Mysterious YouTube videos that reportedly show Mitt Romney addressing high-level donors at a private fundraiser have started to circulate around the Internet this week, and the contents could be very damning for the Republican presidential nominee.
The videos — which feature an audio of Romney dismissing Obama voters as entitled freeloaders and lamenting his problems with Hispanic voters — were apparently all taken at the same fundraiser, and were first posted on YouTube by two anonymous users. Today, David Corn of Mother Jones reports that he has seen the whole video, which he said was taken sometime before the convention, but after Romney was the presumptive nominee.
The most inflammatory line from the videos refers to 47 percent of Americans who, according to Romney, “will vote for the president no matter what.”
“All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe 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’s an entitlement. And that government should give it to them.”
It is possible that Romney is referring to the 47 percent of Americans who pay federal income taxes either because they do not earn enough, they are retired, disabled, or myriad reasons that qualify—a number often cited by conservatives when discussing tax reform.
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina wasted no time slamming Romney for the remarks:
“It’s shocking that a candidate for President of the United States would go behind closed doors and declare to a group of wealthy donors that half the American people view themselves as ‘victims,’ entitled to handouts, and are unwilling to take ‘personal responsibility’ for their lives,” Messina said in a statement. “It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation.”
We’ve contacted the Romney campaign to verify that the videos are real and will update when if we hear anything back.
Watch the clip below, courtesy of Mother Jones. The images on the videos obtained by Mother Jones have been blurred, apparently to protect the filmmaker’s identity, but the voice definitely sounds like Romney.
In another video, Romney says, when describing his dad, that “had he been born of Mexican parents, I’d probably have a better shot of winning this.”
“I say that jokingly, but it’d be helpful to be Latino,” he adds.
Here’s that video clip, via a YouTube clip posted by the user RomneyExposed:
In another video, posted by the YouTube subscriber Anne Onymous, he tells the donors that “we use Ann sparingly right now so that people don’t get tired of her.”