Secret Mitt Romney Video Leaks, Is A Cluster F*ck

On May 17, a small group of people paid $50,000 a plate to congregate in the Boca Rotan home of private equity manager/infamous sex party host Marc Leder. There, they gathered around presidential candidate Mitt Romney to finally hear some Real Talk about his campaign strategy and foreign policy feelings. Romney spoke candidly and with abandon, for he was among friends — also known as fellow millionaires — and didn’t have to censor himself as he would for the media. But the media was there, in the form of a hidden camera on an anonymous attending guest. The video was subsequently leaked to Mother Jones, who broke the story of Romney “raw and unplugged” yesterday. Didn’t Mittsy’s mother teach him to never say anything he wouldn’t want to (literally) see on the front page of the paper?

I think it’s safe to say that we all already knew that Romney is a slime ball. But now we know that he doesn’t think so highly of us, either. Of his thoughts on Obama supporters, Romney said:

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. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax… [My] job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

Well screw you too, Mitt Romney. It’s not my job to worry about you either, but now I have to, because you are a worrisome individual.

Romney added that he hasn’t criticized these lazy, irresponsible Obama supporters publicly because he doesn’t want to alienate anyone. Speculating that there are about 5%-7% of voters that he’ll have to win over to be elected, Romney postured that the way to these voters hearts is to not lay blame on them for what he sees as Obama’s failings. He revealed a manipulative strategy of capitalizing on voters disappointment in Obama, suggesting,

When you say to them, “Do you think Barack Obama is a failure?” they overwhelmingly say no. They like him. But when you say, “Are you disappointed that his policies haven’t worked?” they say yes. And because they voted for him, they don’t want to be told that they were wrong, that he’s a bad guy, that he did bad things, that he’s corrupt. Those people that we have to get, they want to believe they did the right thing, but he just wasn’t up to the task. They love the phrase that he’s “over his head.”

When an attendee expressed concern that Romney’s attack on Obama didn’t involve intellectual firepower, Romney responded that intellectual discussions of important topics don’t win elections. He’s counting on his ads to defeat his opponent, whom he described as naively confident in the power of his own perceived magnetism, charm, persuasiveness to navigate foreign policy. Ouch!

Romney went on to complain about how hard it is to be a rich little white boy, bemoaning his heritage and saying that if he was Mexican, he’d have a better shot at winning. Of the Latino community, Romney also said, “We are having a much harder time with Hispanic voters, and if the Hispanic voting bloc becomes as committed to the Democrats as the African American voting block has in the past, why, we’re in trouble as a party and, I think, as a nation.”

And in terms of foreign policy, Romney revealed an attitude towards Israel/Palestine tinged with racism. Speaking of Palestinians as a single block of people with singular opinion, he said, “I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there’s just no way.” The only road to peace that Romney said he could foresee is the vague hope that “something will happen and resolve it.” How’s that for a foreign policy strategy? Let’s just cross our fingers and hope that “something will happen.” Though when speaking publicly about the issue, he claims to support a two-state solution, it appears that Romney privately dismisses chances for peace at all.

After the initial video was revealed, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina responded in a letter to reporters, saying,

It’s shocking that a candidate for President of the United States would go behind closed doors and declare to a group of wealthy donors that half the American people view themselves as ‘victims,’ entitled to handouts, and are unwilling to take ‘personal responsibility’ for their lives. It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation.

And the Romney campaign is scrambling to defend their boy, though it’s hard to imagine what they could possibly come up with to redeem him. In a last minute press conference Monday night, Romney announced that he stands by his statements, and his only mistake was an inelegant delivery. When asked what insurance he could give voters that he’s not saying different things to funders than people on the stump, Romney responded with a classic non-answer:

…At a fundraiser you have people say governor how are you going to win this? And so I respond well, the president has his group I have my group I want to keep my team strong and motivated and I want to get those people in the middle, that’s something which fundraising people who are parting with their monies are very interested in knowing can you win or not and that’s what this was addressing.

Whatever that means!

Despite the dire implications of this massive cluster fuck, it could have been worse for the GOP darling: the donor party could have turned into one of host Marc Leder’s “sex parties,” which are apparently the talk of the Hamptons, described by the New York Post last year as “Playboy Mansion met the East EBond…  guests cavorted nude in the pool and performed sex acts, scantily dressed Russians danced on platforms and men twirled lit torches to a booming techno beat.” I would have liked to see a video of Mitt Romney go-go dancing, though. We should be so lucky.

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Gabrielle Korn

Gabrielle Korn is a writer living in Los Angeles with her wife and dog.

Gabrielle has written 95 articles for us.


  1. This whole incident has been extremely enjoyable I have to say. I’m sure his opinions aren’t a surprise to most of us here, but I’m still flabbergasted on a regular basis by the shear number of people in this country who are shocked to hear how much contempt the rich and the power brokers hold for us.

    Also, I honestly believe that whoever took the video better to watch their back.

    • Exactly. I applaud whoever took the video, but I also strongly encourage them to take extreme precautions.

  2. I. CAN’T. EVEN. I just hope this is enough to close the book on Mittens for anyone who could have been on the fence about this election. Sure, Obama’s far from perfect, but this guy is as slimy and despicable as they come!

  3. thanks for this, gabrielle! i’ve been reading about this all day but as always wanted to read The Autostraddle Perspective, as i like us best ;)

    my major concern is that there are human beings out there who will LIKE this perspective and be pleased to hear how mittsy honestly feels. much as it seems (to me) as though the republicans are running themselves into the ground, it feels most prudent to hold my breath and keep my fingers crossed until after the election.

    speaking of the election, i registered to vote but haven’t received any kind of confirmation and when i checked the website it doesn’t have me in the system and when i called the brooklyn offices they didn’t pick up their phone. i need help. i should probably call ali right about now…

  4. $50,000 a seat and how long of it was speeches? I bet you had to wear a dress too, what shite. I hope the food was cold. (in those plastic wedding on a lawn style chairs-wtf really).

    can you imagine giving some guy that much money (or even more think-koch style) and romney doesn’t win? besides politically inclined folks and those with good memories does anyone remember presidential candidates who lost more than thirty years ago? shit is crazy.

    I hope they waste all their money!!

    romney you make me so mad.

  5. Interesting how 47% will vote for the president and are dependent on government for handouts when 8/10 of the nation’s states with the most non-taxpayers typically vote Republican. Durr.

  6. 50,000 grand isn’t that much money for the very wealthy. Its the same as us donating money to autostraddle. Also, this is example of networking. Mitt was the entertainment. Everyone was there primarily to meet each other and be seen promoting politics.

  7. LMAO! Finally there is more proof of Romney just being an arrogant, spoiled, elitist, piece of trash.

    Mitt Romney doesn’t like poor people and unless you make at least $200K you are not considered middle class according to him.

  8. was this video taken by a guest, really? since it’s taken through glasses i assumed it was staff. like a hired staff for bar in a rich person’s house type deal.


  9. fucking Romney.
    anglahdofjehalkjdg!!bajgheoa – this is me expressing things I can’t put into words. So much could be said on the stupidity and lack of empathy of ol’ Romster. Somebody should give him some advice on how to straddle the fence and be even slightly moderate for campaigning purposes. Or not. Gobama!

    • Or… Obámanos!

      (Seriously. I just found out there’s a book called Obámanos. I immediately want to buy it.)

  10. I’m too tired to search about it, but I’m pretty sure things such as food, health care and/or housing are indeed considered basic human rights protected by international conventions. So, yeah Rommie, sorry to burst your bubble but everyone IS entitled to fucking survival.

    I don’t have any kind of training or formal education in psychology, but the more I read about this guy the more I’m convinced he’s some form of sociopath.

  11. I had an uneasy gut feeling about this guy for a while, and now I know I was right. Disgusting. I say we drop both candidates and write in Rachel Maddow for president.

  12. Pretty sure someone on the wait-staff is gonna get fired for recording that secretly.

    And I bet Romney can’t wait to fire that person and bring in a Chinese ex-pat willing to work at slave wages.

    Also, something this video has convinced me of – despite the fact that Romney would never be this glib on national tv – that I better start working on getting the days off from work the debates are on because Obama is about to wipe the stage with Romney.

  13. At least when Obama gets caught on a candid camera its because he’s calling Kayne an asshole…not half the country.

  14. honestly i have been wondering this whole time how the fuck he thinks he can get away with completely putting aside the needs of most of his citizens… i feel like this video has finally given me the insight into his campaign strategy that i was missing, so thanks mitt!

  15. Yeesh. I read the other day that this guy is less popular with British/European public than Bush was. He certainly didn’t do himself any favours when he turned up just before the Olympics and said we werent up for the job. Didn’t go down too well.

    • Yeah, I remember hearing that on Wait, Wait. You would think someone with all that money knows how to schmooze better.

  16. Sometimes I get this terrifying thought that even after all this fuckery, Mitt will somehow still get votes and end up in office.

    On a side note, I finally sent in my absentee ballot application today! Gonna rock this vote

  17. “[My] job is is not to worry about those people.” I wish I could give Romney a fucking reality check upside the head.

    Mitt Romney, do you know what “united”, as in “United States”, means? It means all of the people, together, in one nation. It means all of “those people”–both those who can afford to drop 50k on one dinner and those who struggle to make 10k a *year*. It means those who agree with you and those who disagree with you; it means Latino and black people, LGBTQ people, Muslims, Jews, and atheists as well as Christians, and many others. If you are elected President, your job is to worry about ALL of those people. So it is incredibly arrogant, ignorant, and irresponsible to believe and state otherwise, none of which are characteristics befitting a world leader.

      • Seriously, and in one of those Republicans debates in response to Gingrich’s tax plan he basically said he doesn’t pay income taxes. Talk about fucking hypocrisy, he’s part of that 47% he just insulted.

  18. Ugh. His speech is all about the strategy for getting elected. And if he did get elected, then what? I doubt he’d be improving the lives of the “47%”.

    The fact that he would refer to people wanting health care, food and shelter (aka basic necessities of life) as entitled is crazy. Just…you don’t even have to have been without these to at least have empathy for others.

  19. If unsettling experiences are someone’s kind of thing, I highly recommend watching this while eating. Pretend to be part of the gang, clink your silverware elegantly, nod intently when questions are asked, open your eyes wide and nod even harder when the answers arrive, laugh along like you’ve just discovered laughter, yell things like “I’ll tell you what’s not weak: my appetite!!!”—do it all. Then: RULE EARTH (or sob, idk).

  20. it’s funny how in Sweden, the general reaction to this video is “o shit, that guy is fucked now right?” because if that happened here…yeah you’d be dead as a politician pretty much

    but then my cousin’s tea partyist utah gf is like “yeeaaaah go romney, fuck those commies, they are going to HELL and they don’t support the troops!!!!!!!!”

    so. i suppose some people really are the opposite of disappointed with his comments, and i just can’t wrap my head around it you know? :/

    • Yeah. I keep hoping there’ll be fewer of those people as this goes on, but maybe not. They’re pretty much a lost cause. That’s why we’ve got to educate young people and other disengaged folks as to their interests and get them to the polls. And not let this everything-unAmerican-and-ugly voter ID shit swing the election by discouraging and turning away from the polls students, minorities, old people, the disabled, non-drivers, the poor, etc. (You know, people who vote Democratic.) I like how the Onion was the only paper I saw to straight-up call it like it is, “measures that will reduce voting,” not just the “fair & balanced” reporting about voter ID or voter registration limiting or early-voting reducing laws. Because of virtually *nonexistent* voter fraud. And it hasn’t been reported for what it really is, in that context. It’s infuriating. They’ve been proposed and passed these rules all over the country recently.

      Personal note: I just got deputized by the chair of the Democrats at my school to register people to vote! But, now, only if they’re a resident of the city in which we’re located. We’re a major community college campus, a big number of our students come from any of 8 surrounding counties. It used to be you were deputized at the county or state level. And the early voting period has been reduced. And the amount of time we can register people (called open registration) has been reduced as well; a few weeks before the election, people will start having to go to a clerk’s office or try to register at the polls, and they’ll need proof of address as well as ID to register.

  21. I would love to see the demographic breakdown of the those who attended that dinner. I mean, I can probably take a good stab at it, but still…

  22. That’s what I say about my student loans everyday: “something will happen and resolve it.”

    So far nothing has happened but I recently filled out a survey at Duane Reade for the chance to win $3,000, soooo…. fingers crossed!

  23. like this is suprising. he is a racist, classist, out of touch idiot. but he’s rich, so that affords this greedy, idiotic miscreant more power and control over the people he doesn’t “worry about” then he should be allowed. because as much as the u.s. likes to paint itself a meritocracy inherited money and connections count just as much if not more then merits. i mean look at mitt romney, who would say this jerk amassed so much power solely on his “merits”?

    and the repug party is turning off latinos much in the same way they have permenantly disgusted and alienated a majority of black voters? gee, could it be that the repugs are a bunch of RACISTS who are pulling a “Southern Strategy” 2.0 by using dog whistle racist language and tactics against latinos? could it be that they are blaming latinos for all the problems in this country, the same way they have with blacks since the 1960’s? people of color, poor people, and other groups that HAVE been victimized by oppression in this country AREN’T as stupid as wealthy white dumbasses (such as romney) like to think. Suprise! the people romney doesn’t “worry about” or better yet doesn’t give two fucks about since they don’t pay income tax and are “welfare” recipients anyway, recognize when they are being spoken of disdainfully. they aware that they are being likened to lazy shiftless criminals for having the termerity to simply exist, be poor, and have a need for public services, or to be a part of a disenfranchised group that has a need for anti discrimination programs like affirmative action and the fair housing act.

    he’s despicable but showed his true colors. hopefully, some of those people who continiously and obtusely vote against their own self interests, whether they be the poor, gays, women, blacks, etc. finally wake up and smell the repug deception but i doubt it.

  24. Romney’s comment brings to my mind a scene from Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince:

    “I shouldn’t have said that,” said Scrimgeour quickly. “It was tactless—”

    “No, it was honest,” said Harry. “One of the only honest things you’ve said to me.”

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