Mitt Romney is coming under some serious fire as he defends controversial remarks made at a private fundraiser in May.
video that surfaced this week
, the Republican is seen and heard telling wealthy donors that 47 percent of all Americans "believe they are victims" entitled to help from the government. "There are 47% who are with him, who are dependent on government," Romney adds. "(They) believe the government has a responsibility to care for them."
The controversial comments went viral on Monday as video of the May event was leaked. Romney broke his silence late Monday saying the remarks were "off the cuff" and "not elegantly stated." He has offered no apologies or further explanation for the actual message.
The Republican presidential nominee says the remarks showed a contrast between President Barack Obama's "government-centered society" and his belief in a "free-market approach."
Romney is also heard joking about wishing his father's parents had been Latino. "Had he been born of, uh, Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot at winning this...I mean I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino."
"It's hard to serve as president for all Americans when you've disdainfully written off half the nation," said Jim Messina, Obama Campaign Manager.
The video is from a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla., on May 17. The controversy arises as Romney advisers try to reassure party leaders and donors about the Republican's ability to win the White House.
(The Associated Press contributed to this article.)
Has Mitt Romney significantly hurt his chances of winning the White House with these remarks? What impact will this video have on the election? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.