On Monday and Tuesday Mother Jones published exclusive video that captured Mitt Romney speaking to donors at a May 17 fundraiser, which was held at the home of private equity mogul Mark Leder. Responding to a question about the “Palestinian problem,” Romney said peace in the Middle East is not possible and a Palestinian state is not feasible, telling donors that Palestinians have “no interest whatsoever in establishing peace and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.” At another point, the GOP presidential nominee told attendees of this $50,000-a-plate dinner that 47 percent of Americans—those who back President Obama—are “victims” who are “dependent upon government” and “pay no income tax.” He noted: “My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” These comments set off a media firestorm and generated headlines around the world. [Update: Check out additional highlights from the video here, and read the full transcript here.]
Romney’s remarks, denigrating nearly half of the electorate, sent the Romney campaign—already roiled by infighting—into panic mode. The campaign hastily convened a late-night press conference to address his controversial statements, and Romney stood by his “off the cuff” comments, while conceding that they were “not elegantly stated.” He claimed his comments where merely a “snippet” and not the “full response.” That was not true; his comments were shown in full. He added, “I hope the person who has the video would put out the full material.”
Romney is not the only one who has called for the release of the full 49-minute video. And we’re more than happy to oblige. The complete video demonstrates that Romney was not snippetized and that he was captured raw and uncut. Here it is, in two parts.
Update: Due to a production error, a section of part one of the full Romney “47 percent” video was not initially uploaded properly and an intial section was omitted. This has now been remedied.
Update: According to the source, the recording device was inadvertently turned off between these two segments. The source noticed quickly and began to re-record, resulting in an estimated a one-to-two minute loss of tape.
And here’s the full audio of Romney’s remarks. To clarify, this is the same audio available in the videos above. Also read the entire transcript here.