Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney did not back down from comments published Monday in Mother Jones magazine, in which he dismissed supporters of President Obama as a “victims” who take no responsibility for their livelihoods and who think they are entitled to government handouts.
"It's not elegantly stated...I'm speaking off the cuff in response to a question," Romney told reporters Monday night in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Asked what assurances he could give to voters that he doesn't say different things behind closed doors to his donors than he does at his public rallies, Romney said he gives "the same message" to all audiences.
"We have a very different approach, the president and I, between a government dominated society and a society driven by free people pursuing their dreams," Romney said.
In the video, he said, he was "talking about the process of campaigns."
"Typically I don't talk about process in speeches because I think candidates are wiser to talk about policy and their vision than to talk about how they're going to win a election," Romney said. "At a fundraiser you have people say. 'Governor how are you going to win this?' And so I respond, 'Well, the president has his group I have my group. I want to keep my team strong and motivated and I want to get those people in the middle.' That’s something which fundraising people who are parting with their monies are very interested in knowing can you win or not and that’s what this was addressing."
When a reporter asked what Romney meant by the words "victims" and "personal responsibility," Romney said that he was "talking about the political process of drawing people into my own campaign."
"Of course individuals are going to take responsibility for their lives," Romney said. "My campaign is about helping people take more responsibility and becoming employed again, particularly those who don't have work. This whole campaign is based on getting people jobs again, putting people back to work," he said. "This is ultimately a question about direction for the country. Do you believe in a government-centered society that provides more and more benefits or do you believe instead in a free enterprise society where people are able to pursue their dreams?"
Watch the video: