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:


After seeing the whole video of Romney's speech just proves more to me how Romney can't be trusted to take office. Not only does he insult almost half of the country (democrats and rebuplicians both included because there are many rebuplicians that don't pay taxes or have benefits) but he also tells people to carry a bomb around, he makes jokes that aren't even funny, and he says how he life would be so much easier if he was Latino. None of which is funny at all. Plus if you see people always say Romney is for tax break yes that is true but nit fo anyone who actually need it. Romney is for tax breaks for rich and more taxes taxes on the middle class. Look at the states who now are run by republicans and see what they say and have done with taxes it is cut for rich raise for the poor/middle class. It's always wait republicans want. Seriously the whole speech he gave just proves to me that he is not ready for being President.


The 47% of people that don't pay income tax aren't just the poor, they aren't all just Obama supporters. There are many people that fall into the 47% that rely on the government and don't pay income tax are republicans or people would be feel/want to vote rebuplician. So Romney should think before he says that. Is it other people's fault that they aren't born with a silver spoon in their mouth like Romney was and that he thinks we should be cause it is the only way to come into this world. Sorry Romney some people work their asses off to get money for their famil and still struggle. Pretty much Romney will help the rich & want everyone have their own back. But yet we should be united as one and be trying to stand together that means helping others out. Those voctims he talk about are students, people on social security, & veterans and more. Those can be democrats or rebuplicians it's not just poor people in tha t47%


I have a small boy with mitt. He refuses to let me see him or raise him. I have left messages and written letters that he will not answer. I am entitled to raise my child that was an affair. My husband almost died because of this. Plz stop touching me and answer the letter.


I am one of those people who voted for Obama. I fell for the hope and change lie. My sister is a nurse and she says this Obamacare is already making people's premiums go up. My doctor can't even tell me what Obamacare is all about so I laugh at those when they say they know. Doctors don't like Obamacare and the price of healthcare will be a tax that never quits going up. Romney can see there is a problem Afterall - Romneycare remember? I cannot beleive I voted for this guy and I will not be tricked again. Obama has his hands in everything and all we do in this country is share the misery. The media has made me just sick of obama. Never again.


@Sarah,r u privy 2 information that the rest of us r not?How in the world do u have any clue what is in Obamacare,when no one else does?Interesting.


Nothing is free people. I will not vote for Obama again and neither will my family! Enough already.


You dont know what Obamacare can actually do because you don't actually know what's in it. Why do you hope and change people keep looking for a miracle. Are you the same people that goes for magazine diets?


I have Gov't asst. healthcare,which means I see my doc assigned every 6months and thats pretty much it.My med. ins. should have been exempt from dropping me.Obamacare would of stopped this.


Ann Romney and Montiel are still walking because they can afford the best treatment.Money talks the poor are never heard or given the special treatment.That is USA.


The Romney have not a hint what it means to loose medical ins. provider,have limited resources. I too,34 living w MS can no longer walk due to poor health coverage. Romneys do not grasp what its like to be poor,loose a job and loose ur healthcare.

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Willard Mitt Romney