Romney not worried about the ‘47 percent’

Updated
A surreptitious recording of Mitt Romney speaking at a private fundraiser shows the Republican candidate dismissing the “47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what” as people “who are dependent upon government.” It raised questions as to whether or not Romney was saying what he believed or what he thought the audience of wealthy donors wanted to hear. Here’s an excerpt from the leaked tape.
Question: For the past three years, all everybody’s been told is “don’t worry, we’ll take care of you.” How are you going to do it, in two months before the elections to convince everybody, you’ve got to take care of yourself?

Romney: 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.

And I mean the president starts off with 48, 49, 4— he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. So he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich.

I mean, that’s what they sell ever four years. And so 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 to convince the five to ten percent in the center that 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.
After the video was leaked to the liberal magazine, Mother Jones, the Romney campaign issued a response touting a more inclusive message.

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.

Will this “47 percent” comment damage Romney’s campaign? 

Mitt Romney

Romney not worried about the '47 percent'

Updated