(Newsroom America) -- Republican nominee Mitt Romney says nearly half of American voters believe they are victims and are dependent upon government, and it is not his job as a presidential candidate "to worry about those people."
Mr Romney made the comments at a closed door fundraiser in May, with a recording of the speech released on the Internet.
"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," said Mr Romney.
"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 ...
"My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives," he said.
While 46 percent of Americans owed no federal income tax in 2011, many of them paid other taxes such as payroll tax, were on non-taxable retirement benefits or earned less than $20,000.
Last night at a hurriedly organized press conference in Costa Mesa, Calif., Mr Romney tried to clarify what he said but made no apologies.
“It’s not elegantly stated, let me put it that way. I was speaking off the cuff in response to a question. And I’m sure I could state it more clearly in a more effective way than I did in a setting like that.
"Of course I want to help all Americans. All Americans have a bright and prosperous future," he said.
The Obama campaign responded to the video by claiming it demonstrates Mr Romney has "disgust" for half of Americans.
“It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation,” said Obama campaign manager Jim Messina in a statement.