Here’s the video:
And here’s some of what Romney said:
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. … [M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
Now here’s Romney last night responding to the comments at a press conference before a Costa Mesa fundraiser — where he looked a little like a comedian who has just told a horribly off-color joke to a hostile crowd and was now being forced to explain in painfully minute detail why it was actually funny…
I understand there’s a video that’s been on the Internet for a few weeks that has attracted some attention. Apparently it’s got a snippet of a question and answer session at a fundraiser event. It doesn’t capture the question so I don’t know precisely what was asked. But i think it was about my campaign and how I’d be able to get the majority of voters to support me. …
Of course there’s a very different approach of the two campaigns. As I point out, I recognize that those who pay no tax — approximately 47% of Americans — I’m not likely to be highly successful with a message of lowering taxes. That’s not as attractive to those who don’t pay income taxes as it is to those who do. And likewise those who are reliant on government aren’t as attracted to my message of slimming down the size of government. So I then focus on those individuals who I believe are most likely to be pulled into my camp and help me win, the 51 or the 50.1 percent to become the next president.
Romney later said his original remark was “not elegantly stated.”
The Obama campaign, apparently, thinks it’s plenty elegant. They liked it so much, in fact, they’re letting everyone know about it in this web ad:
Romney made some other eyebrow-raising comment at that fundraiser as well. He said that “the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace,” and made a joke that had he “been born of Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot at winning this.”
(Update: Mother Jones has now posted the full video of the fundraiser.)
Some Republicans, at least, are not exactly rushing to defend Romney. New York Times columnist David Brooks today called him “Thurston Howell Romney,” and William Kristol, a staunch conservative, wrote a post in The Weekly Standard titled “A Note on Romney’s Arrogant and Stupid Remarks,” in which he actually suggests that the candidate might step down from the ticket to make way for Marco Rubio. Others, like Rush Limbaugh, are calling for Romney to embrace the remarks.
(W)hile Democrats are licking their chops, and many Republicans are despairing at the state of the Romney campaign just seven weeks from Election Day, the more dispassionate among us suggest that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
“It’s still a fluid, very competitive race,” says Nathan Gonzales, of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report, which analyzes political races. “Anyone who says they know who is going to win doesn’t.”
A national poll bounce that Obama got from the recent Democratic convention continues to dissipate. The eight tossup states that will ultimately decide the race remain nail-biters…
Twitter, of course, is today fulfilling its primary function when someone makes a high-profile gaffe: rubbing it in…
Romney just issued a statement saying he regrets describing 47% of the country as “victims,” wishes he had said “leeches.”
— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) September 18, 2012
I guess the moral is “Don’t rip on the 47% while they’re still in the room serving you drinks” #RomneyEncore
— Mark Critch (@markcritch) September 18, 2012
Romney to hold press conference tomorrow where he elegantly states 47% remarks by wearing a top hat and employing the word “indubitably.”
— James Urbaniak (@JamesUrbaniak) September 18, 2012
“I apologize for my words on Libya, my dismissing the poor, and my mocking of ‘da queers’, which you’ll see online Thursday.” — Romney
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) September 18, 2012
Wait. I’m confused. Sam Bacile didn’t produce the Romney 47% speech video?
— jeremy scahill (@jeremyscahill) September 18, 2012
Breaking news: Romney hires Marcel Marceau as campaign director.
— Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks) September 18, 2012
The real lesson from this Romney video: Tip your waiter.
— Eric Kleefeld (@EricKleefeld) September 18, 2012