US presidential nominee Mitt Romney faces a new tax row after after telling rich donors that President Barack Obama’s voters don’t pay taxes and are “dependent” on the government.
A secretly filmed video has emerged which shows the Republican claiming that many poor Americans behave like freeloaders.
The 65-year-old criticised those “who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to heath care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.”
The Obama camp has hit back at the controversial remarks says that Romney had disdainfully written off half the nation. Many commentators claim the video could set back Romney’s presidential aspirations.
But one analyst thinks the comments will resonate with America’s squeezed middle class which has recently seen incomes and opportunities fall.
At a hastily arranged press conference on Monday, Romney admitted that his comments had not been “elegantly stated”.
“But it is a message which I’m going to carry and continue to carry, which is: look, the President’s approach is attractive to people who are not paying taxes because frankly my discussion about lowering taxes isn’t as attractive to them, and therefore I’m not likely to draw them into my campaign as effectively as those in the middle”.