NEW YORK (Reuters) - Marc Leder, the co-chief executive of private equity firm Sun Capital Partners Inc who hosted a fundraiser in May in which Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticized supporters of U.S. President Barack Obama, said on Tuesday he had supported people from both political parties.

"I hosted a fundraiser for an old friend in May," Leder said in a statement provided by his spokesman.

"I believe all Americans should have the opportunity to succeed, to improve their lives, and to build even better lives for their children. I have supported people from both political parties who share this view and make it a priority, even though their ideas on how to achieve it may differ."

A video shot with a hidden camera at Leder's Boca Raton, Florida, home emerged on Monday in which Romney dismissed Obama supporters -- almost half of U.S. voters -- as people who live off government handouts and do not "care for their lives."

(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York)


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