At a private fundraiser earlier this year, Mitt Romney apparently said this:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, 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, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. 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....my job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
I've spent a fair amount of time studying Mitt Romney and his father George. Though I like George better than Mitt, I trust Detroit guys not to be total, utter unconscionable jagoffs. So I honestly didn't believe this quote when I first saw it.
But here's the hidden video.
Maybe he's just trying to impress rich donors by telling them what he thinks they want to hear ...
... but then why does he sound more confident and sincere than I've ever heard him sound before?
Obama opponents are going to compare this to Obama's similar private-fundraiser comment, four years ago, about working-class midwest voters: "And it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
The difference is, Obama could stand behind the essential truth and humanity of his remark: "Obviously, if I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that. But the underlying truth of what I said remains, which is simply that people who have seen their way of life upended because of economic distress are frustrated and rightfully so."
Can Romney stand behind his characterization of nearly half the American electorate?