Romney Caught On Tape: Comments Spark Debate

Written By: Renata Stiehl
Mitt Romney

     WASHINGTON, DC (WENY) -- It’s the video sparking debate across the political world today – Mitt Romney – unplugged and unscripted. 

     Someone secretly filmed the Republican presidential nominee speaking at a private fundraiser last May.  Mitt Romney believes what he says in the video was an answer to a question about how he could get a majority of voters to support him:

     “There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what.  There are 47% who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe they’re entitled to health care, food, housing, you name it,” Romney said in the video. 

     On Monday, Romney tried to clarify what he meant by “the 47-percent.”

    “These are people in his camp who vote for him almost no matter what.  And I also have a large number of people who will vote for me almost no matter what, at least I hope so.  And my campaign effort is to focus on the people in the middle,” said Romney.

    The Obama campaign jumped the comments, saying of a Romney presidency, “It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation.”

    “This man apparently feels that if you’re not part of his social class or you don’t have his economic status, that somehow you’re a parasite,” said former Ohio governor and Obama Campaign Co-Chair Ted Strickland.

    Strickland also took issue with part of the video that has Romney saying “These are people who pay no income tax.  47-percent of Americans pay no income tax.”

     “Many people don’t pay income taxes because they’re so poor they don’t make enough money to pay income taxes.  But they payroll taxes, state taxes, excise taxes,” said Strickland.

    Both sides maintain there are two very different paths for the country for voters to choose from in November.  

     “The president believes in what I’ve described as a government-centered society where government provides a larger and larger role, provides for more and more for the needs of individuals.  And I happen to believe instead of a free-enterprise and free-individual society,” explained Romney. 

    In the same video, Romney joked he’d have a better shot at winning the election had his father been born of Mexican parents instead of American parents living in Mexico.  Right now, polls show President Obama leading Romney among Latino voters.