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Mother Jones 47 percent video: Mitt Romney does damage control

Mitt Romney says his remarks were not "elegantly stated' at a fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla. In the secretly shot video released by Mother Jones, Romney says 47 percent of the people will vote for Obama "no matter what ... who believe that they are victims.'

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks to reporters about the secretly taped video from one of his campaign fundraising events in Costa Mesa, Calif., Monday, Sept. 17, 2012. Mother Jones posted the video Monday.

(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

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Republican Mitt Romney is trying to head off a new distraction for his campaign after a video surfaced showing him telling wealthy donors that 47 percent of all Americans "believe they are victims" entitled to help from the government that permeates their lives.

At an impromptu news conference Monday, Romney offered no apologies, conceding the comments were not "elegantly stated" and were spoken "off the cuff." The Republican presidential nominee said the remarks showed a contrast between President Barack Obama's "government-centered society" and his belief in a "free-market approach."

"Of course, I want to help all Americans, all Americans, have a bright and prosperous future," Romney told reporters.

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Obama's campaign pounced on the video, which was obtained by the magazine Mother Jones and released only hours after Romney's campaign outlined a new strategy to try to rejuvenate a struggling campaign. The video's emergence came as advisers to the former Massachusetts governor tried to reassure party leaders and donors about Romney's strategy amid concerns that the race could be slipping away.

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Romney is shown saying in the video of a May 17 fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla. "There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that 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."

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