Campaign Trail: Doubling Down
Mitt Romney isn't backing down on remarks about Americans who don't pay taxes.
Mitt Romney went to Atlanta Wednesday and stood up to critics on the issue that's put his campaign in crisis: The record number of Americans entitled to government benefits.
Romney blamed President Obama, who, Romney noted in the 1990s said he favored government redistributing wealth
"That will kill the American entrepreneurship that's lifted our economy over the years," Romney said. "The question of this campaign is not who cares about the poor and the middle class? I do. He does. The question is who can help the poor and the middle class."
On the secretly recorded tape released this week Romney criticized Americans who pay no federal income tax, like many seniors, students and military, shocking some Republicans.
In the Wall Street Journal, Reagan veteran Peggy Noonan wrote:
"It's time to admit the Romney campaign is an incompetent one...An intervention is in order. Mitt, this isn't working."
Romney running mate Paul Ryan is also standing firm on the entitlement issue.
"We have too many people becoming too dependent upon government," he told supporters.
A new Gallup Poll shows Romney and Ryan trailing in 12 swing states.
The NBC News Poll finds President Obama leading Romney by 5 percent nationally, in part, say pollsters, because of the impression voters are getting of Romney.
Romney admits he's got work to do and some senior Republican believe there's still enough time.