Mitt Romney won the Florida primary handily on Tuesday. (Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.)

Mitt Romney is on the defensive again after Mother Jones magazine published a video that showed Romney telling high dollar donors that 47 percent of voters are dependent on the government and will vote for Obama "no matter what." 

"There are 47 percent who are with him, who 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, and that's an entitlement and government should give it to them," he said.

Will Romney pay a price for those words?

Todd Zwillich the Takeaway Washington correspondent, said the negative reaction has quickly expanded from the political pundits to the wider media landscape.

"It's a gaffe for sure, we've had them throughout the campaign," he said.

Obama had a similar gaffe about people clinging to their Bibles and guns in his first campaign.

The problem for Romney may not be with the people who don't pay income taxes, generally the elderly and very poor who make very little money, Zwillich said, but in the fact that Romney is once again off message and must defend his own statements, rather than continuing his campaign message.

"Knocked off message at the very time the Romney campaign is suffering from recriminations in Republican circles, from within its own campaign about being disorganized," Zwillich said.

Romney, for his part, is standing by his message, though admitting it was inelegantly stated.

That could be a problem though, Romney said, because the vast majority of those 47 percent are seniors on Medicare — voters Romney and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan have vowed to protect. And of the remaining, most are paying Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes.

"Which means they are earning their Medicare and Social Security and would continue to under a Paul Ryan-Mitt Romney administration," Zwillich said.

Just eight percent of people who don't pay income taxes are working but not paying income taxes — basically because they don't make enough money, Zwillich said.

What this really is, Zwillich said, is a nominee speaking to his base, telling big money donors what they want to hear about how "the other half" lives.

And while Romney's 47 percent comment is getting the most traction, Romney is also drawing fire for comments where he said the Palestinian people simply don't want peace. That statement would appear to be in contrast with the facts and, at least, Zwillich said, somewhat in opposition to the Republican Party platform.

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