Talk about politics as entertainment!
Yesterday afternoon, liberal magazine Mother Jones made waves by posting a “secret video” of Mitt Romney saying indelicate things about some of his potential constituents. Though the mag initially blurred out everything in the video save for Romney’s face and refused to disclose when and where it was recorded, MoJo later revealed that the Republican presidential nominee made his remarks at a private event in Boca Raton this past May.
In the clip, Romney disparages the 47 percent of Americans he claims “will vote for the president no matter what … 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 … [M]y job is is not to worry about those people.” Here’s that initial video:
In another clip from the same larger video, Romney can be heard speaking candidly about the Israel-Palestine conflict: Palestinians have “no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish,” he says.
The reaction from both Democrats and Republicans — not to mention political reporters of any and all affiliations — has been swift and fierce. Obama campaign manager Jim Messina released a statement that called the words “shocking,” then sent an email to supporters that excoriated the former Massachusetts governor for showing “such disgust and disdain for half of our fellow Americans.”
Romney, on the other hand, responded to the leaked video at an impromptu press conference last night. Though the nominee admitted that his words had been “spoken off the cuff” and “not elegantly stated,” he stood by his “47 percent” message: “This whole campaign is based on getting people jobs again, putting people back to work,” Romney 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?”
Whether Romney’s apparent gaffe has you rubbing your hands together in glee or squinting in confusion and wondering what all the fuss is about, you have to admit that the secret video debacle will lead to some priceless bits on upcoming comedy shows, like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Saturday Night Live — and it might spice up President Obama’s Letterman appearance tonight as well.
Either way, it couldn’t hurt to take a gander at the full 49-minute-long video yourself — at least so you can understand all the jokes that’ll soon be made about it. So, without further ado, let’s go to the tape, split into two parts for your convenience: