UNDATED (CNN) -- Mitt Romney is defending controversial comments captured by a hidden camera at a private fundraiser in May. Clips were posted Monday afternoon on the left-leaning news websites Mother Jones and The Huffington Post. They show Romney shooting from the hip on a range of issues.
Romney says the remarks were "off the cuff" and "not elegantly stated," but he sticks by the main message.
In one clip, Mitt Romney jokes about wishing his father's parents had been Latino. He says, "Had he been born of, uh, Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot at winning this. But he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico and he had lived there for a number of years. I mean I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino."
And he goes off on Obama supporters. He says, "There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them."
The Obama campaign issued a response saying of a Romney presidency, quote, "...It's hard to serve as president for all Americans when you've disdainfully written off half the nation."
In a news conference late Monday night, Romney said he could have spoken "more clearly", but said he was trying to point out the differences between the two campaigns. He says, "We have a very different approach - the president and I - between a government-dominated society and a society driven by free people pursuing their dreams. This is really a discussion about the political process of winning the election and of course I want to help all Americans, all Americans, have a bright and prosperous future and I'm convinced that the president's approach has not done that and will not do that."
Romney also called on the person who secretly recorded the speech to release the entire video, rather than "snippets."
By the way, the Romney campaign has announced it will now allow video cameras into some of its private fundraisers.