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DOWD: Search for the real Romney ends with tape

Oh, for the days when we thought Mitt Romney didn't stand for anything.

As a secret video from a Boca Raton, Fla. fundraiser with high rollers in May shows, Romney in private stands for so many bizarre things that it's hard to tell what's crazier — his domestic policy or his foreign policy.

Less than 50 days before the election, we learn that Romney may have given up on half of America and on Mideast peace.

In a reply to a fat cat at the $50,000-a-plate dinner, he wrote off 47 percent of the country as deadbeats, freeloaders and "victims" who feel they're entitled to stuff — stuff like basic sustenance.

"Well, there are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," he said. "All right? There are 47 percent who are with him. Who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they're entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it."

The candidate, who pays so little in taxes relative to his income that he has to hide tax returns and money in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands, then added, condescendingly: "These are people who pay no income tax."

"So my job is not to worry about those people," he blithely concluded. "I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

What kind of presidential candidate shrugs off wooing whole groups — we're talking many seniors and white-working-class voters in battleground states who are, if he actually knew what he was talking about, his own natural constituencies? A "stupid and arrogant" one, as Bill Kristol, the editor of the Weekly Standard, put it.

Conservatives knew that Romney was no Reagan, but the tape left many Republicans and Obama strategists gobsmacked. One top Democrat called it "a treasure trove of stupid answers."

On Fox News on Tuesday, Neil Cavuto gently asked Romney if he had "prematurely" presumed that he couldn't get all of those voters. Mitt's rambles to the donors, released by Mother Jones magazine and, in a bit of poetic justice, unearthed by Jimmy Carter's grandson, were a stunning combination of wrong facts, callous sentiments and dumb politics.


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