Former Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks to reporters in Costa Mesa, Calif., Monday, Sept. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney joked that being Latino would give him better chance of winning

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney joked in a fundraiser that he would have a better chance of winning the election if his father would not just have been born in Mexico, but had actually been Latino.

“My dad, as you probably know, was the governor of Michigan and was the head of a car company. But he was born in Mexico… and had he been born of Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot at winning this,” said Romney at a fundraiser, adding “But he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico. He lived there for a number of years. I mean, I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino.”

The liberal magazine Mother Jones released the video, which was recorded surreptitiously, and the story, saying they  had verified it.  The video was immediately disseminated by other media outlets, as well as the DNC.  Apart from his comments on being Latino, Romney was asked what his thoughts were on how to win in November.  Romney told the crowd at the fundraiser about his priorities, and described those he thought would vote for President Obama.

“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,” said Romney in the fundraiser.

Saying these are people who will vote for President Obama ‘no matter what,’ Romney added, “My job is not to worry about those people.  I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

At a press conference last night, Romney  defended his comments, saying the clip released did not include the question and it did not give a complete sense of his answer.

“I focus on those individuals who I believe are most likely to be able to be pulled into my camp and help me with the 51 or 50.1 percent that I need to become the next President,” said Romney.

When asked about what he meant about the “victims” reference, Romney said “this is ultimately a question about direction for the country, do you believe in a government centered society that provides more and more benefits or do you believe instead in a free entreprise society where people are able to pursue their dreams.”

Romney conceded his remarks were not “elegantly stated” and that he was speaking “off the cuff” but did not back down from the point of his comments.

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