Secret video: Mitt calls Obama voters "victims"

UPDATED: Romneyland tries to explain away the leaked video, but one prominent commentator says the campaign is over

Published September 17, 2012 9:29PM (EDT)

Mitt Romney told a roomful of wealthy donors that the people who will vote for President Obama "no matter what" are, among other things, entitled freeloaders "who believe that they are victims."

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Romney said at a private fundraiser earlier this year. "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."

Here's the audio:

Via David Corn at Mother Jones.

UPDATE: After Romney aides refused to comment on the leaked videos for several hours this afternoon, communications director Gail Gitcho released a statement that neither confirmed nor denied the veracity of the videos, and also dodged most of its content:

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.

Bloomberg View’s Josh Barro thinks the video “has killed Mitt Romney's campaign for president.”

By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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By Alex Seitz-Wald

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2012 Elections Barack Obama Health Care Mitt Romney Welfare