Dreher compares the leaked video with Obama's "bitter clingers" speech:
My initial sense was that this video wouldn’t hurt Romney any more than "bitter clingers" hurt Obama. But "bitter clingers" came in April 2008, which gave Obama a lot more time to recover before Election Day.
Though he argues it's a "mistake" to declare the race over, Cilizza acknowledges the damage:
The video will fuel the growing sentiment within the Republican chattering class that Romney is in the process of losing a winnable race. That means the second-guessing that goes on privately in every campaign will go more public. And the more public it becomes, the longer it takes Romney and his team to move beyond unhelpful process stories focused on whether his own party thinks he’s blowing it.
David Brooks weighs in:
[A]s a description of America today, Romney’s comment is a country-club fantasy. It’s what self-satisfied millionaires say to each other. It reinforces every negative view people have about Romney. Personally, I think he’s a kind, decent man who says stupid things because he is pretending to be something he is not — some sort of cartoonish government-hater. But it scarcely matters. He’s running a depressingly inept presidential campaign.
Tod Kelly focuses on Romney's claim that if he wins "the markets will be happy" and we'll "see capital come back and we’ll see—without actually doing anything—we’ll actually get a boost in the economy":
Let’s set aside for a moment the fact that of all the things that haven’t grown in Obama’s economy, the market ain’t one of them. Instead, let’s focus on Romney’s actual plan: He’ll win the election, and everything will just magically be fixed by the mere fact that he won…. If this is the plan, than Mitt Romney has no business being anywhere near the White House, and he should never, ever be allowed to be Commander-In-Chief.
Suderman ponders the root of Romney's remarks:
[W]hat does it tell us about Romney? That he thinks he can talk differently to different groups of people without consequence, and that he's happy to play to the GOP's sense of self-entitlement. At the fundraiser, he goes after those who believe that "government has a responsibility to take care of them," the folks who think they're "entitled" to health care. "I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." But Romney doesn't plan to convince his own supporters of the same thing either. … Romney isn't against government handouts at all. It's just that he's only in favor of the ones that Republicans like.
I have never seen the candidate of a major party looking more shook than Romney does at this press conference.
(Photo: US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks to the press in Costa Mesa, California, on September 17, 2012. By Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)