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Trump: Romney 'cannot apologize' for 'inartful' comments at fundraiser

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"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Romney is shown saying. "All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing, to you name it."

The GOP presidential nominee goes on to say his "job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

Trump defended the spirit of the comments Tuesday, saying they represented a realistic evaluation of the electorate.

"He is going for those independents," Trump said. "He won't get the votes of a lot of people that he's discussing, and if you're not going to get the votes, let's go on with it. But do not apologize."

Matt Lauer, host of NBC's "Today" show, then asked Trump if Romney "truly feels that 47 percent of people in this country have no personal responsibility and don't care for their lives."

"Well, he's saying that that's not really what he meant, and you'd have to ask him about it, but he's actually saying that's not what he meant, and I'm sure he wished he didn't say it," Trump said. "I'm sure that he wish[es the] hidden camera wasn't there, but the fact is, Matt, he's really saying that's not what he meant."

Trump also reiterated that he believed Republicans were "not being tough enough" in their campaign efforts.

"They are not getting — I can't say down and dirty, but that's exactly what President Obama is doing with them, and they have got to fight fire with fire," Trump said. "The Republicans have to get tougher or they are going to lose this campaign."