Mitt Romney Press Conference On Hidden Video: 47% Remarks

September 17, 2012 | By
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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney held a late-night press availability to address the frenzy surrounding hidden camera video that surfaced today, showing Romney telling a crowd of wealthy donors that 47% of the electorate are “dependent” on government because they see themselves as “victims,” and that it’s not his job “to worry about those people.”

Here’s the transcript:

REPORTER: Saw themselves as victims or weren’t willing to take responsibility for their own lives and their own future. What did you mean by that?

ROMNEY: Well, you said a number of things there. And the answer is that I’m talking about the political process of drawing people into my campaign. Of course, individuals are going to take responsibility for their life. And my campaign is about helping people take more responsibility and becoming employed again, particularly those that don’t have work. This whole campaign is focused on getting people jobs again, putting people back to work. This is ultimately a question about direction for the country. Do you believe in a government-centered society that provides more and more benefits, or do you believe instead in a free enterprise society where people are able to pursue their dreams? I believe the latter will help people get good jobs. This is a campaign about how to help the middle class in america and how to bring people out of poverty into the middle class. And we’ve seen the results of the last three, four years, and it has not worked. My approach will get 12 million new jobs and rising take-home pay.

REPORTER: You’re not backing away from anything you said in this video? And do you worry you’ve offended this 47% who you mentioned?

ROMNEY: Well, you know, it’s not elegantly stated, let me put it that way. I’m speaking off the cuff in response to a question and I’m sure I could state it more clearly in a more effective way than I did in a setting like that. And so I’m sure I’ll point that out as time goes on. But we don’t even have the question given the snippet there nor the full response, and i hope the person who has the video would pul put out the full material. But it’s a message which I’m going to carry and continue to carry which is look. The president’s approach is attractive to people who are not paeg taxes because, frankly, my discussion about lowering taxes isn’t as attractive to them and therefore I’m not likely to draw them into my campaign as effectively to those in the middle. This is a discussion about the political process of winning the election. And of course I want to help all americans, all americans have a great and prosperous future. And I’m convinced that the president’s approach has not done that and will not do that.

REPORTER: This is now the second time where you’ve made comments at a fundraiser to donors that are different from what you say on the trail. What assurances can you give the voters.

ROMNEY: You’re coming to my fundraiser and this the same message that I give to people which is that we have a different approach the president and I between a government-dominated society and a society driven by free people pursuing their dreams. I’m talking about the process of campaigns. Typically I don’t talk about process in speeches because i think candidates are wiser to talk about policy and their vision than to talk about how they’re going to win an election at a fundraiser. You have people say how are you going is to win this and so i respond the president has his group, I have my group. I want to keep my team trong and motivated and I want to get the people in the middle. And it’s something which fundraiser people are interested in, can you win or not.

REPORTER: Are those things you believe? Are those core convictions


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