Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is on the defensive following the release of a video clip — in which Romney says that nearly half the country has a "victim mentality" and will inevitably vote for Barack Obama this November. 

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Romney says in the clip, which was posted on September 15 by Mother Jones. "All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims.

"Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax," Romney adds. "So our message of low taxes doesn't connect. ... My job is not to worry about these people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

Political pundits from across the spectrum have panned Romney's comments. In Boston on Sept. 16, most of the people who spoke with WGBH seemed to agree.

"I thought it was political suicide," said Phil Megna of Northwood, N.Y. "... He's just written off half the folks, and it's a very classist kind of statement."

"He's completely out of touch with people," said Helene Carter of Framingham. 

"Most people do want to do their bit and do their fare share," Carter added. "But a lot of people need help, because they don't have the same kind of advantages that people like Mitt Romney had growing up."

Still, a few people argued that — despite the backlash — Romney has a point.

"I think he raised what is potentially the biggest issue over the course of the election," said Jack Troy of Westwood. 

"There's an element of the population that feels government is there to provide something they can't otherwise have," Troy said. "Versus saying, 'We tell the government what to do, not the other way around.' That's the crux."

Last night, Romney said his controversial remarks were "not elegantly stated." But he stood by their gist.

"This is really a discussion about the political process of winning the election," Romney said. "And of course, I want to help all Americans — all Americans — have a bright and prosperous future."