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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@ Ben-Forgive me for pointing out the obvious BUT Clinton also told America he didn't suck on a nasty cigar that he got his mistress off with.Just saying.

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@sure you the bitch ass. I believe what Linda said. Bill Clinton said he never saw the hatred and resistance this pres faced. Why is that sure? That shit aint just policy jack its race plain and simple. Get the fuck over it

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Linda,the infamous race-baiting the liberals love to do.NEXT?Whatcha got,baby girl?You're runnin' off at the mouth with the same nonsense on every article.NEXT?Your bitch-ass is in need of new material.You're washed-up,baby.

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Thank you Estela and thank you Ben. We have to be fair. Some people don't want to give this Pres credit for anything positive. They never did and they never will. I know they'll be posting after this but I think they're just angry. Our President is of mixed race- black and white, but he obviously identifies more strongly with his black self. I think some people have a real problem with that. Its a function of their racist nature conscious or unconscious.

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Linda the guys are hating toward you because you are intelligent.Also,I did see several world leaders say America has become closer to certain nations thanks of Obama.

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Sounds like she answered your question Scott & Mark...what do you think? Now you two conservative turds can crawl back under the wood work. You got class Linda.

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@ Scotty L & Mark. Generally don't respond to personal poster questions or negative comments. However, I would like to thank you for reading my posts and for your close scrutiny. I only use one name. I made wise investments. That's all you need to know and I am NOT on drugs. But then that's obvious. What a silly thing to say. What I said about conflict resolution was true and our country is perceived more favorably overseas as a direct result of Pres Obama's policies and his political posture. I don't just like the Pres, I love him for what he stands for. It wouldn't matter what color he is.

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Linda-Appears as though u put a little something extra in ur coffee this AM.How much $$ are u making to spend hours on this site daily,spewing ur liberal agenda/rhetoric,along with the many names u go by?

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@Linda- the only thing you are is high on crack! Obama has all but destroyed this country! You like him only because he is black and we all know it! That is not a good enough reason! Romney 2012

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One of the primary aspects of conflict resolution is ACKNOWLEDGING your responsibility in the situation! You can't get to a resolution until you validate the feelings & thoughts of the opposing party. That's not being apologetic. Its a necessary step toward resolution of the conflict. As usual Pres Obama's approach is groundbreaking and it is the reason we are perceived more positively overseas- another of his many accomplishments! I am in such awe of this remarkable man. We can't afford the next four years w/o him as the Commander and Chief! OBAMA 2012!!

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 »
Born
Full Name
Willard Mitt Romney