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Published on Sep 18, 2012
COSTA MESA, Calif.—Mitt Romney stood by his comments captured on a hidden camera at a closed-door fundraiser earlier this year in which he called supporters of President Barack Obama "victims" and said they are reliant on government handouts. In a hastily arranged news conference Monday night, he called his words "off the cuff" and "not elegantly stated," but given several opportunities to back off the comments, he did not. Romney said he was merely talking about the "political process of drawing people into my own campaign." He described the incident as a "snippet of a question and answer session" and called on the full video to be released to show the question and his response in its full context. Asked if he was worried that he had offended the 47 percent of people he mentioned in the statement, Romney did not back off his remarks. "It's not elegantly stated, let me put it that way," Romney said. "I'm speaking off the cuff in response to a question, and I'm sure I can state it more clearly in a more effective way than I did in a setting like that and so I'm sure I'll point that out as time goes on."