BY STEPHANIE COSBY, Staff Writer
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney found himself in hot water early last week when nonprofit news organization Mother Jones released a video from a private fundraiser held on May 17. The hour-long video featured Romney talking freely with his donors about Obama supporters, immigration, foreign policy and more.
During the recorded speech to wealthy donors, Romney claimed that “there are 47 percent who are with [President 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… These are people who pay no income tax… My job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
Romney also lamented how difficult U.S. immigration policy makes it difficult for educated people to come to America: “I’d like to staple a green card to every Ph.D. in the world and say, “Come to America, we want you here.” Instead, we make it hard for people who get educated here or elsewhere to make this their home. Unless, of course, you have no skill or experience, in which case you’re welcome to cross the border and stay here for the rest of your life.”
Regarding foreign policy, Romney shared his view that Palestinians are “committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel” and do not want to see peace for political purposes. Despite this, he said we must keep pushing “American strength, American resolve” until the conflict is somehow resolved.
While many conservative pundits have stood behind Romney, there has been a significant media backlash. Pundits were abuzz with criticism, calling it a major misstep and Romney’s “darkest hour.” Josh Barro, a writer from Bloomberg, predicts that this video has “killed Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.”
Several days after the Romney video was leaked, the news media picked up on a video of President Obama from 1998 praising redistribution, with conservative pundits touting it as controversial. “I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources, and hence facilitate some redistribution, because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level, to make sure that everybody’s got a shot,” Obama said in the video.
Whether either video will have any impact on the election remains yet to be seen. For the full Romney video, click here.