Mitt Romney speaks during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida on August 29, 2012.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has confronted a new headache after he characterized the supporters of rival candidate Barack Obama as government-dependent “victims” who dodge paying taxes.
Mother Jones magazine's website released a secretly filmed video on Monday, showing Romney telling wealthy American donors that almost half of the US voters, supporters of the incumbent President Obama, are living off government support and do not care for their lives.
"There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them," Romney said in the video.
"These are people who pay no income tax... so our message of low taxes doesn't connect…. Because they voted for Obama, they don't want to be told that they were wrong, that he's a bad guy, that he did bad things, that he's corrupt,” the US presidential nominee also said.
"My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center that are independents…. those people [voted for Obama] that we have to get, they want to believe they did the right thing, but he just wasn't up to the task,” he added.
The leaked video was released only 50 days before the country’s presidential election where electoral observers believe that these happenings can worsen the situation for presidential candidates.
The Obama campaign was also quick to take advantage of the video, as Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina said that “It's hard to serve as president for all Americans when you've disdainfully written off half the nation.”
Political experts in the US considered the video a significant setback for Romney who was characterized by his political opponents as privileged and out of touch.
Hours after releasing the video by liberal investigative magazine, Romney faced a lot of criticism for his speech and took part in an arranged press conference on Monday, insisting he would “help all Americans,” if elected as the president of America. He did not offer apologies for his remarks, saying only that his comments weren’t “elegantly stated.”
The video is said to have been filmed in March where Romney gave a speech among his supporters at a fundraising event. One of the editors of Mother Jones also said that other parts of this video will be released on Tuesday.
Romney has been repeatedly criticized for making comments in private sessions -- remarks that he seldom makes in public gatherings.