The clip is only the latest from Romney’s $50,000-a-plate fundraiser on May 17 in Boca Raton, Fla., now buffeting his campaign 49 days from Election Day.
On Monday, Mother Jones released grainy videos in which Romney dismisses President Obama’s supporters as “victims” who take no responsibility for their livelihoods and who think they are entitled to government handouts. He said that his job “is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Mother Jones released the full video.
Romney and his campaign urgently tried to defuse the controversy Monday night, hastily arranging a news conference in Costa Mesa, Calif. The nominee stood by the remarks, although he conceded that they were “not elegantly stated” and that he had been “speaking off the cuff in response to a question.”
Aboard the campaign plane to Salt Lake City, adviser Kevin Madden said Romney was “very focused and determined” to shift the campaign focus to his core economic message.
“I still think this is an election that is focused on the economy, that’s focused on the direction of the country, and I think the voters right now who have yet to make up their mind are still viewing it through the lens of that,” Madden told reporters.
Asked whether Romney was “winning” at this stage, Madden said only that “it’s a very close, hard-fought campaign, and I think it will be all the day to Election Day.”
Romney is holding no public campaign events on Tuesday, but he could address his comments about the Israelis and Palestinians at his fundraisers in Salt Lake City and Dallas, which will be open to reporters. And aides added to his campaign schedule an interview on Fox News Channel, where he again talked about the “47 percent” remark.
“We were, of course, talking about a campaign and how he’s going to get close to half the vote, I’m going to get half the vote, approximately, I hope. I want to get 50.1 percent or more,” Romney said on “Your World with Neil Cavuto.”
“Frankly, we have two very different views of America. The president’s view is one of a larger government.... I believe the right course for America is one where government steps in to help those that are in need — we’re a compassionate people — but then we let people build their own lives, create enterprises.”
Although Romney has spoken skeptically in the past about the prospect for a so-called two-state solution, he has not used the kind of language on the campaign trail that he used in the closed-door fundraiser.