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
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

VIDEO: Police seek suspect in molotov cocktail attack…

Police released surveillance video on Wednesday in hopes of tracking down a man who threw a molotov cocktail inside a Brooklyn corner store.

Local

City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

NFL

Giants 2014 regular season schedule

The Giants will play five prime-time games — against the Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Colts and Cowboys.

MLB

Jets 2014 regular season schedule

The Jets will play three prime-time games — against the Bears, Patriots and Dolphins — as well as a CBS national game in Week 2 at Green Bay.

NBA

Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."