The week started with a damaging account of the reported struggles among the inner circle of Team Romney, which the candidate brushed off as a “process story.” This followed the fallout from Governor Mitt Romney’s controversial response to the attack in Libya that left Ambassador Chris Stevens and 3 other Americans dead. Now Governor Romney remains on defense, responding to private comments that were recorded surreptitiously at a fundraiser in Boca Raton this May.
According to a recording first obtained by Mother Jones and later by NBC News, Governor Romney was asked by a questioner how he was going to convince voters that they need to take care of themselves. Governor Romney responded:
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.
The Governor added:
My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5-10 percent of people who are independents, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon, in some cases, emotion, whether they like the guy or not.
The fallout from the surprise release yesterday triggered Governor Romney to call an unscheduled press conference in California last night, where he admitted his words were “not elegantly stated” but stopped short of disavowing his remarks at the private fundraiser.
At a fundraiser you have people say, “Governor, how are you going to win this?” And so I respond well, the president has his group, I have my group. I want to keep my team strong and motivated and I want to get those people in the middle, that’s something which fundraising people who are parting with their monies are very interested in knowing: can you win or not and that’s what this was addressing.
John Heilemann, National Affairs Editor, New York Magazine/msnbc Political Analyst (@jheil)
Glenn Thrush, Sr. White House Reporter, POLITICO (@glennthrush)
Karen Finney, Fmr. DNC Communications Director/msnbc Political Analyst (@finneyk)
Ari Melber, The Nation/msnbc Contributor (@arimelber)