Mother Jones has obtained video of Romney at this intimate fundraiser—where he candidly discussed his campaign strategy and foreign policy ideas in stark terms he does not use in public—and has confirmed its authenticity. To protect the confidential source who provided the video, we have blurred some of the image, and we will not identify the date or location of the event, which occurred after Romney had clinched the Republican presidential nomination.
[UPDATE: After a restriction was lifted, Mother Jones reported that this fundraiser was held at the Boca Raton home of controversial private equity manager Marc Leder on May 17.]
Mitt's Quotes from the Videos on Mother Jones
...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.
...There is a perception, 'Oh, we were born with a silver spoon, he never had to earn anything and so forth.' Frankly, I was born with a silver spoon, which is the greatest gift you can have: which is to get born in America.
..."Had he (my father) been born of Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot of winning this."
...I have a very good team of extraordinarily experienced, highly successful consultants, a couple of people in particular who have done races around the world. I didn't realize it. These guys in the US—the Karl Rove equivalents—they do races all over the world: in Armenia, in Africa, in Israel. I mean, they work for Bibi Netanyahu in his race. So they do these races and they see which ads work, and which processes work best, and we have ideas about what we do over the course of the campaign. I'd tell them to you, but I'd have to shoot you.
...my own view is that if we win on November 6th, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We'll see capital come back and we'll see—without actually doing anything—we'll actually get a boost in the economy. If the president gets reelected, I don't know what will happen. I can—I can never predict what the markets will do. Sometimes it does the exact opposite of what I would have expected. But my own view is that if we get a "Taxageddon," as they call it, January 1st, with this president, and with a Congress that can't work together, it's—it really is frightening.
Obama Campaign Response
“It’s shocking that a candidate for President of the United States would go behind closed doors and declare to a group of wealthy donors that half the American people view themselves as ‘victims,’ entitled to handouts, and are unwilling to take ‘personal responsibility’ for their lives,” Jim Messina, Obama for America campaign manager, said in a statement. “It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation.”
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.
~ Statement from Romney Spokesperson Gail Gitcho
Mitt's Lame Apology
"Well, um, It's not elegantly stated let me put it that way I'm speaking off the cuff in response to a question and I'm sure I can state it more clearly in a more effective way than I did in a setting like that and so I'm sure ill point that out as time goes on."Full Transcript Here
Off-the-cuff means 'this is what I really think.' It wasn't scripted, it wasn't prepared. It was 'off-the-cuff.' I'm just telling you what was in my head.
~ David Corn of Mother Jones on Last Word
It plays exactly into the views that people all ready had of Mitt Romney and his views of the American public.
~ Krystal Ball on MSNBC's Last Word
Surely there was an "elegant" way of stating that 47% of the population are bums.
~ Lawrence O'Donnell on Last Word
The contemptuousness and the condescension in that line is horrible, and ... it plays to the obvious stereotypes of Gordon Gecko meets Thurston Howell III.
. . . The worst thing that could happen to Romney would be if Republicans just decide the moment has come where he is lost, we're done, every man for himself, let him go, cut him loose, and let's focus on the house and Senate. And we're not that far from that point right now.
~ John Heileman of New York Times on Last Word
I don't -- I don't think the candidate's off message at all. I think that it's very true that, in America today and many colonies that are watching this right now the biggest employer 20 years ago in many of these places where big private business or manufacturing plant.
And now the biggest employer in many places around America is just the government. It's either the school board or the municipality. We have people that are -- we have an explosion in benefits and in subsidies from the government around the country.
. . . What I mean by that is, you know, there isn't enough money out there to pay for the monstrosity that we've created. And so we have a world -- or excuse me, a country that, when my son is my age, just like a lot of little kids, when they become our age, we're going to spend about 45 cents on every dollar made in America just to run the federal government.
The point of all of this is -- is that the size of government is too big, and if we don't do something about it we're going to really lose the very idea of America.
~ RNC Chairman Reince Priebus on CNN
Today Mitt Romney Lost the Election
You can mark my prediction now: A secret recording from a closed-door Mitt Romney fundraiser, released today by David Corn at Mother Jones, has killed Mitt Romney's campaign for president.
. . . Romney is the most opaque presidential nominee since Nixon, and people have been reduced to guessing what his true feelings are. This video provides an answer: He feels that you're a loser. It's not an answer that wins elections.
~ Josh Barro on Bloomberg
Thurston Howell Romney
[Romney] really doesn’t know much about the country he inhabits. Who are these freeloaders? Is it the Iraq war veteran who goes to the V.A.? Is it the student getting a loan to go to college? Is it the retiree on Social Security or Medicare?
. . . The Republican Party, and apparently Mitt Romney, too, has shifted over toward a much more hyperindividualistic and atomistic social view — from the Reaganesque language of common citizenship to the libertarian language of makers and takers. There’s no way the country will trust the Republican Party to reform the welfare state if that party doesn’t have a basic commitment to provide a safety net for those who suffer for no fault of their own.
~ David Brooks on New York Times
Now Romney has to go with Ayn Rand/Ryan "makers vs. takers", "producers vs moochers" campaign. It's gonna get ugly.— Jonathan Alter (@jonathanalter) September 17, 2012
Mitt Romney, the guy who pays no taxes on millions of dollars thinks you're a welfare freeloader. God Bless 47% of America! #RomneyEncore— Chris Rock (@chrisrockoz) September 18, 2012
Mitt Romney probably hates hidden cameras more than Kate Middleton does.— Ben Greenman (@bengreenman) September 18, 2012
The sound that you hear? That's the sound of Mitt Romney making personal tax rates an issue in the campaign again.— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) September 18, 2012
Wait, so Obamacare is going to kill grandma, but Mitt Romney thinks grandma is a parasite who doesn't deserve food or shelter? #47percent— Jason Easley (@politicususa) September 18, 2012
Romney got a $10M fed bailout for Bain. I'd say that's pretty dependent on govt. Why didn't you take personal responsibility, Mitt?— Paul Begala (@PaulBegala) September 18, 2012
Mitt Romney: "It's time we stop offering school lunches to kids who are moochers" #47Percent— The Daily Edge (@TheDailyEdge) September 18, 2012
Money Mitt Romney's new slogan 'How dare those commoners feel entitled to eat food' #47percent— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) September 17, 2012
But what does Mitt Romney think of the people who don't pay ordinary income rates because of carried interest?— Matt O'Brien (@ObsoleteDogma) September 17, 2012