On Monday and Tuesday Mother Jonespublished exclusive video that captured Mitt Romney speaking to donors at a May 17 fundraiser, which was held at the home of private equity mogul Mark Leder. Responding to a question about the “Palestinian problem,” Romney said peace in the Middle East is not possible and a Palestinian state is not feasible, telling donors that Palestinians have “no interest whatsoever in establishing peace and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.” At another point, the GOP presidential nominee told attendees of this $50,000-a-plate dinner that 47 percent of Americans—those who back President Obama—are “victims” who are “dependent upon government” and “pay no income tax.” He noted: “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.” These comments set off a media firestorm and generated headlines around the world.
Romney’s remarks, denigrating nearly half of the electorate, sent the Romney campaign—already roiled by infighting—into panic mode. The campaign hastily convened a late-night press conference to address his controversial statements, and Romney stood by his “off the cuff” comments, while conceding that they were “not elegantly stated.” He claimed his comments where merely a “snippet” and not the “full response.” That was not true; his comments were shown in full. He added, “I hope the person who has the video would put out the full material.”