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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Linda- obama represents everyone? That's good Linda- you caught a clip of the letterman show tonight! Hey- nobody just came into this world! We have all been watching this wreck called Obama and the endless racism that comes with him! Get out Obama!

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U people love those sound bites! All obama does is come in after the fact! BLISTER- I will call Obama BLISTER because a BLISTER is the 1st thing that pops up after the work is done. Obama wants to redistribute the wealth - that means take out of my pocket and give to that 47%. The problem with OBAMAS plan is there is no line between the hard working guy who got laid off and the crackhead! Everyone gets the same! Bad deal for working people! Good try Linda but I call bullshit on your little sympathy post! Yeah - its like I wanted to he unbiased but Romney left me with no choice! HAHAHAHA! Yeah- keep trying! I see you coming!

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Given the diversity of our country a President needs to represent EVERYONE! It is his mission as Commander & Chief. This individual not only disrespected half the American people dismissed them as well. Romney supporters can rationalize & justify his remarks as they like. What they can't change is what this means for his candidacy. Imagine the fence straddlers who will jump to the Obama camp. Thanks Mitt! I pay taxes. I'm not eligible for any entitlements, including the tax shelter entitlement Romney enjoys. Still I feel he lumped me in that 47% & a lot of other Americans feel the same way. And this so close to the election! What a field day for the Democrats. Guess you don't have to be very smart to be a millionaire. OBAMA 2012!!

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Romney will get lots of votes and most will not come from millionaires. They will be middle class. Romney has 5 sons and a cancer survivor for a wife- out of touch? No! Vulnerable to things any of us can go thru - yes! Romney helped with education as governor. He passed a bill in which the top 25% in High School got free college tuition! What Romney message is , "YOU want to help yourself then we will HELP YOU! If you don't- your in for a long ride! This is what people want. Do you actually think people will vote for a man in which his followers are constantly accusing others as being racist? Not on your life!

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@I didnt vote for Obama four years ago but I cannot vote for Romney.He is out of touch with most of us Americans who are not in the millionaire-club.Out of his mouth,Mitt doesnt care or wants to aid normal working-class Americans.

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They take a sound bite and they run with it! This is what I remember! YOU DIDN'T BUILD THAT! In other words you don't deserve it! 95% on this site will vote Obama and that is an example as to what Romney was saying! He was saying/ in your case Obama is in it for giving shit away, that may seem like it benefits you! Romney spoke the truth! Your feelings hurt? Damn your feelings! Grow a set of balls & get from under OBAMAS Nutsack ! Obama doesn't even know who his ally is! He spotted obama 47% and your turds are crying? Obama on letterman but won't meet with Isreali PM? Jay Z? This is what you call a President who gives a shit? Middle East in chaos? Obama is a nightmare! Pimp with a limp interview? Did you hear about all that? No you didn't because CNN talks about Romney and trashes everything he says! ! You people are a disgrace and even if you win you will not get us 50% to move with you!

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Romneys comments really are disturbing.It shows me he has no clue there is tons of Americans who earn over 50thousand but under 100thou. a year who work hard who dont pay taxes.Guess those folks are consider poor to him and he dont want our vote.Watch his comments on you-tube talking to millionaires.

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To be honest, I think we'd all be somewhat better off right now if Hillary Clinton had won her primary 4 years ago as well as the general election. She knows what she's doing more than either of these two buffoons. But no, she'll never win...because she's a woman.

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Also he told folks people who dont pay taxes,he doesnt want their vote cuz those people feel the GOV. owes them something.Well,I know millions of workers who work hard,who dont earn enough who dont pay taxes-teachers,PO,retail mgrs,farmworkers,wherehouse wks,

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This is only surprising because of his tax avoidance issues. We dont want a president who hides his income from the tax man then whines about people who are legally excluded from tax and forgets that these people are mostly from the South and vote Republican anyway. Children, can you say "HYPOCRITE"?