Florida Republicans avoid commenting about Romney’s “47%” comments

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Florida Republicans spent Tuesday avoiding comment on a video released of Mitt Romney disparaging 47 percent of Americans as being government-dependent “victims.”

In the video, which was secretly taped during a May fundraising dinner in Boca Raton , Romney says it’s not his job “to worry about those people.”

Most state Republicans are steering clear of the remarks, declining requests to comment.

Rep. Allen West, who is no stranger to controversial comments, told Fox News that Romney “probably could have better explained himself.”

“I think he was a little clumsy in doing it,” West said, after saying that he believed the general sentiment behind Romney’s comments was correct.

According to the Palm Beach Post, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater implied that Romney should have known better. “Any one of us who believes there’s not a camera on or a recording device or a cell phone, you’re living yesterday,” said Atwater.

But Atwater also defended what he described as the “intent,” of what Romney was saying in the video,

“It seems to me what he was expressing was ‘my job.’ My job is to talk to those individuals I have a chance of persuading,” Atwater said. “If that was the intent of what he was saying, I think all of us have heard candidates speak in…that kind of language.”

Adam Hasner – a prominent supporter of Romney – remained consciously silent Tuesday.

Hasner remained silent even as his Democratic opponent called on him to reject the comments and “immediately resign from his honorary position with Mr. Romney’s campaign steering committee.”

“I call on Mr. Hasner to reject Governor Romney’s offensive and derogatory comments, which were made in Mr. Hasner’s hometown,” Lois Frankel said in a statement on Tuesday.

Florida Dems pounced on Romney’s comments, painting him as arrogant and out of touch with average Americans.

“Governor Romney’s remarks are the height of arrogance, insulting half of America while running to be president of all Americans. We rightfully expect more from our leaders. That kind of offensive name-calling should have no place in our country or our politics,” Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith said in a statement today.

Material from Nora McAlvanah of FLDemocracy2012.com was used in this post.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.