What Romney told donors at private fundraiser

AP News
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Posted: Sep 18, 2012 5:00 PM
What Romney told donors at private fundraiser

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Mitt Romney was secretly recorded at a May fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla., making remarks about Americans who rely on government help, Palestinians and other topics. The video was posted late Monday afternoon on the website of Mother Jones magazine.

Here are some excerpts from the remarks:

—On taxes and entitlements:

"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. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of lower taxes doesn't connect. So he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean, that's what they sell every four years.

"And so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

—On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

"I'm torn by two perspectives in this regard. One is the one which I've had for some time, which is that the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish. ... I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say, 'There's just no way.' And so what you do is you say, 'You move things along the best way you can.' You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem. We live with that in China and Taiwan. All right? We have a potentially volatile situation, but we sort of live with it, and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it. We don't go to war to try and resolve it imminently.

"On the other hand, I got a call from a former secretary of state. I won't mention which one it was, but this individual said to me, 'You know, I think there's a prospect for a settlement between the Palestinians and the Israelis after the Palestinian elections.' I said, 'Really?' And, you know, his answer was, 'Yes, I think there's some prospect.' And I didn't delve into it."

—On family ties to Mexico:

"My dad, as you probably know, was the governor of Michigan and was the head of a car company. But he was born in Mexico. And had he been born of Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot at winning this. But he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico. He lived there for a number of years. And I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino."

—On the financial markets:

"They will probably be looking at what the polls are saying. If it looks like I'm going to win, the markets will be happy. If it looks like the president is going to win, the markets should not be terribly happy. ... If we win on Nov. 6, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We'll see capital come back. Without actually doing anything, we'll actually get a boost in the economy. If the president gets re-elected, I don't know what will happen."

—On corruption and "cleaning house" at the Securities Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission:

"I wish they weren't unionized so we could go a lot deeper than you're actually allowed to go."