Obama responds to Romney's '47 percent' remark

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CNN

Posted on September 18, 2012 at 8:05 PM

NEW YORK — President Obama is speaking publicly for the first time about the fallout over Mitt Romney's secretly-recorded comments.

The Romney campaign has been doing damage control all day after liberal-leaning website "Mother Jones" posted the video recorded at a private fundraiser in May.

In it, the Republican presidential nominee is heard telling wealthy donors that 47 percent of voters will support the president no matter what. He added that those voters are dependent on the government and it's not his "job" to worry about them.

President Obama was asked about Romney's remarks during an interview recorded Tuesday for "The Late Show with David Letterman." Here is the president's response:

"I don't know what he was referring to, but I can tell you this: When I won in 2008, 47 percent of the American people voted for John McCain. 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.' And one of the things I've learned as president is you represent the entire country. And when I meet Republicans as I am traveling around the country, they are hardworking, family people who care deeply about this country, My expectation is that if you want to be president you got to work for everybody not just for some."

Romney said his remarks were about how the Obama campaign is "going to get close to half the vote"  —  not a broader assessment of Americans who rely on government-funded programs.

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