Romney camp tries to contain damage from leaked fund-raiser speech

Romney camp tries to contain damage from leaked fund-raiser speech
# 19 September 2012 00:59 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. The election campaign of U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Tuesday was trying to contain damages done by leaked video of him making comments about almost half of Americans dependent on government, as well as saying the Palestinians don’t want peace, APA reports.

Excerpts of the video were released by Mother Jones, a liberal magazine, throughout Monday and Tuesday. The video, made in May at a fund-raiser with wealthy donors, showed Romney saying 47 percent voters "pay no income tax", and are "dependent upon government". He said those voters would probably support President Barack Obama.

Describing those people as thinking themselves as "victims", Romney said they believe they are "entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it."

More excerpts of the video were released on Tuesday, showing Romney making controversial comments at the same May 17th fund- raiser in Florida about foreign policy.

"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," Romney said to the 50,000-dollar a plate fund-raiser, saying he would "kick the ball down the field" regarding the Middle East peace process if elected.

The video caused a firestorm in the United States, with the Romney campaign rushing in trying to contain it. After the first excerpts were released Monday afternoon, Romney called a brief news conference Monday night, standing by his statement, but admitted that they were "not elegantly stated".

The White House on Tuesday slammed the comments. Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, said in his daily briefing that "when you are president of the United States, you are president of all the people, not just the people who voted for you." He described Obama’s campaign message as "we are all in this together."

"His message has been about what unites us is far greater than what divides us," said Carney. "We need to come together as a country."

Romney is already struggling in opinion polls in recent days as Obama widened his lead after the party conventions, and the backlash from the video could prove to be another blow to his campaign.