The liberal Mother Jones magazine has published the full 50-minute video, above, of Gov. Mitt Romney addressing a group of donors in Boca Raton, Fla., in May. In it, Romney takes questions from some of the donors and occasionally urges them to eat more, before ending his talk about 15 minutes before the tape ends.
Romney has already publicly commented on a clip from the surreptitiously recorded tape, parts of which were released Monday, in which he says that half the country supports President Barack Obama because they pay no income taxes, are dependent on the government and feel that they are victims. Romney said Monday that his statements were inelegantly worded but that he stands by their general meaning. He called for the full tape to be released, so that people can hear his comments in context.
The full video shows he was answering a question from a donor when Romney used the "47 percent" line. The donor had said he thinks Obama's administration has encouraged government dependency. "For the past three years, everybody's been told ... 'Don't worry, we'll take care of you,'" the donor says. "It's two months before the election, how do you convince everybody you've got to take care of yourselves?" Romney responds that he thinks 47 percent of the country is already hooked on government and will back Obama no matter what.
Earlier in his remarks, Romney said he is most disappointed in Obama for advancing "his attack on one America against the other America," a reference to the president's push to raise taxes on households making more than $250,000 a year.
Romney is also seen in the video occasionally dodging awkward encounters with the donors. At one point, the governor is making the case that he's still introducing himself to voters. "I'm not terribly well known," he says. A female donor then interrupts: "You're known as a rich boy! A rich boy!" Romney continues with his point, saying that "given those negative things" or the perceptions that he's battling, it's a good sign that he's so close to Obama in the polls.
The same donor tells Romney bluntly that she battles "misperceptions" about him that are alienating voters. "Women do not want to vote for you. Hispanics, a majority of them don't want to vote for you. College students don't," she says. The donor asks how they can help Romney win over these groups. He says the best thing they can do is "raise millions of dollars" to compete with the president's war chest.
Partial clips from the event have been online for months, but escaped widespread notice. An anonymous leaker began promoting audio-only clips from the fundraiser in May in comments on the Huffington Post's website, which caught the attention of Democratic researcher James Carter, former President Jimmy Carter's grandson. Carter alerted Mother Jones' David Corn, who competed with the Huffington Post to persuade the anonymous leaker to give him the full video, according to BuzzFeed. Finally, the leaker decided to give the clips to Corn, who published them Monday.