POSTED: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 4:15pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 10:25am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Republicans are wringing their hands over Mitt Romney's negative remarks about the number of Americans who owe no federal income taxes.
It's given Democrats a new way to charge Romney is an out of touch millionaire.
Romney's private speech to donors was captured on tape and made public last night.
Romney went to Salt Lake City Tuesday with the focus on the Florida fundraiser that was secretly taped in May.
Romney said the 47 percent of Americans who pay no federal income tax feel they're victims "who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them."
He said they won't take personal responsibility.
"And so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives," Romney added.
With the tape out, Romney said he meant he can't worry about getting their votes.
"I recognize that among those that pay no tax, approximately 47 percent of Americans, I'm not likely to be highly successful with the message of lowering taxes," Romney told reporters.
Republicans, like MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, are angry at Romney.
"Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, they would never say that in a million years," Scarborough said. "This guy is seeming to be too insulated by wealth and by life experience."
Other Republicans say Romney drew a useful line.
"We have a campaign in which those that support big government are on one side and those that support the private sector approach are on the other side," argued former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu.
More than 16 million seniors are exempt from income taxes.
The White House said President Obama does not see them as irresponsible or victims.
"He certainly doesn't think that middle class families are paying too little in taxes," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.