Mitt Romney confronted a new distraction Monday when a video surfaced that showing him telling well-off donors that almost half of all Americans "believe they are victims" entitled to extensive government support. He added that as a candidate for the White House, "my job is not to worry about those people."
Republican Presidential candidate then called in a news conference late in the day in which he offered no apologies for his remarks. He said that the comments in the video weren't "elegantly stated" and they were spoken "off the cuff."
Check out the leaked Mitt Romney video here:
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Romney is shown saying in a video. "There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it."
"Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax," Romney said.
These are the tweets in response to Romney’s comments in his leaked video:
Romney said in the video that his role "is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
The comments were much harsher than Mr. Romney’s standard remarks. He usually talks in public about followers of Mr. Obama’s wanting government to take care of their problems. He often charges President Obama and his followers of wanting to bring European-style socialism to the United States. In the video, Mr. Romney says his campaign is concentrating on the “5 to 10 percent in the center” whom he described as “thoughtful” voters.
Mitt Romney wouldn’t know an American if one jumped up and paid their taxes in front of him. True story.— Jason Santa Maria (@jasonsantamaria) September 18, 2012
In a fundraiser in Costa Mesa, Calif., Romney did not argument the authenticity of the hidden-camera footage to the reporters but he wanted to clarify his remarks but did not express regret and apologized.
Here’s a tweet regarding his press conference:
Mitt Romney's press conference was like a philanderer apologizing for hurting his wife's feelings but saying he won'tleave his mistress.— Jason Stanford (@JasStanford) September 18, 2012
You may also have a look at Mitt Romney clarifying his views and asking to release the full the length video.
"It's not elegantly stated, let me put it that way. I was speaking off the cuff in response to a question. And I'm sure I could state it more clearly in a more effective way than I did in a setting like that," Romney said. "Of course I want to help all Americans. All Americans have a bright and prosperous future."
Romney said he would not shy away from the message behind the remarks that Obama believes in a "government-centered society."
If the leaked fundraiser videos prove anything, it's that Romney really, actually is a conservative. My take: buzzfeed.com/mckaycoppins/m…— McKay Coppins (@mckaycoppins) September 18, 2012
"It's a message which I am going to carry and continue to carry, which is that the president's approach is attractive to people who are not paying taxes because, frankly, my discussion about lowering taxes isn't as attractive to them," Romney said. "Therefore I'm not likely to draw them into my campaign as effectively as those in the middle."
You know you're in trouble when try to hold a late night news conference to stem the damage. @mittromney screwed up ROYALLY.— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) September 18, 2012
Voters say they believe Obama has a better understanding of their problems and concerns than Romney does. A CBS/New York Times poll showed 60 percent of likely voters said Obama understands the needs and problems of people like them, while 37 percent said he did not. For Romney, the same question found that 46 percent felt he did understand people's needs, 48 percent said he didn't.
Mr. Romney is not the first presidential candidate to be caught speaking bluntly at a fund-raiser. Four years ago during the Democratic primary campaign, comments of Mr. Obama’s at a San Francisco fund-raiser, saying small-town Pennsylvania voters, sour over their economic circumstances, “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them” as a way to explain their disappointments.
Romney's running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, made reference to that remark at a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa. "I remember that one time when he was talking to a bunch of donors in San Francisco and he said people like us, people from the Midwest like to cling to their guns and religion."
He further added: "And I've got to tell you this Catholic deer hunter is guilty as charged and proud to say so. That's just weird. Who says things like that? That's just strange."
Mr. Romney, who has been under fire for releasing only two years of his tax returns, was quickly attacked by the Obama campaign. Democrats condemned the remarks as insensitive, and Obama’s campaign accused Mr. Romney of having “disdainfully written off half the nation.” They called the video shocking.
‘It's hard to serve as president for all Americans when you've disdainfully written off half the nation,’ said Obama campaign manager Jim Messina.
Mitt Romney’s campaign team countered by saying the Republican nominee wanted "to help all Americans struggling in the Obama economy” but was "concerned" by the growing number of people dependant on government handouts.
Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said the video raised important issues about the nature of government in American society. "I think that it is very clear that one of the key issues for Americans to decide is what kind of America you want to have," he said in a reference to Obama’s "cradle to grave" vision for government social programs. "We are entering into a dependency society in this country."
Romney encounters this video when his campaign enters its final 50 days and he has restarted his campaign with new ads and new messaging.
The leaked videos however have increased the chances that Mitt Romney’s campaign will be diverted, focusing again on his planned tax cuts for the rich, the release of his personal tax returns and his capability to bond with middle-class supporters.