(Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)
ATLANTA - Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, speaking to contributors in Atlanta, said only he is equipped to help poor and middle-class Americans.
In a 23-minute speech at a fundraiser at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta, Romney appeared to answer criticisms that arose from a video shot in May. The video, taken at a Florida fundraiser, was shot surreptitiously and released this week to Mother Jones magazine.
In the video, Romney said 47 percent of the country pay no net income taxes, support Obama and "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. ... My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
But Wednesday in Atlanta, Romney took a new, stronger tack.
"The question of this campaign is not who cares about the poor and middle class. I do, he does," Romney said, his voice rising. "The question is who can help the poor and middle class. I can, he can't, he couldn't in four years."
The crowd, of nearly 1,000, each of whom had paid at least $1,000, roared its approval.
Associated Press and pool reports