TAMPA - For many, hidden camera video from a fundraiser last May shows the "real" Mitt Romney. Whether that's good or bad depends on who is asked.
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what." Romney says in one clip released by Mother Jones, first posted Monday afternoon. "There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing."
Though Romney's campaign spent much of Monday defending the remarks, it's unclear whether that is necessary for voters, who don't appear immediately swayed to think differently because of it.
Chances are, experts say, those who liked Romney before the video will still like him.
"There's a sizable chunk of the population that feels government owes them something," said Republican Party of Florida Executive Board member A.J. Matthews. "We're not going to get these people off the welfare rolls until we get somebody who understands business."
Those who opposed the Republican presidential candidate will likely use the video as even more reason to vote against him.
"I think there are a lot of folks in that 47% who would be quite happy to have the candidate come spend some time with them to see how hard they're working," said UT Professor of Government & World Affairs. "They're paying unemployment tax. They're paying social security tax. They're paying sales tax. They're paying state income tax. They're paying property tax. They're paying a lot of taxes."
The I-4 Corridor is an especially important voting block for the upcoming election, in a particularly important state.
It's an area filled with families concerned about the economy and education, as well as senior citizens dependent on Medicare.
"We are not talking about the people who have worked all their lives, paid into social security," Matthews said.
Whether the video will affect the Tampa Bay area voting block depends on independent voters who haven't yet made up their mind.
"The extent to which it either reinforces what people already thought -- nothing changes -- or moves a percentage point one way or another," Paine said.
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