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Summary: "Speaking to an occasionally rowdy crowd two days before the Ames Straw poll, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made what seems likely to become a much-discussed flub, declaring to a group of Iowans that 'corporations are people.'"

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney arrives for a Republican Presidential Debate in Ames, Iowa, August 11, 2011. (photo: Reuters)
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney arrives for a Republican Presidential Debate in Ames, Iowa, August 11, 2011. (photo: Reuters)

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+31 # Rita Press 2011-08-12 10:10
I would re-arrange the order of the words and what he really means is "People, Corporations are my friends."
+20 # erogers 2011-08-12 10:32
corporations may be people but the only others that Romney considers people are the top 10% of wealth in the country. As for the rest of us, well slaves are needed. To improve our situation I am sure Romney will approve of floggings until out morale improves. Ed
+18 # cycleman60 2011-08-12 10:52
Bob Burgess · Henderson, Nevada
Romeny is known for his stupid gaffs. His comment that "corporations are people," that "everything corporations earn goes to people." I think he is smokin' Mormon home grown POT. Where did he get the 2 mils for his campaign fund? It was corporate profits and he has tried to keep it mum. He is not only a liar, but an arrogant, lip flapping stooge trying to sound intelligent while his constituents would like to see him melt away--for good.
+24 # paradoctor 2011-08-12 11:04
Romney says that corporations are people because they are made of people. So is Soylent Green.

The legal fiction of corporate personhood is the ruling superstition of the age. It is hubris, and it will meet a nemesis of its own making.
+23 # Kayjay 2011-08-12 11:20
I'll recognize corporations as people, when they start paying a fair rate of taxes like the rest of us people.
+16 # AndreM5 2011-08-12 12:00
That is not nearly enough to make them persons, an impossibility now matter how twisted your world view.

Are they eligible to vote? Do they have any qualities of life? Can they operate independently? Can they "exercise free speech" without a human tool to donate the money?

How can money possibly be considered "speech?" IMO the Supremes succintly violated the constitution with this absurd "decision" and Romney revealed and underscored his extremist corporatist views by blurting out this silliness. This guy is a terrible politician who can't get out of the way of his own mouth.

As I understand it corporations are legal creations of convenience, originally as a way for real "persons" in the companies to avoid direct liability. Since they are born of legal action they can be killed by legal action and there are many these past two years who have earned the death penalty.
+16 # paradoctor 2011-08-12 12:39
I propose that we call the death penalty for corporations "discorporation ", and that we make a ceremony out of it.
+10 # michelle 2011-08-12 12:54
If we buy and sell corporations does it mean we have reinstated slavery? Just saying...
+11 # Elizabeth 2011-08-12 13:53
The Supreme Court should be impeached for three reasons:
1. Decisions such as this which are obviously based on special interests and not the Constitution.
2. Ethics violations of some members.
3. All of those who were nominated by George W. Bush: who was not elected by a majority in states that certified him anyway (Florida and Ohio) in 2000 and 2004 should not be allowed to sit the bench to benefit their own decision concerning Bush. Bush was never President, but a king, and that in itself at the very least should end the term of any SC member he nominated, because these members benefited by anointing Bush the king.
+5 # Regina 2011-08-12 18:12
It's very simple to determine whether corporations are persons: if there is a corporation that bleeds when stabbed, vomits when exposed to a nauseating substance, and soils its pants when delayed too long on the way to a lavatory, it's human and has human rights as provided for in our Constitution. I would expect persons of the stature required for ascension to the Supreme Court to know this fundamental distinction.
+5 # Robert Uttaro 2011-08-12 21:01
And I'll recognize them as people when we can throw them in jail like we do people who steal, cheat on their taxes, etc. When equal treatment before the law is a reality for corporations and they pay the same consequences when they break the law as people do, then they might qualify as people. And since that can never happen for obvious reasons, then they are not people. What Mitt needs to be refreshed on is that until the Supreme Court gave "personhood" to corporations back in the late nineteenth century, they were not treated as people. The framers of the constitution did not include corporations in their definition of personhood (smoke that one Bachmann and Tea Party loons in your original-intent -back-to-the-fo unders silly argument pipe). In fact Mitt now needs to explain his criteria for being anti-abortion (fetus as a human being with same rights and protections) and apply it to his idea of corporations are people. Let's see how they compare.
+12 # in deo veritas 2011-08-12 11:49
Corporations ARE people- greedy, manipulative, democracy-hatin g, power-crazed people who are our worst enemies and embody everything rotten in the world. That means they should be mortal and not able to survive indefinitely. That means they should be accountable to laws as well as common decency. Those who support their depredations will be held accountable first. They want the law of the jungle-so be it. Let's see how they do.
+4 # whatdidimiss 2011-08-12 11:52
Curiously enough, Mitt was merely echoing a decision the Massachusetts Appeals Court recently handed down. It said that a corporation was a "person" for purposes of the law that said a judge could sentence convicted defendant to probation. The corporation argued it could not be, but the Appeals Court sided with Mitt, saying corporations are persons, too.
+10 # Homer Peters 2011-08-12 12:05
Mitt Romney - GOP nominee...
Mitt Romney - GOP nightmare...
Romney personifies the Greedy Old Party.
+5 # boudreaux 2011-08-12 12:17
I'll bet that he just got more money from corperations just for saying that in front of all of those people....but he lost alot of votes too......
+10 # dkonstruction 2011-08-12 12:28
i would add that if corporation's are people then S&P should be charged with Treason for downgrading the US during wartime which since it will make it more expensive to borrow affects the national security and no doubt gave "aid and comfort" to "the enemy". While i wish Obama had followed through on his campaign pledge and Guantanemo was already closed this seems an appropriate place to put these guys. As for a "rational debate"...yes, let's debate "rationally" the fact that Exxon paid no income taxes at all and neither did Verizon which despite making more than $20 billion dollars in profits these last few years is now crying poverty and is demanding drastic cuts and give backs from their workers.
+3 # Elizabeth 2011-08-12 13:56
That's the whole trouble with Gitmo... it tempts all of us. But Pres. Obama, while leaving Gitmo open, also refused to prosecute any of the criminal activities of the previous administration.
We need a Progressive candidate for the Primaries.
+13 # propsguy 2011-08-12 12:38
i agree with mr romney. corporations ARE people. they can therefore be prosecuted and imprisoned for things like murder (approx 80,000 people died from VIOXX- Merck), littering (BP & the Gulf), grand larceny (Wall St, AIG, banks).
put their CEOs (who very likely aren't people in any sense you and i can understand) in prison or execute them for capital crimes.
they'll claim, like ruppert murdoch, that they aren't responsible and they didn't know what was happening. but anyone who makes that much money better damn well be responsible
+3 # Elizabeth 2011-08-12 13:59
The very idea of corporations is that the real people who are in charge of them are not responsible, but the incorporation papers of every incorporation states that the corporation is able to sue and be sued, etc. The trouble is, most "corporate lawyers" don't want to sue the hand that will feed them next year. Which is why the government MUST DO IT. And hold them criminally responsible? That should be possible. Just impeach the Supreme Court first, so that they won't kill it.
+6 # jwb110 2011-08-12 12:38
If corporations are individuals then tax them like individuals. If they get preferential tax treatment then that may be un-Constitution al.
+4 # Jonathan Gerard 2011-08-12 13:30
If corporations are people, do they have a "right to life"?
Can they marry?
May they file jointly?

The whole idea of a corporation is to create an entity that absolve real people of liability for its actions. A corporation, be legal definition, is NOT people. It transcends human beings.
+5 # ABen 2011-08-12 13:32
What happened to the right-wing's espousal of Constitutional principles such as 'one person, one vote?' The Supreme Court's decision in the "Citizens United " case is anathema to one of the core principle of our founding documents. Where is the right-wing and teabagger outrage over that?
+5 # fredboy 2011-08-12 15:26
If corporations "are people" why can't they be sent to prison?
+3 # Rara Avis 2011-08-12 16:43
I'd like to meet Mr. BP real soon and check his pulse, here him talk, give him one in the jaw. I've already seen him Sh** all over Lousiana and the Gulf Coast.
+5 # propsguy 2011-08-12 16:55
if they are people, i sure wish some of them would get old and die already
+5 # futhark 2011-08-12 19:06
Corporations: “If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.”

Shakespeare, "The Merchant of Venice"

I have yet to see a pricked corporation bleed, a tickled corporation laugh, or a poisoned corporation die, but I'm sure an offended corporation would seek revenge, not justice.
+2 # minmouse 2011-08-13 07:09
Ever since his clarification of PEOPLE, I have been holding my pocketbook wide open but no luck so far.

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