Leela Maxa does not believe a secretly recorded video Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney making controversial remarks has knocked him off his message of smaller government and lower taxes.
She thinks his message is loud and clear.
"I agree with his ideas," said Maxa, a Romney supporter who attended a private fundraiser for the GOP hopeful. "I think he should go and speak about what he believes in."
The event cost $1,000 a plate. A private photo reception also was offered for $10,000 per person.
The former Massachusetts Governor appeared at the Marriott Marquis Wednesday afternoon as he fought criticism for comments he made in a video that progressive magazine Mother Jones leaked onto Youtube.
Romney made the comments at a similar fundraiser held earlier this year.
Romney, unaware he was being recorded, told donors that nearly half of Americans pay no income taxes, believe they are victims who feel entitled to government support and will vote for President Barack Obama no matter what.
"There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims, who believe government has a responsibility to care for them," Romney said in the covertly recorded video.
"My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the five, 10 percent in the center," Romney said.
The Obama campaign called the remarks shocking. The president blasted Romney on The Late Show With David Letterman.
"If you want to be president you've got to work for everybody not just for some," Obama said.
Romney stood by his remarks, saying they underscore his belief government should be smaller.
"This is ultimately a question about direction for the country. Do you believe in a government-centered society that provides more and more benefits, or do you believe instead in a free enterprise society?" asked Romney.
At Wednesday's fundraiser, Romney told supporters that only he is equipped to help poor and middle-class Americans.
Supporters said they were glad that Romney, who has been criticized for being too vague on his policies, took a firm stand on an issue.
"I think it's a good a idea to start those difficult discussions and have that debate during the campaign," Maxa said.
A Romney supporter, who asked not to be identified, said the newest controversy did not shake his support for Romney.
"He was just trying explain his position and I didn't see anything wrong with what he was saying," the supporter said.
Romney's appearance attracted a handful of protesters.
Steve Toggerson, who opposes Romney said, "We are absolutely outraged by his most recently publicized remarks. It shows an appalling lack of understanding or appreciation for the middle class"
Tony Terry, a voter from Atlanta who once was jobless, disagreed with Romney's comment about the 47 percent. However, he said Wednesday he still planned to vote for him. "I like Romney because he is a businessman, and I think he may have some better ideas."
However, other voters, like Valery Ting, said she will watch Romney carefully in the coming days since the controversy leaves her undecided.
"I agree with Obama who says I'm working for everybody. We have to take care of the middle class, lower class, and the upper class, so it's confusing. It's hard for me to stay on one side or the other side," said Ting.
"We can't afford $1,000-per-plate luncheons, but we want to let Romney know that we oppose his positions on taxes and the economy. His plans do nothing to help the middle class. In fact, they do just the reverse," said protestor Eva Russo. "They would destroy the middle class to benefit the top one percent. We need to move forward, not return to the failed policies of the Bush administration."
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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