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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney took his effort to contain the damage from the video of his remarks about Americans who don't pay taxes to Fox News Channel Tuesday.

There, he acknowledged that some of those who don't pay federal income taxes are senior citizens and military service members.

Pennsylvania's highest court is returning the state's controversial voter ID law to a lower court judge who must decide whether it will disenfranchise some voters.

NPR's Jeff Brady reports that according to Tuesday's ruling, the lower court judge must block the law from taking effect if he finds voters cannot easily get photo ID cards that the law requires.

The state Supreme Court recognized difficulties in implementing the law under a "relatively short time frame," concluding:

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The fundraiser where the Romney video was recorded was held in Florida. And today, in that politically important state, reaction was mixed about Romney's unscripted remarks. NPR's Kathy Lohr gathered some views from people at a retirement community.

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Mother Jones magazine is known for its small but passionate following of liberal readers. And right now, it's getting a huge amount of attention. NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik joins us now for more on Mother Jones and how it got this story. Hi there, David.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, BYLINE: Hey, Audie.

CORNISH: So this video of Mitt Romney was recorded a while back. Some of the clips were living on YouTube months ago. So what did Mother Jones do to acquire the story and get so much attention for it now?

Anytime a candidate calls an unexpected press conference in the evening, you know it's not good news. We look at the latest news and political fall out from the release of Mitt Romney's remarks at a private fundraiser. The comments were made in May and the recording was released by Mother Jones magazine.

Vice President Joe Biden has been an important surrogate for President Obama this year, as he was four years ago. Biden especially excels at connecting with white, working-class voters — a group with which the president has struggled.

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Some conservatives have denounced Romney's remarks. The "Weekly Standard's" Bill Kristol called them arrogant and stupid. In the New York Times, David Brooks wrote that it shows Mitt Romney doesn't understand the country or its culture. But others, such as radio personality Rush Limbaugh, have come to the candidate's defense.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

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And I'm Audie Cornish. Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney admits he could've used more elegant language, but he's not backing down. Romney was secretly recorded speaking at a fundraiser in May and his comments were publicized yesterday by the liberal magazine, "Mother Jones." Here he is telling wealthy backers that President Obama has a built-in base of support.

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The Mother Jones journalist behind the release of a surreptitiously shot fundraising video says the source "did not go there looking to catch Mitt Romney in the act."

David Corn, the magazine's Washington bureau chief, tells NPR's Michel Martin on Tell Me More:

The question of whether Mitt Romney's presidential campaign will be hurt by his characterization of 47 percent of Americans as people who believe they are victims, entitled to health care, food, housing, "you name it," is fairly settled.

Yes, it will — at least in the short run. Romney's problem? There's not much more campaign left than a short run.

Full Romney Video Puts Comments In Context

Sep 18, 2012

Mother Jones released the full video of Mitt Romney at a Florida fundraising event in May that included the clips they made public of Mitt Romney commenting on the "47 percent." NPR senior Washington editor Ron Elving talks about the tape and how it could affect the presidential campaign.

Are SuperPACs Good For Democracy?

Sep 18, 2012

Money is flowing through this election season like never before. The proliferation is due in part to the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision and other recent rulings, which paved the way for superPACs, other outside groups and massive, secret donations from individuals, corporations and unions.

Mitt Romney has gotten into political hot water for asserting that "47 percent of the people" favor President Obama because they are "dependent upon government."

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're going to start the program today talking about that secret recording of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney making what he, himself, has now called inelegant remarks to a group of wealthy donors about Obama voters, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and his connection to Mexico.

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And we are going to continue our conversation about this, with two respected analysts whom we turn to, from time to time. I spoke with them earlier. Mary Kate Cary is a former speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush. She's now a blogger and columnist for "U.S. News & World Report." Maria Teresa Kumar is the president and CEO of Voto Latino. That's a nonpartisan group that encourages Latinos to get involved in the political process. Previously, she was an aide to the House Democratic Caucus.

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I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, Leo Manzano came home from the London Olympics with a silver medal. It was a proud moment for his family and for the country, but how he displayed that pride landed him in a little hot water. We're going to talk to the runner about that and how he made history in London. That conversation is in just a few minutes.

The emergence of video secretly recorded in May, in which Mitt Romney speaks scornfully of President Obama's supporters, has sparked the inevitable comparisons to controversial comments President Obama made in 2008.

Watching the first 20 minutes of Saturday Night Live's season premiere in Denver, I counted at least four ads by the Obama campaign and liberal groups backing the president. Just one ad countering their message was aired in the same span by the Romney campaign.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney told supporters that "there are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what" because they are "dependent upon government ... believe that they are victims ... believe the government has a responsibility to care for them ... these are people who pay no income tax."

Who was he talking about?

Renee Montagne talks to David Carr, the media and culture columnist for The New York Times, about the trend toward journalists agreeing to quotation approval as a condition of access. Carr says he doesn't think the people who are making history should be allowed to rewrite it.

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This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

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And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Mitt Romney says he's standing by the substance of his comments about American voters. A recording first revealed by Mother Jones magazine captured Romney at a fundraiser. He said 47 percent of Americans are hopelessly lost to President Obama, that they pay no income taxes, quote, "think they are victims, that they're entitled," and that he can't make them take responsibility or care for their lives.

Mitt Romney made yet another attempt Monday to narrow President Obama's substantial polling lead over him with Latino voters.

The Republican presidential nominee spoke at the Los Angeles convention of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce where he was respectfully received.

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney appears a man under siege.

His political strategists are feuding over the direction of the campaign. He bungled his "presidential moment" with an ill-timed and ill-informed response to violence in Libya that led to the death of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

President Obama kicked off the week in the battleground state of Ohio, where he spent much of the time Monday talking about China.

His administration filed a new trade complaint against China with the World Trade Organization on Monday. The White House is challenging Chinese subsidies for auto parts.

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It's ScuttleButton Time!

Sep 17, 2012

People are attacking our embassies around the world for one reason, and one reason only: They want to stop the spread of ScuttleButton puzzles.

But they will not succeed.

There's nothing like a ready-made crowd to help a group get its message out. That's why a conservative political organization set up shop Sunday outside the St. Louis Rams-Washington Redskins NFL football game.

Why mix politics and football?

"People are here," explained Patrick Werner, Missouri state director for Americans for Prosperity.

Football fans are used to encountering promotional tents for sports-talk radio stations and brands of beer and mixed nuts on their way to the game. Not so many of them expect to discuss politics as part of the pregame festivities.

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