Lowdown: The Romney tape essentials

The key quotes from Romney's damning private fundraiser

Published September 18, 2012 4:34PM (EDT)

Mitt Romney's been getting walloped for his comments at a private fundraiser, secretly recorded and leaked to Mother Jones. Here are some of the comments that'll dog him for the rest of the campaign at least:

On Obama voters:

"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...[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."

On his father:

"Had he been born of Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot of winning this, but he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico. They lived there for a number of years. I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino.

On his wealth:

"I have inherited nothing...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."

More on his wealth:

"Both my dad and [wife] Ann's dad did quite well in their lives. But when they came to the end of their lives and passed along the inheritance to Ann and me, we both decided to give it all away. So I have inherited nothing. Everything that Ann and I have, we earned the old-fashioned way."

On foreign policy:

"The number of foreign policy questions I get are between zero and one...the American people are not concentrated at all on China, on Russia, Iran, Iraq. This President's failure to put a Status of Forces agreement allowing 10 to 20,000 troops to stay in Iraq - Unthinkable."

On the Middle East conflict:

"[Palestinians have] no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish...I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there's just no way."

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 jrayfield@salon.com.

MORE FROM Jillian Rayfield

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2012 Elections 47 Percent Barack Obama Israel Mitt Romney