In a campaign speech for President Barack Obama Saturday, actress Julianne Moore — who said she grew up in the middle class — said she identifies with the 47 percent of Americans Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticized for not paying income taxes.
Obama "doesn’t perceive, as Mitt Romney does, that there are some members of our society — this 47 percent — who are victims who don’t pull their own weight, even though they pay sales tax, state tax, city tax, property tax, etc.,” Moore told a crowd of Obama supporters. “So, I was really personally incredibly insulted by those comments, especially that this 47 percent believe they’re entitled to health care.
“Guess what? I’m one of those 47 percent because I believe we’re all entitled to health care because it is humane, because we live in a fair and humane society.”
Moore, speaking at a “Vote Now!” picnic at Ben Brenman Park, highlighted her Northern Virginia connections — she attended high school in Falls Church for a few years, and her sister lives in the area. She and Obama both care about education, healthcare, job creation, the end of wars, equal pay for equal work, reproductive freedom and a responsibility to care for the less fortunate, she said.
“I grew up middle class in an America where anything was possible and we all had an opportunity to succeed,” Moore said. “If you worked hard, you went to a good public school, and you could be a doctor, or a teacher, or an actress, or a sound man, or — you know what? You could be president of the United States. So that’s what I want. I want that for my children and for all American children. I want that opportunity for them to succeed, and so does President Obama.”
Moore has been an activist for liberal causes, including Planned Parenthood, for years, organizers said. Campaign volunteer Carole Lieber of Arlington praised Moore’s speech.
“I think she’s spot on,” Lieber said. “I think she’s absolutely right about the 47 percent. I think it’s a very offensive comment, and particularly to people who are on Social Security, Medicare, are veterans, all the people who went to school. So, I absolutely agree with her comments, and I’m thrilled that she’s here.”
Tina Tchen, chief of staff to first lady Michelle Obama, who was speaking Saturday in her personal capacity, introduced Moore and urged supporters to vote early before Hurricane Sandy impacts the region.
“As you know, the choice could not be clearer for our country, for women, for our children,” Tchen said. “And I’m also so grateful that across the country that we have people supporting us from everywhere, and people are willing to take a lot of time out of their lives, as you all are doing today, to travel across the country on behalf of this president.”
Moore has appeared in movies including “The Big Lebowski,” “Magnolia” and “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” She also acted in the hit TV series “30 Rock" and has been nominated for four Oscars.
After the picnic Saturday, Moore planned to speak at Obama campaign offices in Alexandria and on Columbia Pike in Arlington.
View a photo gallery of the picnic here.