NEW YORK -- It appears to be another damaging clip: Mitt Romney, dressed in a suit, tells a crowd, "when I was a boy I used to think that becoming rich and becoming famous would make me happy. Boy was I right!"
But what the pro-Obama super PAC American Bridge doesn't mention in the quick-hit web video released Monday is that Romney is wearing an emerald corsage for a reason -- the comment was made when he was joking around at the 2004 St. Patrick's Day breakfast, the local equivalent of the White House Correspondents Dinner.
The joke shows that Romney has long been aware of a potential political vulnerability: the perception that he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and that he doesn't care about the poor. At the now-infamous Florida fundraiser in May, however, he let his guard down and spoke openly about his belief that "the 47 percent" of Americans who don't pay federal income taxes "believe that, that they are victims."
While far from damning in context, Romney's words at the comedy breakfast reveal the funnyman side of the former Massachusetts governor. Romney tried to channel that aspect of his persona at the now-notorious closed door fundraiser in May, when he joked that he wishes he'd been born Mexican.
Romney's attempts at humor may have been more successful at the 2005 St. Patrick's Day breakfast, when, according to Sridhar Pappu of the Atlantic, he was "genuinely funny."
Another Romney joke back then played off his Mormon heritage and the controversy over same-sex marriage: "I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman and a woman and a woman."
The room ate it up. As Pappu put it, "in comedy terms he killed." Not so much after that donor video was released Monday.
Watch the full American Bridge ad above.
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