope Heller is not deceiving the voters with his vote for the Veterans Jobs Bill. After all, four Republican Senators who co-sponsored the Veterans Jobs Bill voted against the bill. Now, is this just plan crazy!!! You have to call it for what it is, Republicans are deceiving the American public. The Republicans say and do one thing to get our attention as if they are doing the reasonable thing, once our backs are turned, the Republicans do the opposite!!

    Deception, fraud, this is the Republican Party. Call them for what they are. Judge them by their final actions. The Republican Party is lying to the America public! They don't care. They will lie at the drop of a hat! Their standard bearer, Mitt Romney sets the tone for lying, distortions of facts, and using misleading statements. So, can we believe Dean Heller? We think not!! A track record of lies, during a campaign of lies. Why would anyone of them change now?

    Dean Heller, stop deceiving Nevadans!!! Stop lying. Stop distorting the facts. Stop using misleading statements to fool Nevadans. Dean Heller, Nevadans don't believe you. Why? Because your party, the Republican Party, is lying to the American public. You guys aren't hiding it, you don't care. We need a new congress, now!

  2. Heller is running away from Romney as far as he can, but still trying to be supportive, but he knows the recent revealations of the true Romney that are coming out now are going to hurt him. And Heck as well.

    I don't care how much Heller/Heck run away from Romney's 47 percent comment, they are linked to it. And can't get away from it.

    Look at both of their recent voting records while they have been in office in this 112th Congress.

    Both Heck and Heller are PRIME REASONS, an important cog in the Tea/Republican Party political machinery of obstruction, why this Congress is the most useless Congress in hundreds of years. The Tea/Republicans, even when they write bills, vote against them (as evidenced by this recent put Veterans back to work when they come home bill).

    Why? Because they want the ship called America capsized and destroyed all so they can politically kill the Captain (President Obama).

    I say enough. This 47 percent links both Heck and Heller to the Tea/Republican radical and extreme ideology they continually pound out there all the time.

    Well, I for one am putting a stop to it.

    Enough of the constant over reaching.

    One question voters need to ask themselves before going to the voting booths this November: Why do you expect things to change if you vote for the same people from the same political party that have destroyed America in the past, and are continuing to do so now by using obstruction, blocking, filibustering and standing in the way of EVERYTHING?

    I'll answer that. You can't expect any different.

    Both Heck and Heller, even though they are trying to distance themselves from Wrong Way Romney's constant stupidisms....THEY CAN'T. They belong to the same dumb political party that continually says this junk.

    And, I'm sorry if it don't seem fair, but everyone needs to cast their vote all the way down the ballot to get rid of Tea/Republicans wherever they can. Though they might not be to blame for some exact thing Romney did, there damn sure is enough blame to throw out there for the constant wrecking of this economy and spinning our wheels on getting America fixed. Because both Heck and Heller are not innocent. THEY and THEY alone are a constant source for us going nowhere.

    Time to put a stop to it. Vote all them bums out.

    Obama/Biden 2012! AND a Democratic Party majority in both the House and the Senate!

    Romney/Ryan produce your 1040s!

    And to Heck with Heller and to Heller with Heck.

  3. Rep. Heck is so wrong....very few Americans benefit from boots on the ground. The last righteous war war WW2, Korea possibly, Vietnam a travesty conducted under knowingly false pretenses as was Iraq 2. Iraq 1 had cursory legitimacy but was about access to oil for the most part. Afghanistan should have been a quick in and out but we had to do the old nation building thing...the great white bwana is bringing you democracy and candy bars.

    The Earned Income Credit which makes up the bulk of "lost" revenue of the 47% is a Republican economic concept championed by Reagan and the Chicago School fellas which actually works quite well.

  4. As a reminder to all readers this is the man who not once but twice voted for Ryans plan to replace medicare with vouchers.
    He and his cohort Rep Heck who refers to medicare as a ponzi scheme.
    Dont fall for his running away from Romney they are cut from the same cloth.

  5. As an active duty member of the Armed Forces, I truly believe that neither Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan gives a damn about our military at all. Romney is a draft dodger just like Clinton and Bush were.

  6. I have a word for Romney and friends. "Corporateers" In the 17th century, their were buccaneers. Unscrupulous pirates who had no loyalty to country and stole from anyone and everyone. To me, the 1% who believe in Romney/Ryan are not Americans. They are loyal only to money and where they can make the most of it in the world. They are the 21st century pirates. If Romney/Ryan, Heller and any Republican wins, we loose. We will be gleaned and left with the bill.

  7. The Democrats are the party of government handouts, welfare dwellers, illegal aliens, taxes (never met a tax or illegal alien they didn't like), intolerance and hate, protectors of the rights of criminals instead of their victims (soft on crime), Union thugs, the lazy, socialized medicine, Wall Street (Obama and the Dems recieved the most from Wall Street campaign contributions), etc.