Yesterday, as the Romney campaign was trying to reinvigorate its efforts after a lukewarm RNC and disastrous (to conservatives even!) response to the situation in the Middle East, video of Mitt Romney speaking to wealthy donors emerged from Mother Jones. The Republican presidential nominee said emphatically that 47% of Americans that support President Obama 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 they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax."

Romney said in a hastily-arranged press conference at 10 p.m. Eastern time, from California where he was holding a fundraiser, "Well, um, it’s not elegantly stated, let me put it that way. 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."

He added, when asked if he believes 47% of people he mentioned are "victims," "I am talking about a political process of drawing people in my campaign. … My campaign is about helping people take more responsibility. This is ultimately a question about the direction of 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 where people are able to pursue their dreams?"

Romney answered two more questions, and then walked off when asked, "Governor are all of the things you said in the video things you believe? Are those core convictions?"

The emergence of the videos, which were taped at a $50,000/page-fundraiser in Boca Raton in May, forced the Romney campaign into crisis mode, throwing together an impromptu press conference to address the remarks. According to the Washington Post, "That decision set off a mad scramble from a typically calm and disciplined campaign staff." They looked for a place to have the press conference (finally deciding on a room where a fundraiser was being held) and had to call reporters back.

The NY Times reports, "Reporters, who had expected a quiet evening, had already fanned out around town. As their phones began buzzing with urgent messages, they sprinted over to the arts center in whatever they were wearing (blue jean shorts, T-shirts), looking unkempt (one had just finished a run, but had not showered) and without their gear (in their rush, several left behind their laptops)."

Of course, it's been noted that while 46% of Americans don't pay income tax, many pay federal payroll tax.