Updated 09/18/2012 10:10 PM
Obama Returns To NYC; Romney Defends Fundraiser Comments
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Drivers in and around Manhattan dealt with traffic and street closures as President Barack Obama returned to the city Tuesday for another round of fundraising.
The president landed at Manhattan's Downtown Heliport around 4 p.m. and his first stop was the Ed Sullivan Theater, where he taped an appearance on the "Late Show With David Letterman."
Later in the evening, he headed to the 40/40 Club for a fundraiser hosted by the club's owner Jay-Z and his wife Beyonce, along with another fundraiser at the Waldorf Astoria.
As Obama made his way around the Big Apple, Mitt Romney's campaign is doing damage control after a newly-leaked video showed him making a harsh critique of American voters.
In the video filmed during a private fundraiser and posted by Mother Jones Magazine, Romney is seen telling a group of wealthy donors that nearly half of all Americans "believe they are victims" and are entitled to government support.
Romney went on to say, "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president 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."
During a late news briefing, Romney's campaign reacted quickly to try to limit the damage from the remarks.
"Well, um, you know. It's not elegantly stated, let me put it that way. I'm speaking off the cuff in response to a question and I'm sure I can state it more clearly in a more effective way than I did in a setting like that," Romney said.
Romney did not back down from his remarks Tuesday afternoon in an interview with Fox News.
"I don’t expect to get 60 or 70 percent of the vote. I understand that some portion will be the president’s, some portion will be mine," he said. "I’ve got to get as many as I can from every single cohort in this country. But the intent that I want to talk about and that that was intended to speak about was the fact that you have a great divide about whether we want a government that’s larger and more intrusive and redistributing income or whether, instead, you want a government that sees its role as protecting freedom and opportunity."
Obama responded to the comments in his interview with Letterman.
"My expectation is that if you want to be president, you have to work for everybody, not just for some," the president said.
A newly-released Romney comment from the same event is also getting some international attention.
He told fundraisers that a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine is "the worst idea in the world."
"And I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel and these thorny issues and I say, 'There's just no way.' And so what you do is you say, 'You move things along the best way you can.' You hope for some degree of stability but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem," he said in the video.
A Palestinian lawmaker called the comments "irresponsible, dangerous, ignorant and prejudiced."
The White House responded today saying the president was committed to achieving peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani came to Romney's defense.
"The media spends more time concentrating on anything Gov. Romney arguably says that’s a little bit wrong and not enough time concentrating on similar things that President Obama does," Giuliani said. "Like [the fact that] President Obama is coming here today to collect money from the 1 percent that he derides constantly."