A secretly filmed video has emerged revealing a candid conversation between presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and a team of his wealthy donors.
In the video, he disparages Barack Obama voters – nearly 50 percent of the American population – as people who do not pay income tax; he paints them all as a population that chooses to leach off the government; and he writes them off incosequential to aiding his presidential pursuit.
Romney also admits that he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He narrates the horrible conditions he witnessed at a factory in China while chairman of Bain Capital, speaking of it less with horror, but as an anecdote about how Americans have it so good.
But what is most stark about his conversation is the dry, cavalier manner in which he refers to immigrants, his wife and others- as though they are assets or liabilities that can be moved, eliminated or used in the same way when a company strategizes to maximize its profits:
Romney on Obama supporters: “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the President no matter what… there are 47 percent who are dependent on government, who believe that they are victims, who believe government has the responsibility to care for them, who believe they are entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing.”
"These are people who pay no income tax. 47 percent of Americans pay no income tax. And so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
Romney on immigration: “We didn’t talk about immigration today. Gosh! I’d like to bring in more legal immigrants.”
Romney on his wife: “We use Ann sparingly right now so that people don’t get tired of her.”
Once the video leaked, Romney’s communication team issued a statement defending Romney’s statements as “on message.”
What do you think? Does hearing this sort of backroom conversation change your opinion of Romney -- good or bad -- as the potential President of the United States? And more importantly, does it sway your vote?