At a hastily arranged press conference on Monday night, Romney stood by controversial comments he made at a private fundraiser in May, saying that his remarks were “not elegantly stated” and spoken “off the cuff.” “This is something I talk about a good deal in rallies and speeches and so forth,” Romney claimed, adding “The president’s approach is attractive to people who are not paying taxes.”
In May, Romney told wealth donors that “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… [M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives”
The former Massachusetts governor took just three questions, walking away when asked if his claims that almost half of Americans see themselves as “victims” represent his “core convictions” and what he believes. From reporter Holly Bailey, who was on the scene:
Romney said that the comments were indicative of his campaign’s effort to “focus on the people in the middle” and, “I hope the person who has the video will put out the full material.” Mother Jones’ David Corn — who first reported on the video — has said that he will release more video from the May fundraiser on Tuesday.
Romney made the original comments at the “Boca Raton home of private-equity executive Marc Leder on May 17.” Leder, is the co-CEO of the private equity firm Sun Capital, which has a reputation for bankrupting companies in the pursuit of profit. “Since 2008, some 25 of its companies — roughly one of every five it owns — have filed for bankruptcy.” Not only that, but the company was accused by the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) just a few months ago of intentionally pushing a company into bankruptcy in order to avoid paying workers’ pensions.
Corn explained on MSNBC Monday evening, “The fact that Mitt Romney has not challenged a word here shows you that this is what he said, this is what he said behind closed doors with a bunch of other millionaires he felt quite comfortable with.”