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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Undercover Romney '47 percent' video made in Boca Raton



The surreptitious video of Mitt Romney saying disparaging things about Barack Obama supporters was made at the Boca Raton home of Marc Leder, a private equity manager and major Republican donor, says Mother Jones magazine.

In the video, Romney dismisses 47 percent of voters as Obama supporters due to a dependency on government. "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," Romney says, adding his job is to go after the small core of swing voters. The 47 percent is an estimate — an accurate one but also one missing context — of how many people do not pay federal income taxes.

Romney's $50,000-per-plate fundraiser was held May 17 but the video only recently surfaced and Monday spread like fire on Twitter and blogs, then made its way onto CNN and other national news outlets. Mother Jones at first did not say where the fundraiser was but then revealed it was at Leder's home.

The blowup threw Romney off stride on the same day that was supposed to mark his more focused and detailed approach to the race. The campaign was forced to respond (see jump) and then Romney hastily called a news conference to explain that his words were "not elegantly stated." But he stood by the underlying point.

You don't have to close your eyes to imagine Democratic ad makers working overtime to get something on air.

The Romney campaign response:

"Mitt Romney wants to help all Americans struggling in the Obama economy. As the governor has made clear all year, he is concerned about the growing number of people who are dependent on the federal government, including the record number of people who are on food stamps, nearly one in six Americans in poverty, and the 23 million Americans who are struggling to find work. Mitt Romney's plan creates 12 million new jobs in four years, grows the economy and moves Americans off of government dependency and into jobs." – Gail Gitcho, communications director.

The Romney video drew comparisons to Obama's comment at a fundraiser in Pennsylvania about small town people clinging to "guns" or "religion" — a sentiment that still riles up conservatives.

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 9:01am]


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