Mitt Romney's offhanded comment that as a candidate he doesn't worry about the 47 percent of Americans who pay no income taxes has quickly entered the bloodstream in the presidential campaign's most hard-fought states.
His comment, in a video revealed this week, is prompting expressions of shock — but also shrugs — from Nevada to Florida to New Hampshire and the handful of battleground states in between.
Will it sway an election expected to be close?
There was much discussion in the relatively few states that are still considered competitive, likely to decide the race. Here, as elsewhere, the question was whether Romney was showing himself to be insensitive or merely delivering the hard truth a nation at an economic crossroads must face.