Thune: Romney needs to ‘fight for the job’SD senator speaks during pro-Romney appearance in Ohio.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
Sen. John Thune stuck up for Mitt Romney in the wake of the release of secretly taped comments by the Republican presidential candidate.
During appearances Tuesday in Ohio, Thune told The Independent, a Massillon, Ohio, newspaper, that Romney was trying to make a valid point. The GOP candidate was recorded telling supporters at a private Florida event that 47 percent of Americans do not pay income taxes, rely on government for the basics in life and he cannot try to capture their votes or change their minds.
“What he was saying — and you’ve got to take it in context —basically is the government isn’t the answer,” Thune said after clay shooting with North Industry Sportsmen’s Club members on Tuesday in Navarre, Ohio.
“If we’re going to grow the economy and create good paying jobs and improve the standard of living for people in this country, we’ve got to get the private economy growing again.”
Thune said he believes President Obama and his supporters are jumping on the comments as fast as they can.
“The Democrats are trying to use this as a distraction away from the president’s record on the economy,” he said.
“You can look at it. It’s very clear. He inherited a bad economy, but his policies have made things worse for way too many Americans.”
Thune said Romney can pull people out of government dependence and toward productive lives. He also said the GOP presidential candidate cannot dwell on the controversy and needs to stay on task.
Thune said his own hard-fought races for the Senate in 2002 and 2004, when he lost a close race to Tim Johnson before defeating Tom Daschle, taught him that lesson.
“There are going to be good days and bad days and ups and downs,” he said. “I’ve been through two bare-knuckle Senate campaigns. One day you wake up and your polling stinks. You can get in a funk about it, or you can go out, roll up your sleeves and fight for the job.”