President Barack Obama's re-election campaign was quick to seize on statements made by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney implying that Obama supporters were dependent on the government.
Romney's remarks, from a campaign fundraiser in Florida, were secretly taped and released by liberal magazine Mother Jones on Monday.
In the remarks, Romney is shown saying that 47 percent of Americans 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."
He added, "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."
In a statement released Monday, Obama's campaign manager Jim Messina called the quote "shocking" and said, "It's hard to serve as president for all Americans when you've disdainfully written off half the nation."
The campaign swiftly followed up that condemnation with a Web video featuring several people being shown the Romney video and reacting unfavorably to the Republican's comments.
"I actually felt sick to my stomach," one woman says on the Obama campaign video.
Another woman added, "It shows that he's out of touch if he thinks that half of the country is feeling like victims."
The video, which was posted Tuesday morning and publicized in a campaign press release the day after the revelation of the Romney remarks, was an unusually swift reaction, highlighting how the Obama campaign hopes to capitalize on comments that Romney himself has since admitted were "not elegantly stated."
"As a president, if you try to separate by demographics, separate by classes, you know, you're not really a president," says a black man in the video.
Since the release of his remarks, Romney has sought to defend his stance, if not his original wording.
"I do believe that we should have enough jobs and enough take-home pay such that people have the privilege of higher incomes that allow them to be paying taxes," Romney said in an appearance on Fox News on Tuesday. "I think people would like to be paying taxes."
by RTT Staff Writer
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