Locals react to Romney 'victim' comments - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Locals react to Romney 'victim' comments

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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is defending his statements that almost half of Americans "believe they are victims" and entitled to government support.

Romney made his comments in a video recorded during a big-money fundraising event.

Mother Jones published video of the fundraiser in which Romney tells donors, "There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that 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…"

In the video, Romney goes on to say, "…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."

Romney later said that his comments "were not elegantly stated," but did not apologize.

"Of course there's a very different approach of the two different campaigns. As I point out I recognize that among those that pay no tax, approximately 47 percent of Americans, I'm not likely to be highly successful with the message of lowering taxes," said Romney.

Laid-off worker Kelly Morgan reacted angrily outside a Georgia labor department office on Tuesday.

"When somebody is able, running for president, and to say that about almost half of the people in the United States, what are you thinking mister," said Morgan.

Emory University political science professor Andra Gillespie said the candidate had badly damaged his prospects.

"Barack Obama already has a lead in this race. It's going to continue and probably widen over the next week or so, and it's going to be really, really difficult for Romney to rebound over this," said Gillespie.

Famous Pub in Toco Hill owner Tony Trozs said that while Romney chose his words poorly, he'd made an important point.

"What he was trying to really say was: you're telling people that you have to rely on the government for everything, and it takes your own spirit away from you when day after day you're just collecting a check," said Trozs.

Romney said he was speaking off the cuff at the fundraiser. He's now asked for the release of the entire video.

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