White House Criticizes Romney Remarks in Secretly Recorded Video

Posted September 18th, 2012 at 12:50 pm (UTC-5)
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The White House has criticized comments made by U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in a secretly recorded video, in which he denigrated President Barack Obama's supporters.

The video, released Monday by the liberal magazine Mother Jones, shows Mr. Romney dismissing the president's supporters as Americans who believe they are “victims” entitled to be supported by the federal government.

Mr. Romney is also heard on the video saying that 47 percent of all American voters who back Mr. Obama pay no taxes but believe “they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.” He says he is not going to “worry about those people,” because he could never convince them to “take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

The magazine says Mr. Romney made the comments in May at a private fundraising event in Florida.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday that when someone is president of the United States, that person is president of all of the people and not just those who voted for them. He added that Mr. Obama did not consider recipients of Social Security, or students to be “victims.”

Carney declined to say if Mr. Obama had seen the video of Mr. Romney.

After the video was released Monday, Mr. Romney said his remarks were not “elegantly stated.” He said he was trying to highlight his differences with the president, whom he says believes in “a government-dominated society.” Mr. Romney said that, of course, he wants to help all Americans, but is convinced the president's approach does not do that.

On Tuesday, Mother Jones released what it said was another excerpt from Mr. Romney's comments at the Florida event. On the video clip, the Republican presidential nominee says Palestinians have “no interest whatsoever in establishing peace.” He adds, “the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.”

The magazine said Mr. Romney was responding to a question from a donor who asked him how the so-called “Palestinian problem” could be solved.

Earlier, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina issued a statement calling the videotaped comments about Americans who pay no income taxes “shocking.” Messina criticized Mr. Romney for having “disdainfully written off half the nation.” The president's campaign has portrayed Mr. Romney, a retired multi-millionaire businessman, as out of touch with the real struggles of everyday Americans.