David Corn joined Hardball's Chris Matthews Monday to talk about a video recording of Mitt Romney speaking to a small group of wealthy contributors. In the video—recorded surreptitiously and provided to Corn, Washington bureau chief at the liberal magazine Mother Jones—the Republican presidential candidate describes 47% of voters as "dependent on the government," saying they’ll vote for President Obama in November no matter what.
"My job is not to worry about those people," Romney says.
Corn, an MSNBC contributor, said the video was taken at a fundraiser after Romney clinched the nomination.
In a statement released Monday, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina slammed Romney's comments:
It’s shocking that a candidate for President of the United States would go behind closed doors and declare to a group of wealthy donors that half the American people view themselves as ‘victims,’ entitled to handouts, and are unwilling to take ‘personal responsibility’ for their lives. It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation.
The Romney camp issued its own response, through spokeswoman Gail Gitcho:
Mitt Romney wants to help all Americans struggling in the Obama economy. As the 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. Mitt Romney's plan creates 12 million new jobs in four years, grows the economy and moves Americans off of government dependency and into jobs.
Late Update, 9:35 p.m.: Corn appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show Monday night, and revealed that the fundraiser took place at the Boca Raton home of private-equity executive Marc Leder on May 17.
Corn assured Maddow he was confident of the video's authenticity, adding that more footage from the event would be revealed soon.
The source who handed over the video "is not connected to any political campaign, wasn't there as an infiltrator, it wasn't a dirty trick," Corn said. "The fact that Mitt Romney has not challenged a word here shows you that this is what he said, this is what he said behind closed doors with a bunch of other millionaires he felt quite comfortable with."