A GOP Senate candidate in a solidly red state is distancing himself from Mitt Romney’s controversial comments that “47 percent” of the American public is “dependent on government,” joining several other Republicans in down-ballot races who are running away from their presidential nominee.
Rep. Rick Berg (R-N.D.) is running against former Democratic state attorney general Heidi Heitkamp to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad in a race that continues to be close. When asked whether he agreed with Romney’s characterization of nearly half the country, Berg said “absolutely not.”
“The American way is you probably start at a zero tax rate and you work yourself up,” he said, according to the Washington Post. “I mean, that’s where I come from. I just think it’s unfortunate how that came out. I haven’t talked to him personally about that. But from my perspective, we need to help people up. We need to lift them up, help them have the opportunity to succeed,” Berg said.