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Jan Williams, 47 Percenter, Says Romney's Comments Have Turned Her Into A Democrat

09/19/2012 10:10 pm ET | Updated Sep 21, 2012

Whittier, Calif., resident Jan Williams, 55, has been a registered Republican voter since she was 18 and always considered herself moderate. She voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 because Sarah Palin gave her pause about John McCain's candidacy.

But after hearing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney dismiss the votes of 47 percent of Americans who don't pay a federal income tax, Williams told The Huffington Post that her transformation into a Democrat is "complete."

During a private $50,000 per plate fundraising dinner in May, Romney said that 47 percent of Americans will "will vote for the president no matter what" because they "believe that they are victims" and "government has a responsibility to care for them." Someone secretly recorded the remarks and they became public this week.

"It was very, very hurtful and stupid thing to say," said Williams. "You're trying to become the president of everyone, not just your little set of cronies."

She said she also took issue with Romney's notion that people like her don't feel responsible for their own life. "I've always been a very responsible person," said Williams. "I could have tried to get welfare or food stamps when I was a single mom of two, but I didn't."

Williams said she's worked hard and paid taxes all her life, raising two children alone while putting herself through school and holding down a full-time job. But she admitted that she does feel like a victim, because she is a victim of violent crime.

In 2007, Williams' son and two grandchildren were murdered by her daughter-in-law (she wrote about the ordeal in a personal blog called Grief's Journey).

The killings were devastating for Williams, and despite her efforts to return to her job at the fundraising department of a university (three times over the course of six months), depression stifled her productivity.

"Is that not the kind of victim Governor Romney meant?" asked Williams rhetorically. "Does that make me pondscum?"

The university put her on unpaid leave without benefits in 2008 and invited her to apply for another job if one opened. She spent two years searching and gave up in 2010.

From 2008 until now, Williams has not paid federal income tax. Instead, she has been living on her savings and the life insurance she received from her son's death. The savings are already depleted and the insurance will soon run out. She doesn't qualify for Medicare for 10 years.

Williams applied to receive Social Security disability benefits because her depression and post-traumatic stress make her doubt she could hold down another job even if she were offered one. The benefits have been denied once, and she's scheduled to appear at an appeal hearing.

"I guess that could mean I'm hoping to gain some kind of entitlement benefit, but I did pay into the programs most of my life," wrote Williams in an email. "Is it wrong to expect help when it's my turn to need it?"

Williams is also excited for Obamacare. She spends an average of $2,000 a month on care for diabetes, high blood pressure, gout, and depression. Sometimes she has to choose between paying for medication or paying the mortgage.

"One of the things that bothers me most about this whole thing is that I've been a Republican my entire life," wrote Williams. "Sorry Dad. I know you're probably turning in your grave, but Romney and Ryan have completed my transformation into a Democrat."

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