On Monday Mother Jones magazine released a series of videos of GOP nominee Mitt Romney speaking at a private fundraiser on May 17 with high dollar donors in Boca Raton, Fla. In the video Romney inarticulately describes Obama voters as people who think they are victims and says his “job is is not to worry about those people.”
“I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” he can be heard saying.
In response to the video, Romney held a late-night press conference Monday to address the comments. During the presser, Romney called on the magazine to release the entire video in order to provide context to his remarks.
“I believe the point I made is the president starts off with a large number of the voters — 47, 48, 49 percent, something like that. These are people who are in his camp, and they’ll vote for him, almost no matter what,” Romney’s said in his defense. ”And … that my campaign effort is to focus on the people in the middle. The people I will try and draw into my campaign [are] largely people who voted for Barack Obama last time around, but who I want to have as part of my campaign to become successful. So it’s a question and answer, as I recall, about the process of the campaign.”
Unfortunately (or fortunately) for Romney, the tapes revealed few additional details beyond what Mother Jones had already reported.
The only other truly interesting tidbits that occurred in the video were as follows:
1. He thinks Iran would use a Palestinian state to traffic arms and threaten Israel
In response to a question from a donor, Romney says that the “challenge” to creating a Palestinian state is that it would either border, Syria or Jordan.
“And of course the Iranians would want to do through the West Bank exactly what they did through Lebanon and what they did in the Gaza, which is that the Iranians would want to bring missiles and armament into the West Bank and potentially threaten Israel. So, Israel of course would have to say. ‘That can’t happen.’ ”
Romney then points out that Israel would in turn want to guard Palestine’s borders with those nations, which Palestine would not allow. He also asks who would keep weaponry from coming into Palestine.
“These are problems, and they’re very hard to solve,” Romney says. “And I look at the Palestinians as not wanting to see peace anyway for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel.”
2. Romney thinks Obama is a terrible world leader
At the beginning of the video Romney hits hard on Obama’s foreign policy doctrine, saying that the President thinks “that his magnetism and his charm and his persuasiveness is so compelling that he can sit down with people like Putin and Chavez and Ahmadinejad, and . . . and that they’ll find that we’re such wonderful people that they’ll go along with us and that they’ll stop doing bad things. ”Its an extrodinarially niace perception and it has led to huge errors in North Korean, in Iraq, obviousl in Iran, Egypt, around the world.”
Romney goes on to say that while he believes you need to speak softly and carry “very, very ‘big stick,’ and this President, instead, speaks loudly and carries a small stick. And that is not the right course for a foreign policy.”
3. If it looks like Obama is going to get reelected, Romney expects the economy to tank
About two thirds of the way through the video an attendee asks Romney about his prediction for the market. Romney admitted he has never been able to predict the markets well, but “If it looks like I’m gonna win, the markets will be happy. If it looks like the President is going to win, the markets will not be terribly happy.”
Romney also joked that if he wins the election “without actually doing anything, we may actually get a boost to the economy.”
4. Romney expected for the campaign to get nasty
In a crafty fundraising pitch, Romney tells attendees of the dinner that the most important thing they can do help him get elected is to donate money because the Obama campaign will be spending $800 to $900 million on this race. “But advertising makes a difference and the President will engage in a personal character assassination campaign, so we’ll have to fire back one in defense, and number two in offense, and that’ll money,”Romney says, explaining that all of the money will get spent in 10 states including, Florida.
5. Mitt is aware that his wife Ann Romney is his “best advocate”
Only briefly touched upon in the original release is a female donor pointing out to Mitt that rather than going on “The View” himself, he should send his wife Ann on instead “because she is your best advocate,” the woman tells Romney near the end of the Q and A portion of the fundraiser. “You’re absolutely right,” he responds, clarifying that the reason the campaign uses Ann “sparingly” is because they don’t want the American people to get tired of her. “Who could ever get tired of Ann?” the donor says back.
– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - - - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -
Other than the original, “47 percent who are with him [Obama], who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims” statement, Romney makes no other immediately noticeable foolish comments in the videos. The videos merely reveal that Romney is incredibly in tune with the ins and outs of running a serious presidential race and that he knows where the current President and his campaign are most vulnerable.
However, if you’d like to watch the entire videos yourself, they are posted below for your convenience (Hint: Everything after the 13 minute mark in the second video is inaudible, as guests are eating and talking concurrently.).
‘Secret’ Romney fundraiser video part 1:
‘Secret’ Romney fundraiser video part 2: