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47% ‘entitlement’: Romney struggles to contain video uproar

Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks reporters about secretly taped video from one his campaign fundraising events

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks to reporters about the secretly taped video from one of his campaign fundraising events in Costa Mesa, Calif., Monday, Sept. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

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Updated: October 19, 2012 6:23AM

Mitt Romney was attempting to quell a firestorm late Monday after a leaked video from a private campaign fund-raiser showed him calling 47 percent of Americans entitled and saying that as president: “My job is not to worry about those people.”

The video, which first appeared on the Mother Jones website, lit up the blogosphere, catching the ire of out-of-work Americans and setting Romney back from his attempt to show that he is not an out-of-touch millionaire.

“Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax,” Romney said at a private fund-raiser for wealthy donors that Mother Jones would only say took place earlier this year but after he received the Republican nomination. Romney said in the video that his role “is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Romney called a news conference Monday to address the video, saying the series of clips do not show the whole picture. Earlier in his campaign, Romney was defending another remark viewed as out of touch, saying: “corporations are people too.”

“It’s not elegantly stated, let me put it that way. I was speaking off the cuff in response to a question. And I’m sure I could state it more clearly in a more effective way than I did in a setting like that,” Romney said Monday of the secret video. “Of course I want to help all Americans. All Americans have a bright and prosperous future.”

In one of the video clips, Romney refers to 47 percent of voters as entitled.

“There are 47 percent who are with [Obama], 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 . . . These are people who pay no income tax.”

Late Monday, #RomneyEncore was trending on Twitter.

One tweeter mocked: “The problem with American voters is they’re too stressed. They don’t spend enough time on their yachts.”

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