Some Republicans across the mainland and in Hawaii are trying to distance themselves Mitt Romney amid the backlash over his comments during a Florida fundraising trip.
Hawaii's top Republican Linda Lingle has been busy trying to get her own message out this election season. But Wednesday evening, she issued a message about the country's top Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, who started nearly half of the nation were dependent on the government and victims.
"I am not a rubber stamp for the national party and I am not responsible for the statements of Mitt Romney," said Lingle.
Romney was earlier taped saying this about Obama supporters: "There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them."
But, Lingle countered, "I do not agree with his characterization of all individuals who are receiving government assistance, as I know many of them are driven, hard-working individuals who are actively working to better the situation of their 'ohana.'"
But, how much are Hawaii voters listening to this latest national debate? After months of mudslinging this election season, many are weary of distractions and want candidates to focus on solutions.
"A lot of negativity. You want to know what they can do, not picking at each other," said Honolulu resident Vanessa Oyabu. "You want to see the positives -- what they have done and how can they help the people."
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2011 nearly half of American households did have someone who received a government benefit. A small percentage received unemployment, 1.7 percent, while the bulk of those dependent on the government, 26.4 percent, received Medicaid, which is a low-income health care program, food stamps or Social Security.
Many in Hawaii know someone in one of those groups and start paying closer attention when candidates' talk hits closer to home.
"It can affect programs here in Hawaii and I heard talks with Social Security, Medicare and my mom is elderly and it can affect her too," said Salt Lake resident Alan Tamanaha.