Fast-moving story as our old pal David Corn releases a supremely damaging video, leaked to him, showing Mitt Romney at a Boca Raton fundraiser on May 17 basically trashing 47 percent of the country. So I will return to my “live-blog” format for updates, latest at top.
* TUESDAY *
2:30 pm Mother Jones, as promised, just posted the entire forty-seven-minute Romney video, in two parts (see below). Romney demanded this last night, saying he would explain fully what it all meant after that. Now he’s set to appear on Fox this afternoon.
10:10 am As we noted when the name came up of Romney’s host last May 17 when he gave his now notorious “47 percent moochers” speech, Marc Leder has been singled out in tabloids as a party boy connected to one bash that featured sex acts and more. This Wash Post piece provides some more info on him, including this fact: the Mitt party was a $50,000-a-plate dinner. Gosh, for that, these fellas probably expected sex acts, or at least nudity. Poor Mitt. More here from the Palm Beach Post. And New York magazine.
9:10 am New, dire responses to the video.
8:40 am Corn with part II of his report on the Romney video, along with more from the video itself, at Mother Jones site. (Remember, Romney last night demanded full release before he’d respond at length.) This covers mainly foreign policy areas. “The idea of pushing on the Israelis to give something up to get the Palestinians to act is the worst idea in the world.” And so on.
* MONDAY *
11 pm David Brooks in his column just up at the New York Times torches his candidate, calling him Thurston Howell Romney. It’s welcome, but comedic, given Brooks’s praise for Romney and Ryan in the past. Mitt’s remarks in the video? “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 VA? 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.”
Then Brooks says Romney also doesn’t understand the “social compact,” or “ambition and motivation.“ But at the end still not willing to say any of these things disqualify him for the presidency.
9:45 pm. I reported here live when Corn announced the name of the man who hosted the fateful fundraiser where Romney spoke—Mark Leder. Think Progress has more on him (beyond the sex party link that I provided) and his company-crushing ways.
9:30 pm Jonathan Chait at New York just posted that Romney’s remarks “reveal something vital about Romney, and they disqualify his claim to the presidency…. the video exposes an authentic Romney as a far more sinister character than I had imagined. Here is the sneering plutocrat, fully in thrall to a series of pernicious myths that are at the heart of the mania that has seized his party…. The revelations in this video come to me as a genuine shock. I have never hated Romney.” He also shoots down the false equivalence of comparing this to Obama’s 2008 remarks on “guns and God” because Obama, unlike Romney, said he wanted to help those people.
9:00 pm David Corn opened his interview tonight on Maddow saying his source for the Romney video told him to apologize to her because he loaded a brief excerpt from the tape last month under her name. Corn then revealed where Romney was speaking in the video: named home of private equity investor Mark Leder in Boca Raton, on May 17 of this year. The fellow also has had fundraisers at his Bridgehamton, NY, home and had been exposed in the NYT for various deeds, including a sex party at that home.
Corn says the man who leaked the video to him (via Jimmy Carter’s grandson) is not a dirty trickster. He also points out that the Romney camp in their response did not say any facts were wrong.
8:30 pm Romney at presser stands by comments, demands full release of video, won’t answer questions on that until then. Romney—for a full release, not just self-selected portions! What a change!
5:00 pm David Corn has a story at Mother Jones on video it has obtained from a “confidential” source—and authenticated—of Mitt Romney telling a private gathering of rich folks what he really thinks of Obama backers. It’s shocking in that it is not all that surprising—but still a potential bombshell, being on tape and all.
Paul Krugman in a blog post calls it “The Real Romney.” He concludes: “The idea that half of Americans are just grifters is grotesque. If this is real, it’s very, very ugly.” Greg Sargent of the Wash Post tweets this response from the Obama campaign: “It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation.”
Romney camp now responds: he wants to help all “struggling” Americans but does not refute or question the video or his statements. (And see my other post with map on where Mitt’s “freeloaders” mainly live.)
I love this from Corn: “At the dinner, Romney often stuck to familiar talking points. But there were moments when he went beyond the familiar campaign lines. Describing his family background, he quipped about his father, ‘Had he been born of Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot of winning this.’ ” Here’s the money shot (so to speak) but David has much more at the site.
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the 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. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…. These are people who pay no income tax.