Late Monday, Mother Jones released video surreptitiously shot during a fundraiser for Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney in May. Romney’s response was swift, but he stood by those remarks. "Look, the president's approach is attractive to people who are not paying taxes because frankly my discussion about lowering taxes is not as attractive to them," he said.
In the video, Romney wrote off 47 percent of voters as those who will "vote for the president no matter what." He said that his aim is to appeal to the "5 to 10 percent in the center that are independents." But how does the 5 to 10 percent feel about these remarks?
AJ Dellinger is a 22-year-old freelance writer in Wisconsin. He voted for a libertarian candidate in 2008, and is so far undecided about this election, but it seems Romney has not impressed him with these comments about the 47 percent. "When you're president, you're governing over the entire United States, not just the 50.1 percent that put you in office. It's really dismissive to the rest of the electorate."
Larry Reinsch, a state organizer for Independent Voters of Iowa, has another take on the situation. "I think we're becoming a nation where the president is owned by the money that puts him in power. But regardless of the money that puts him in power, they still all have to come back to the independent vote to get elected, and the independent vote is growing because people see both these parties, and both these candidates, as unacceptable."
While a number of political pundits have assumed that this video leak would push people towards Obama, Reinsch thinks it might create even more independents by making people more cynical about the political system, and more suspicious of the two major parties.
"People will say, well, if you vote for somebody other than one of these two parties, you're wasting your vote, and I'd personally reverse that and say that if you vote for either one of these two parties, you're wasting your vote, because you're just perpetuating a system that is taking power away from we the people."
AJ Dellinger summarizes the situation aptly. "I guess what Romney is saying behind closed doors pretty much just confirms any cynicism about the system."