A cache of hidden-camera videos of Mitt Romney, speaking at an off-the-record fundraiser sometime in the last few months, has emerged on YouTube and Mother Jones. Among other things, Romney claims that "47 percent of people will vote for [Obama] no matter what" because they "believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing," and that "it would be helpful to be Latino." The upshot: Mitt Romney in private is exactly the kind of entitled blowhard that you'd imagine based on his public persona.
The path the videos took from filming to publication is a little odd — they've apparently been on YouTube for a few weeks, but it was only after video researcher James Carter convinced the original uploader to give the entire tape to Mother Jones' David Corn that they received wide press attention. But Corn seems to have confirmed that the person on the tapes in Romney, and boy, is he saying some gross stuff:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, 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, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.
There's also film of him bragging about his consultants, saying that they have to treat the president "gingerly," and saying that he and Ann earned everything "the old-fashioned way." Sure.
It's a weird scoop, because on the one hand it seems like, you know: duh. Of course Mitt Romney is a blowhard, oblivious to his own privilege, who jokes about how much easier it'd be if he were a minority and sees the world as consisting of hard-working businessmen like himself and moochers who have a laughable belief in a social safety net.
But on the other hand, it's always going to be shocking to watch a presidential candidate for what's supposed to be a mainstream political party call nearly half the country freeloaders and treat housing, food and health-care programs as the ridiculous demands of entitled parasites.
Also, it's not — to use a political term — a good look to complain that people aren't paying their taxes when you refuse to make your own returns public.