GOP Strategists Alarmed Over Romney And The '47 Percent'

Mitt Romney's comments at a private fundraiser are alarming a number of Republican strategists, some of whom are worried that the fallout could deal a body blow to the GOP nominee's already struggling campaign.

“It's a kidney shot because it reveals a very cynical view,” Mark McKinnon, who served as a top strategist to former President George W. Bush, told The Hill. “He's pushing independent voters out the door.”

McKinnon said the remarks were also a “sharp stick in the eye” to President Obama's base and would likely fire them up to turn out in bigger numbers this fall.

In his comments, which were caught on video tape and posted online Monday, Romney said that 47 percent of Americans who don't pay income taxes are “dependent on the government" and "believe they are victims.”

Ford O'Connell, another Republican strategist, said the remarks were not an "election killer" and argued there's “some truth” to them.

But he also pointed to their possible danger in a tight election. Gallup’s daily tracking poll on Tuesday showed Obama with only a one-percentage point lead.

O’Connell said that the remarks were not Romney’s finest hour and will cost Romney a week that he can't afford to lose at this point in the election.

“What makes it really sting is that it will likely dominate the news coverage for the next couple of days at a time when Team Romney desperately needs to change the narrative with only seven weeks to go in the election,” he said.

Read more from Cameron Joseph at The Hill

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Analysis & Political Strategy