Secretly recorded video of Mitt Romney offering some straight talk to wealthy donors behind closed doors about American voters has gone viral.
Romney is seen telling the donors, “There are 47-percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them. And they will vote for this president no matter what.”
Romney based his percentage on the number of Americans who he says pay no income tax…voters who he asserts have no stake in his push for lower taxes and thus would never vote for him anyway.
“What i have to do is convince the five to ten percent in the center,” Romney said in the video.
All of this sounds familiar – Romney, talking about the responsibility of the individual.
In fact, after the liberal website Mother Jones posted the video Romney moved into damage control Monday night during a campaign stop in California.
Not surprisingly, there were no mentions of so called ‘victims’ or the 47-percent of voters “who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them….”
The “unplugged” Romney --with the news cameras rolling--was more thoughtful about what he said.
“Well, um, you know. It's not elegantly stated let me put it that way I'm speaking off the cuff in response to a question and I'm sure I can state it more clearly in a more effective way than i did in a setting like that”, Romney told reporters.
“I'm talking about the political process of drawing people into my own campaign. Of course, individuals are going to take responsibility for their lives, and of course i want to help all Americans, all Americans, have a bright and prosperous future.”
This isn’t the first – and likely won’t be the last time a candidate suddenly forgets that the camera never blinks.
Every president -- from George W. Bush, to Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan -- has gone off script and said something they shouldn’t have.
In fact, Republicans are still bringing up then presidential candidate Barack Obama’s gaffe made during the last election.
So what should we take away from Romney’s misstep?
His secretly recorded comments were not groundbreaking, but certainly enlightening because in addition to policy – voters are sure to factor “likeability” into their decision on election day.
Regardless of what presidential candidates say in intimate settings to donors on the campaign trail…they typically try to clean up their act, and deliver a prepared, polished message in front of the crowds and news cameras. Mitt Romney is once again learning a valuable lesson that every politician in the spotlight learns and relearns -- there are no private moments.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times