WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) --- The campaign of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Monday suffered a public relations blow when Mother Jones Magazine posted online what it called a secretly-recorded tape of Romney remarks to campaign donors.
In that recording, the authenticity of which the Romney campaign did not dispute, Romney is heard discussing how to best target voters who could be convinced to cast their ballots for him.
Romney notes that polls show the country divided, with about 47 or 48 percent of Americans supporting President Obama.
"There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, 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," Romney is shown saying on the tape.
"These are people who pay no income tax. 47 percent of Americans pay no income tax, so our message of low taxes doesn't connect, " he said.
Continuing with his explanation of which voters can be convinced to support him, Romney returns to that 47 percent, saying "so my job is not to worry about those people. I mean, I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the five to 10 percent in the center," he said.
Campaigning in California on Monday evening, Romney said his remarks were not elegantly stated, and were spoken off the cuff.
His campaign had earlier released a statement saying Mr. Romney
"wants to help all Americans struggling in the Obama economy."