Yesterday the magazine Mother Jones unveiled a leaked video tape that showed U.S. Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney asserting that 47% of the country would never vote for him because they are "victims" who are "dependent on Obama" and don't take responsibility for themselves.
Today the controversy widened further with the impending release of a new portion of the video in which Romney unloaded on America's Hispanic population, claiming they are "losers" and "freeloaders" who are only in the United States to claim welfare benefits.
Leading Latino rights groups have characterized the video as "shockingly racist" and have called on Romney to drop out of the presidential race and allow a new candidate to run in his place.
You got some 'splainin' to do...
The full video - which is slated to be released later today - shows a donor asking Romney how he will court the Hispanic vote in this election when polls show that Obama has a 2 to 1 margin amonst those voters.
Romney responded by saying that it was futile to even try to get Hispanics to vote Republican because their "primitive culture" was antithetical to Republican values.
"And these people. The ones that come to the U.S.. ...these people are losers. They couldn’t cut it in their own countries, and now they want to freeload in ours. When I’m president I’ll send Mexico a message - take 'em back. We don’t want these taco jockeys anymore."
The Trent Lott Trot
Reaction to Romney's leaked comments has been swift and unforgiving. The National Council of La Raza, a major civil rights organization for Americans of Latino descent issued a blunt statement calling for Romney to drop out:
"It is unacceptable for a major party nominee to refer to nearly 20% of the American population as "losers". We demand that the Republican party replace Mitt Romney as their nominee."
The three are said to be quietly meeting in Washington, D.C. to explore the possibility of replacing Romney as the nomineee, a step that - while perfectly legal - has never been taken this late in the process before.
Most pundits think elevating Paul Ryan to the top of the ticket is the only viable scenario, though others are calling for an experienced dark horse candidate like Jeb Bush or even a Hispanic choice like Marco Rubio.
Lower ranking Republicans on Capitol Hill say they are shocked by the release of the video, and were at a loss explain why anyone would risk making such comments, even in private.
"I can't believe he just did that, " says Lindsay Graham, a moderate Republican senator from South Carolina "Do you think he's mentally ill or something? I'm starting to wonder."
Democratic analyst Paul Begala, however, has a different theory:
"I'm begining to think that Romney might be a robot Democrats sent from the future to prevent anyone from ever voting Republican again. Its the only thing that makes sense at this point."