(CNN) – Videos captured surreptitiously at a Mitt Romney fund-raiser became the latest campaign trail bombshell when they were leaked to a left-leaning magazine on Monday evening.
The tapes show Romney arguing nearly half of Americans will vote for President Barack Obama because they rely on government support, made apparent jokes about wishing he had Latino heritage, and talks about a Chinese factory his former firm considered purchasing.
Another clip released Tuesday shows the GOP presidential candidate questioning the prospect of ever reaching peace between Israelis and Palestinians, calling a path to a solution in the region "almost unthinkable to accomplish."
Below is a smattering of reaction from conservatives around the web:
"This could be the opportunity for Romney and for that campaign to finally take the gloves off and take the fear off and just start explaining conservatism. Start explaining liberty to people and what it means, and explain that they don't have to be in that 47%. There's no reason for them, for everybody, to essentially have given up on their future in this country. There's no reason for it. This is, to me, such an opportunity to espouse conservatism and to explain to people. Now that people are focused on this, now that people are paying attention to it, this is a golden opportunity, and we know Romney's got it in him because of what he said to these people."
RedState.com editor and CNN contributor Erick Erickson:
Weekly Standard editor William Kristol:
"It remains important for the country that Romney wins in November (unless he chooses to step down and we get the Ryan-Rubio ticket we deserve!). But that shouldn't blind us to the fact that Romney's comments, like those of Obama four years ago, are stupid and arrogant.
Indeed: Has there been a presidential race in modern times featuring two candidates who have done so little over their lifetimes for our country, and who have so little substance to say about the future of our country?"
So, just as the media did last week with Romney's perfectly valid criticism of Obama and the Cairo Embassy apology, it looks as though we're in for another week-long stink of media-manufactured outrage.
But over what, exactly?
Over a conservative talking like a conservative and laying out facts.
When I saw these videos, my first thought was, "Gee, I wish Romney would talk this way on the campaign trail."
Romney campaign adviser Bay Buchanan:
"Certainly this is a bump in the road. But is anybody looking at the campaign of Barack Obama? He has spent the last week with America watching as his foreign policy of appeasement and apologies has disintegrated. We have problems around this world in all the Muslim countries, where anti-American sentiment is unbelievable. And that's a good week?"
Donald Trump on NBC's "Today":
"He has to not apologize; I think we've seen enough apologizing already. He cannot apologize. What he said is probably what he means, and he did say 'inartfully stated.' The fact is he cannot apologize; he is going for those independents. He won't get the votes of a lot of people he's discussing, and if you're not going to get the votes, let's go on with it."
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on Fox News:
"So he would say it probably differently today, but it is a significant problem when you have this level of people that don't pay a significant amount of taxes because they can't earn a good living. So job creation, economic development through these plans, I think, are exactly the right formula for the country."
This comment suggests a few things. First, it suggests that he really doesn't know much about the country he inhabits. Who are these freeloaders? Is it the Iraq war veteran who goes to the V.A.? Is it the student getting a loan to go to college? Is it the retiree on Social Security or Medicare?
It suggests that Romney doesn't know much about the culture of America. Yes, the entitlement state has expanded, but America remains one of the hardest-working nations on earth. Americans work longer hours than just about anyone else. Americans believe in work more than almost any other people. Ninety-two percent say that hard work is the key to success, according to a 2009 Pew Research Survey.
Tea Party Patriots:
“This election poses a choice for voters: do you want a country dependent on government programs and handouts, or do you want a country with an economy that produces good jobs and returns America to a higher standard of living?"
“In 2011, 49 percent of Americans lived in a household where at least one member of the family received a government benefit. Since 2009, Tea Party Patriots across the nation have said: Enough! Enough of big government supporting failed companies. Enough of big government health care schemes that rob American families of the freedom to choose the best care for them. Enough of big government that divides this great nation into factions that fight for their own government handouts."