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Romney defends secretly taped comments, 9OYS viewers debate

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Romney defends secretly taped comments, 9OYS viewers debate

CREATED Sep 18, 2012

Reporter: Marcelino Benito

Web Producer: Mekita Rivas

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - In a tape made public by the left-leaning magazine Mother Jones, the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made some controversial remarks to some big donors.

"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," Romney said.

Romney's latest comments, secretly recorded inside a fundraiser at a mansion in Florida, have sent the Romney campaign into a tailspin.

But the presidential contender doubled down on those comments in a press conference late Monday night.

"It's a message which I will continue to carry because the President's plan is attractive to people who aren't paying taxes," Romney said.

9OYS wanted to know what Southern Arizona's Congressional candidates think about the comments.

After reaching out to candidates on both sides of the aisle, Congressman Ron Barber, Congressman Raul Grijalva, Martha McSally and Gabriela Saucedo-Mercer either weren't available or didn't return calls.

So 9OYS hit the street to show people video to get their take on it. Many saw it for the first time.

The comments 9OYS received indicate that the public is divided. 

"I like the fact he stood up for what he said," said Rodney Dunsmore. 

"I don't think people should be entitled to anything," said Miriam Berguson.

"That is inflammatory and to the extent it's inflammatory, it's offensive," said David Maron.

"It's insulting. I hope everyone he was talking about in the 47 percent go out and vote against him," said Nancy Woodling.

Unsripted moments are not new in presidential politics. Back in 2008, then Senator Barack Obama was caught on tape saying "rural voters cling to God and their guns." That did not derail Obama's campaign. The Romney campaign is hoping this blows over too.

9OYS viewers are sounding off on the question online too, posting hundreds of comments. Here's a sampling:

Valerie Kerby (via Facebook): "He was speaking the truth."

Stephanie Graves (via Facebook): "He's so out of touch with the average American."

Mayim Stapleton (via Facebook): "It won't derail it any more than Obama's "clinging to their religions and guns" comment did during the previous election."

Peter Lesch (via Facebook): "47% sounds to low. Toooooo many americans are don't know what work and responsibilty is! Your are responible for YOUR own well being. Government don't care if your hungry, they got way bigger problems then you."

Dana Boykins (via Facebook): "Isn't he running to be everybody's President, not just the wealthy or even upper/middle class?? What about those who weren't born with a silver spoon, who work hard and still struggle and don't have parents to borrow money from??"

Edward Fisher (via Facebook): "Romney was telling the truth about the "entitlement" crowd. those who pay NO taxes; those who rely on government; those who play the "victim" role --- they will always, ALWAYS, vote for obama, no matter what. romney was stating that it's impossible to change the mind of the "entitlement" crowd"

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