'No Apology' Romney Apologizes for '47 Percent' Comment

Mitt Romney finally acknowledged the fact that his assertion that many Americans don't pay taxes is wrong.

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So much for No Apology.

Mitt Romney finally relinquished the CEO standard to never apologize and never explain, admitting on Fox News Friday that his comments about the allegedly 47 percent of the American public who are mere blood-sucking layabouts were, in fact, "wrong."

[See a collection of political cartoons on Mitt Romney.]

It's quite a statement from the man whose autobiography is titled No Apology and who continues—in complete opposition to actual facts—to accuse President Barack Obama of going around the world and apologizing for America. And it's not just that the president has not, by any stretch, gone on the GOP fantasy of an apology tour. It's that Romney, at least until now, has taken the view that apologizing is tantamount to weak leadership. And in Washington's poisonous political environment, the refusal to admit you're wrong is particularly troubling.

Romney had a decent, if somewhat hacky line in the debate about how he, as someone with five sons, had learned that people will say things that just aren't true. Ho, ho, ho. Given what appears to be a very nice marital relationship between the Romneys, one would also assume the former governor had apologized a time or two in his life. It's impossible to have a healthy, equal relationship with anyone if you never apologize. And no, love does not mean never having to say you're sorry, however adorable Ali MacGraw sounded saying that to Ryan O'Neal.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the 2012 campaign.]

But Romney's acknowledgement that he was wrong—not that he misspoke, or was tired or taken out of context, but just wrong—is a bit late. For several weeks, Romney has been rightly hammered for his insult, and it's taken him until now, when he's in his "Makeover" phase of his campaign, to actually acknowledge his mistake. Damage has already been done, and likely won't be undone by this late mea cupla. In most cases, it's never too late to either apologize or to thank someone. It's certainly better than nothing. But this apology—Romney's first of the campaign—sounds a little hollow for its timing.

  • Read Peter Fenn: Obama Must Nail Romney on His Empty Debate Promises
  • Read David Brodwin: 3 Questions the Candidates Didn't Answer During the Debate
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