President Barack Obama weighed in on the leaked video of Mitt Romney’s fundraiser Tuesday, offering his first response to his opponent’s suggestion that “47 per cent” of Americans are “dependent on government” and “believe themselves victims.”In an interview with late-night host David Letterman scheduled to air Tuesday night, Obama said that he doesn’t know what Romney “was referring to” when he made the now-infamous remarks.
“One of the things I learned as president is you represent the entire country,” Obama said, according to the White House pool report. “If you want to be president, you have to work for everyone.”
”All of us make mistakes,” he conceded. “What people want to know though is you’re not writing off a big chunk of the country because the way our democracy works…This is a big country. And people disagree a lot but one thing I’ve never tried to do and I think none of us can do in public office is suggest that because someone doesn’t agree with me that they’re vicitms or they’re unpatriotic.”
“There are not a lot of people out there who think they’re victims,” he said. “There are not a lot of people who think they’re entitled to something.”
But, he added, “we’ve got some obligations to each other, and there’s nothing wrong with us giving each other a helping hand so that that single mum’s kid, even after all the work she’s done, can afford to go to college.”
“When I won in 2008, 47 per cent of the American people voted for John McCain,” Obama said. “They didn’t vote for me and what I said on election night was: ‘Even though you didn’t vote for me, I hear your voices, and I’m going to work as hard as I can to be your president.'”
Obama’s remarks are further indication that his campaign intends to nail Romney over the “47 per cent” comment. In a statement Monday night, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina called the remarks “shocking” and “disdainful,” and released a web video Tuesday hammering the Republican candidate for being out-of-touch with average Americans.
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