Mitt Romney Stands By "47 Percent" Comments: Will Video Derail His Campaign?

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney admitted his comments captured on hidden camera at a fundraiser earlier this year were "not elegantly stated," but did not back away from the broader point he was trying to make.

In the video, which leaked Monday, he is seen telling donors that 47 percent of voters are "victims" reliant on handouts and will support President Obama regardless. Last night, Romney called his remarks "off the cuff" but wouldn't disavow them.

"It was not elegantly stated, I'll put it that way," Romney said, noting that he was merely talking about the "political process of drawing people into my campaign."

"I'm speaking off the cuff in response to a question, and I'm sure I can state it more clearly in a more effective way than I did in a setting like that," he added.

However, "It's a message which I carry and will continue to carry."

Asked what he meant by the word "victims," Romney tried to cast the remarks as simply accentuating the differences between his campaign and Barack Obama's.

"My campaign is about helping people take more responsibility and becoming employed again, particularly those who don't have work," the challenger said.

"Do you believe in a government-centered society that provides more and more or do you believe in a free enterprise society where people pursue their dreams?"

The full text of Romney's remarks from the clip appear below. Do you think this will hurt his campaign? Leave a comment and vote in our poll:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, 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, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them.

And they will vote for this president no matter what…. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. So he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean, that’s what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to is convince the five to ten percent in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not.

U.S. Presidential Election 2012:

 

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@Stan Plus those that don't pay income taxes do pay some form of tax. Just saying.

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@Stan I'm not stupid so thanks a lot for that stay classy. I heard the whole speech and Romney sounded horrible. Joking that he would have an easier time if he was Latino, yes that will win more Latino voters over. Telling people to carry around a bomb? Oh yes smart. The 47% he said he said THEY DON'T PAY INCOME TAX anyways which is bul. So whatever I will know what I know but he sounds like a flip flop he says one thing then takes it back that is all the headlines are his team always has to clear up what he meant what kind of president what that make. No matter about this 47% I could care less about it anymore but with what he says and then how his team has to clear up what he meant that is just not a kind of guy I want in office. He is no where near ready to be president in my eyes.

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@Holly- this is what happens when all you live by is a sound bite! Romney was talking about voters that could possibly be wrapped up ANYWAY by Obama! He is saying- "SO FORGET ABOUT THE 47% , LET'S SAY OBAMA HAS THEM, LET'S JUST FORGET THEM AND WE TAKE OUR 47% AND FIGHT FOR THE ONES IN THE MIDDLE! " he is talking about votes not the welfare of people but that's what you get when you hear 15 seconds of a 2 hr. fundraiser! Be anything holly but don't be stupid .

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@ Connie- u can't drop out in jr hi stupid ass. And I think u got your panties stuck up your wide ass. If we can't type how r u responding. Your reading level may b a little low. I gota job but when u write the order u gonna have a long line of people who look just like you baby.

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@Jayhawk- is this this most ignorant group of jr high drops you have ever seen? Potato chips stuck to their ass. Can't type for shit. Anyone that thinks the USA has friends at the moment are intoxicated. You people ramble on, pull numbers out your ass and don't have a clue as to what your talking. Have you ever had a job? You should thank Romney because if it was me I would " break your plate" on all of you! I would give u 24 hours to find a job!

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@ Hmmmmmm....Linda and her trollie friends all gangin' up here on the thread, eh? Not very creative...it's been DONE before! @Estala--Intelligent? With this obvious lack of depth? Ha, I think not.

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@Connie- here comes another space cadet. Estela what is this dip talking about? Linda aint playing the race card baby she explain why you & yours hate Obama. Like my man Ben said it aint just policy. You try to hide behind it but you can't. Its all good. We got this. Can't wait for Nov

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@Estela- your hitting it early aren't you! Yeah right- just pick a country in the middle east or far east or north - that we are closer to! WTF- I have one word for you----- Television! Find one and turn it on! Stupidity is thick in the Obama camp! Damn world is in flames and your dumb ass is talking closer?

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@ Linda- play it baby, play that card all you like but it ain't workin NO MO! Green is the color! You are as typical as Obama. Most of you are.

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@Aaron Is there a connection here that I'm missing?

Mitt Romney Biography

Mitt Romney Picture Mitt Romney wants to be elected President in 2012. The former Governor of Massachuetts is challenging Barack Obama for that lofty... More »
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Willard Mitt Romney
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