Romney derides Obama supporters, says nearly half ‘believe that they are victims’

511bd44bda09af10ab7e51539140f229

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney dismissed supporters of President Barack Obama – almost half of U.S. voters – as people who live off government handouts and do not “care for their lives,” in a potentially damaging video.

The video, taken secretly at a fundraising event for the former private-equity executive, was the latest setback for a campaign struggling with low poll numbers and reports of infighting.

“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,” Romney said in a hidden-camera video of remarks to potential donors earlier this year posted on Monday on left-wing Mother Jones magazine’s website

It added to Romney’s problems as he tried on Monday to retool his campaign message with more specifics on policies after reports of internal disarray.

He has slipped in polls in the last two weeks as the selection of running mate Paul Ryan and the Republican National Convention failed to make much of a mark with voters.

A Reuters/Ipsos survey on Monday taken over the previous four days showed Romney – often painted by rivals as an out-of-touch elitist – trailing Obama by five percentage points.

In the new video, Romney said he did not need to concern himself with Obama supporters.

“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 do is convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center that are independents,” he said to potential donors.

The tape brought back memories of controversial remarks that then-candidate Barack Obama made at a fundraiser during his 2008 campaign when he said that white rural voters “cling to guns or religion.”

On Monday, the Obama campaign tried to take advantage of Romney’s comments.

“It’s shocking that a candidate for president of the United States would go behind closed doors and declare to a group of wealthy donors that half the American people view themselves as ‘victims,’” Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager, said in a statement.

“It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation,” he said.

Romney’s campaign said the Republican is concerned about Americans who are poor and unemployed.

“Mitt Romney wants to help all Americans struggling in the Obama economy,” Gail Gitcho, Romney’s campaign communications director, said in a statement issued in response to a request for comment.

Obama supporters “pay no income tax”

Mother Jones did not say when or where the video was taken to protect the identity of the person who recorded it. It did say Romney’s remarks had been made at some point after he clinched the Republican presidential nomination in April.

In the video, the former Massachusetts governor accused Obama supporters of paying no income taxes. “These are people who pay no income tax,” he said. “Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax.”

Romney himself has been criticized for not releasing more than two years’ worth of tax returns.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus jumped to Romney’s defense.

“I think that we are entering into a dependency society in this country, that if we don’t break that up, I think that’s going to be very hard for us to compete in the world,” he told CNN. “I don’t think the candidate’s off message at all.”

Romney also discussed with donors his strategy for appealing to undecided or independent voters by stressing disappointment with Obama’s policies.

“Those people that we have to get, they want to believe they did the right thing, but he just wasn’t up to the task. They love the phrase that he’s ‘Over his head,’” Romney said in the video.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.