In this video framegrab from a May 17, 2012 video provided by Mother Jones Video, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser at a Florida fundraiser.  — Photo by AP via Mother Jones video
In this video framegrab from a May 17, 2012 video provided by Mother Jones Video, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser at a Florida fundraiser. — Photo by AP via Mother Jones video

WASHINGTON: In a secretly recorded video revealed on Tuesday Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney calls nearly half of Americans ‘freeloaders’ and says it is not possible to resolve the Arab-Israeli dispute.

The video shows Romney sharing his real views on various domestic and foreign policies with a group of rich Americans which contrasts sharply with his public statements on these issues.

Political pundits are claiming that the video practically kills Romney’s bid for the White House in Nov. 6, 2012 presidential elections, although the Republican candidate tried to dismiss his remarks as insignificant.

“It’s not elegantly stated let me put it that way. I was speaking off the cuff in response to a question,” he said at a hurriedly called news conference.

But Romney also said that its’ “message that I am going to carry and continue to carry which is that the president’s approach is attractive to people who are not paying taxes.”

The remarks, howeverm provided the Obama campaign with a golden opportunity to further damage an already weakened challenge to President Barack Obama from his Republican rival.

“Mitt Romney wrote off nearly 50 per cent of people in this country before he's even sworn into office,” said Jen Psaki, Obama’s campaign manager. “People … are scratching their heads about what he said."

"This moment of candor from Mitt Romney once again shows he has no understanding of what average Americans go through. His worldview is too narrow for him to ever make a good President,” said Democrat Senator Charles Schumer.

President Obama offered no comments but Vice President Joe Biden said he will “let Mr Romney’s words speak for themselves.”

A prestigious political magazine, Mother Jones, has obtained a copy of this video of a May 17 fundraiser for Romney at Boca Raton, Florida, with tickets costing $50,000 a plate.

In the video, Romney tells his rich friends he sees half of the American electorate as freeloaders who do not believe in personal responsibility.

During the dinner, a donor asks Romney how the "Palestinian problem" can be solved.

“The Palestinians … for political purposes are committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel … and have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace,” he says, adding that “there's just no way” to resolve this issue.

Instead of trying to resolve the dispute, Romney would try to prevent both sides from taking any major action.

“You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem…and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it.”

While these remarks show Romney’s lack of depth on foreign policy issues, the US media believes that his comments about half of American voters being freeloaders are going to hurt him the most.

"There are 47 per cent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” he tells his guests and then goes on to define them as those who do not want to earn a living.

“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,” Romney adds.

“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 not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them.”

The remarks spread like virus as soon as Mother Jones posted them on its site. Within hours, they appeared on thousands of news sites, social chat rooms, and other media outlets.

Millions of hits forced major newspapers – such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times – and television channels -- CNN, CBS and NBC – also to post analytical stories on their sites, predicting Romney’s doom.

Some predicted that this could be a “game-changer,” forcing American voters to abandon Romney. Others warned Americans not to vote for a man who had such views.

One popular news site – Huffington Post – predicted that the video will “kill” Romney’s candidacy because his “misunderstanding collides too directly with nearly every perspective a voter might bring to the polls, regardless of their partisan identification, their age, their gender, their race or their ideology.”

Comments (12) (Closed)


ejaz ali
Sep 18, 2012 04:01pm
OIC and muslim world must read the mind set of such american leaders. American hegemony over this issue is the only hurdle which prevents the Palestinian independence. Israels' mockery with american relations will be cause of greater embarrassment for americans.
john
Sep 18, 2012 09:43pm
behind doors rommney
john
Sep 18, 2012 09:48pm
tax payers are the goverment revolt and dont pay tax
cw tuckness
Sep 18, 2012 09:53pm
i am recently retired, (social security) this is why i vote Democratic... rich folk just dont get it?
Dr. Di
Sep 19, 2012 02:45am
His remarks leave me with a bad taste in my mouth. I pay ...way more taxes than Romney and I am one of the 47%. As a divorced woman with no children, I get no benefits from the government. The roads need repair, the electrical system is in need of major revisions...I don't use the schools and the parks and yet I pay...BIG. I don't regret paying because I love my country but to be dismissed like this is enraging. Dear Mr. Romney: I challenge you to spend a day with me in a long term care facility (with those who you perceive to be taking advantage of the system) changing adult dipers and hand feeding adults baby food (who can't feed themselves. In fact, why don't you do it for a month ( like most Certified Nursing Assistants--paid minimum wage in this country) and then you and I have a talk about your remarks. Quite frankly, as a highly educated self- made American professional on the front lines of health care I perceive your remarks to be disgraceful and ignorant.. Give me some answers Mr. Romney; some creative solutions to the growing number of elder Americans in need of health care; to our large population of mentally ill individuals with highly limited benefits and I'll vote for you. I am a Doctor, a professional who does pro-bono work (and a lot of it). Do you do any Sir? I am quite insulted by your remarks. Dr. Diana Semmelhack
Abe Guenther
Sep 18, 2012 10:45pm
He just said it like it is.
Shahid
Sep 18, 2012 05:03pm
If one looks at two of them Obama is a much better person and a leader although some people might not like him for their personal reasons.
Steve Borgwardt
Sep 19, 2012 08:05pm
Not personal reasons but actual fact. The facts are out there Shahid. Pick any subject concerning Mr. Obama and you will find that he has failed our expectations.
Steve Borgwardt
Sep 19, 2012 08:01pm
You are misinformed and your beliefs are based on false premise. Do some reading on Gov. Romney and you will find that he does care for the American people
Steve Borgwardt
Sep 19, 2012 07:55pm
Dr. Semmelhack, Let's say that you are right and that Govenor Romney is wrong, ok? First off, sooner or later anyone running for president say something that grinds your gears. I'm also sure that if he saw your front line position that he would agree with you. I agree with you. And I'm also sure that he would spend time down there with you to learn more about these unfortunate folks. Incidently he has done this before; gone down in the trenches to see what it's like. I would say in reading your remarks that you have made up your mind about the man before actually doing any research on him and therefore spring loaded to vote for Obama. I understand your feelings, however, let's look at all the people who do work the system and there are many, and then tell me that they deserve free housing, free food, free medical...and so on. I suggest that YOU take some time and look at these other people that Gov. Romney is talking about
Ali
Sep 19, 2012 07:24pm
Dr Di Elegantly stated
Richard Kahn
Sep 19, 2012 01:13pm
Mitt thanks for showing your real face.