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September 18th, 2012
11:31 AM ET

Will Romney's controversial fundraiser comments affect the election? – Democratic analyst Richard Socarides and CNN contributor Margaret Hoover weigh in

On Monday night, Mitt Romney held a late night news conference controversial remarks that were secretly recorded at a private fundraiser back in may. The hidden camera tape which was leaked to the liberal magazine Mother Jones and posted on you-tube shows the candidate arguing that nearly half of Americans will vote for President Barack Obama because they rely on government support. Adding to the "entitlement" argument, Romney says, "my job is not to worry about those people.”

On the tape - Romney also jokes about wishing he were "Latino" and talks about a Chinese factory his former firm purchased.

CNN contributor Margaret Hoover says, "Mitt Romney clearly misspoke here." Hoover, a former White House appointee for the Bush administration says the GOP nominee was most likely trying to appeal to Republicans and took information he received from an economic briefing and "then somehow conflated it with his campaign strategy which has turned into a play to the base strategy."

Democratic analyst Richard Socarides disagrees, saying "the big problem for Governor Romney this morning is that this whole episode reinforces beliefs that are starting to set in about him at a very crucial point in the campaign. That is that he's not ready to be president. That he says these kind of inappropriate things."

In his press conference Monday night, the GOP nominee took three questions from pool reporters regarding the secretly recorded video. Standing by his main message, Romney said his controversial comments were "off the cuff" and "not elegantly stated."

Responding to Romney's joke about wishing he were Latino, Hoover says, "I'm actually very concerned about the Latino vote." "You know what would be great? Is not if [Romney] were born to Mexican parents - but if he spoke a little bit of Spanish and was going to the Latino communities and actually talking about how unemployment under President Obama is actually two points higher in Hispanic communities," adds Hoover.

Filed under: 2012 election
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Janice Barrier

    Romney's Mexican comment is an angry sarcastic dog-whistle to good old boy white men.

    September 18, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply

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