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:


@Gary,Romney blamed Obama..........Obama blamed an irrelevant film and apologized 2 the muslims for us thoughtless americans.The blame is found in our foreigh policy.It's a JOKE.....Obama is a joke!We americans know how pathetic he is,now the rest of the world is catching on!


Romney gets it! The rich come first. America would be weak if we didn't create a foundation.


Romney is pimpin out the rich-play on pimp daddy.


Romney is clearly not ready to be Pres. He fumbles with this speech. Prior he choose a wrong time to speak politics rather than saying sorry first for those killed @embassy,he blamed Obama. He should gave condolesence first.


Also, aiming aid and tax cuts for the wealthy is outrageous. Those groups do not need asst. Romney should try to help those kids with fewer resources or struggling healthcare benefits.


America is a foundation of many. Exiling groups or hard-working low income earners is a huge lack of leadership and fairness toward groups.


Romney, Ryan and the whole Tea Party thing have always been unwilling to be reduced to facts and logic. How prosaic!! How uncouth! They'd rather live in their lil bubble and be happy with their privileged POV while they scorn the "lesser ones" of the world - those who fail to be born with a strong family unit and plenty of cash to help them along in life. U wanna go to college? Why, just ask mom & dad for a loan! Start a business? Just get a loan from your dad's friend's bank!
We should feel bad at their ignorance and hope they go back to their mansions to count their money and leave us ALONE. Please, PLEASE don't let them ruin my America! I love her and she's beautiful and they will molest & abuse her!!


In CA the post office has a reg document you can fill out. Call you county post office. Hurry up.


You can go to your Secretary of State office or i belive you can mail it to your secretary of state. I also think there is a site you can do it online I don't know the site but there is a site for each state I believe. Obama 2012 :)


Hi. Can anyone tell me where I can register to vote? I went to my local POffice and they said contact my state capital. Please help.

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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