Obama speaks out on Romney video
September 18th, 2012
07:25 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama speaks out on Romney video

(CNN) – President Barack Obama suggested Tuesday that Mitt Romney was "writing off a big chunk of the country" in remarks made in the controversial, secretly recorded video from a May fund-raiser published Monday.

In an interview taped for "The Late Show" with David Letterman in New York, the president said he didn't know what his opponent was referring to in the video but was quick to add, "One of the things I learned as president is you represent the entire country. If you want to be president, you have to work for everyone."

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"What people want to know though is you're not writing off a big chunk of the country because the way our democracy works," said Obama. "This is a big country. And people disagree a lot but one thing I've never tried to do and I think none of us can do in public office is suggest that because someone doesn't agree with me that they're victims or they're unpatriotic."

The secretly recorded footage exploded on-line Monday when the liberal-leaning news organization Mother Jones posted a story and video clips. Tuesday the web site put out an additional clip and then later in the day published more than 49 minutes of the recording. Among Romney's remarks that stirred controversy was a comment describing "47 percent of the people who will vote [for president Obama] no matter what" as being dependent on government.

The president continued noting the 2008 presidential race against Sen. John McCain.

"When I won in 2008, 47 percent of the American people voted for John McCain," Obama said. "They didn't vote for me and what I said on election night was: 'Even though you didn't vote for me, I hear your voices, and I'm going to work as hard as I can to be your president.'"

Letterman reminded Obama of his own campaign gaffe in 2008 when then-senator and Democratic candidate said at a fund-raiser in San Francisco that certain Americans will "cling to their guns and religion."

Obama said he "immediately felt it was wrong" and quickly apologized, compared to Romney who has defended the crux of his comments though admitting they were "not elegantly stated."

"There are not a lot of people out there who think they're victims," Obama said. "There are not a lot of people who think they're entitled to something."

Obama continued: "We've got some obligations to each other, and there's nothing wrong with us giving each other a helping hand so that that single mom's kid, even after all the work she's done, can afford to go to college.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. AmericanWaxwing

    President Obama's policies have forced more and more people onto welfare. That's how much he believes in you and me and Americans everywhere. Mitt Romney wants to help people get jobs, feel good about themselves again, feel free again...become independent of their president...

    September 19, 2012 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  2. Thomas

    Never liked Jay Leno anyway .

    David Letterman has the class of Johnny Carson !

    September 19, 2012 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  3. barry

    We have a dead ambassador and troops being killed by the people they are training and our President is on Letterman. Unreal he is awol when our country needs true leadership.

    September 19, 2012 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  4. calvin

    How are the jobs? we hear only about a hidden camern of romney 47%. the democrats with the help of CNN NBC ABC CBS are hiting this big time saying romney only like 53% of the people. this is just what the news will due to save Obama job, this even trumps the killing of american oversea. so that prove the news is behind Obama

    September 19, 2012 05:35 am at 5:35 am |
  5. DENNA

    President Barack Obama suggested Tuesday that Mitt Romney was "writing off a big chunk of the country" in remarks made in the controversial, secretly recorded video from a May fund-raiser published Monday.
    Worse. Romney is writing off a large chunk of the white population. We are the ones keeping that sorry party afloat. Now he insults us. You do know that white people collect social security, medicare and other goverment benefits too, rigtht? Mitt, you are an idiot.

    September 19, 2012 05:57 am at 5:57 am |
  6. Marcel

    What Obama is doing is taking what Romney said out of context and feeding his reaction to the unintelligent masses, that is the electorate. In Romney's tape, he said that he will not worry about those people in regards to trying to get their votes. Obama, on Letterman, says that as President, you have to care for everybody. These are 2 completely different things. Obama may be one of the Nation's worst Presidents we've ever seen, but he's brilliant at taking advantage of the unintelligent and uninformed (his voters).

    September 19, 2012 06:02 am at 6:02 am |
  7. taxweary1

    As soon as this pesky election is over ill take care of putin! Egypt after these riots and burning of our flag will not get the billions in aid until right after the elections! Im sorry that wasnt romney was it?Romney spoke the truth about the 47% and the few working Americans left feel this way! Wouldnt it be refreshing to see our president speak the truth...

    September 19, 2012 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  8. Jerry

    Was anyone expecting anything else from Mr. Obamboozler?! HE's really got no record to talk about. And, of course, HE is enjoying a "real high" with the lame stream media. Probably, higher than HE did during his drug induced highs.

    Even some of his bought and paid for unions are turning against him. In the meantime,instead of working on the deteriorating economy and jobs, etc., etc., etc., HE is doing the show circuit. The Wannabe Performer-in-Chief HE always wanted to be. I am still wondering when, if ever HE is really going to perform as president of the USA.

    There goes my "Hope and Change." Oh well...

    September 19, 2012 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  9. rude

    The way the Romney campaign is going, you would think Bachmann or Palin are running his campaign.

    September 19, 2012 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  10. LEAN FORWARD over a cliff

    Obama on late night TV again! He has so much free time to campaign and make appearances with so many Americans out of work and on food stamps. He's just the best!!

    September 19, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  11. molly

    How has he worked for all of us??? By calling us "The Enemy?" By implying that we are racist if we do not agree with him 100%? I do not feel represented by him at all! I am not saying I agree with Romney's comments....they were dumb. But get real, he is President ONLY for the Far FAR left.

    September 19, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  12. Dar

    Obama: "certain Americans will "cling to their guns and religion."

    The statement that Obama said is no differant than what Rommy said. It is the truth. Take it or leave it, both men were right in their statements.

    September 19, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  13. packerfans

    Dont Vote Obama!!! JFK president s daughter called he is lair and worse!! Obama playing games lair to all youi. he cannot save america and keep forward to bankrupt America.. Vote for Mitt Romeny!!

    September 19, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  14. Jaun in El Paso

    The liberal media is so full of it – making a big deal over no thing. Biden does worse every time he opens his mouth and no one ever calls Obama out. Remember Obamas' comments about sucesses would have been front page news 24/7 if he was a R.

    September 19, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  15. GI Joe

    President Obama is at least TRYING to get the wealthy to part with some of their precious money and create jobs for ALL OF US.

    Romney wants the wealthiest to hoard even more of their money - and will teach them about Caymen accounts to avoid taxes.

    September 19, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  16. osaxono

    Your president of the whole country??? Thats rich coming from Obama who made a video telling black people its time to stand up and vote for him. Really? Just because your black you have to vote for him? Blacks have no minds of their own? Where is the video asking "Hey white people vote for me!"

    September 19, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  17. Roger

    Mitt Robmey is too full of himself. We will soon find his connections to the terrorist assault on americans overseas. He will probaly stand by those actions too.

    September 19, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  18. Luke

    "One of the things I learned as president is you represent the entire country. If you want to be president, you have to work for everyone." - Pathological Liar

    September 19, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  19. Dave

    Obama is writing off America as a whole.

    September 19, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  20. For Freedom

    But what about the gas prices?

    September 19, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
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