18 Sep 2012

Secret video shows Romney 'dissing' Democrat voters

10:15 pm on 18 September 2012

The Republican challenger in the American Presidential election has been secretly filmed making disparaging comments about Democratic Party voters.

Mitt Romney told a private meeting of Republican donors earlier this year the 47% of Americans who would vote for President Barack Obama saw themselves as victims, paid no income tax and lived on handouts.

"I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives," Mr Romney says.

Mr Romney says his remarks were not "elegantly stated", but did not retract them, the BBC reports.

"This is the same message I give to people in public," he said in response to the video, released by liberal investigative magazine Mother Jones.

Earlier, his campaign said Mr Romney "wants to help all Americans struggling in the Obama economy".

"As the [former Massachusetts] governor has made clear all year, he is concerned about the growing number of people who are dependent on the federal government, including the record number of people who are on food stamps, nearly one in six Americans in poverty, and the 23 million Americans who are struggling to find work," spokesperson Gail Gitcho said in a statement.

The Obama campaign responded quickly, reports the BBC.

"It's hard to serve as president for all Americans when you've disdainfully written off half the nation," Jim Messina, Mr Obama's campaign manager, said in a statement.