While many conservative pundits rallied around Mitt Romney after his comments at a private fundraiser were leaked, others from the wider media world were not so charitable -- especially after the GOP candidate held a sudden press conference to address the controversy.
The video, released by The Huffington Post and Mother Jones, showed Romney at a Florida fundraiser, saying that 47 percent of Americans are "victims" who are "dependent on government" and who he is not going to "worry about" in the campaign.
The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza called it Romney's "darkest hour." Blogger Glenn Greenwald tweeted, "whenever you're convinced things can't get worse for the Romney campaign, they find a way to make it happen."
Bloomberg's Josh Barro said that the video was an "utter disaster" that "has killed Mitt Romney's campaign for president."
After the press conference, reviews were equally harsh.
"That was a desperate man in a desperate situation, " Lawrence O'Donnell opined on MSNBC after watching the press conference. Writing on his Atlantic blog, Ta-Nehisi Coates agreed. "I have never seen the candidate of a major party looking more shook than Romney does at this press conference," he wrote.
Politico's Roger Simon was even more blunt:
CNN's Romney beat reporter Jim Acosta told the network that "Mitt Romney for a while now has been saying something different behind closed doors ... than he has been saying in public in front of voters." Analyst Ron Brownstein noted that many of the people Romney seemingly dismissed are actually Republican voters, saying, "He is insulting voters that he is relying on quite heavily."
Tuesday morning brought broadsides from the Republican establishment.
Joe Scarborough told the "Today" show that "This is one of the worst weeks for a presidential candidate in a general election that any of us can remember."
Writing in the New York Times, David Brooks said that Romney's views were a "country club fantasy," adding, "It reinforces every negative view people have about Romney ... he's running a depressingly inept presidential campaign. Mr. Romney, your entitlement reform ideas are essential, but when will the incompetence stop?"
And the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol called the comments "arrogant and stupid."
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