Mitt Romney: "I'm in this race for the poor, for the middle class"

Mitt Romney's plan to restore America to fiscal health includes less government, entitlement reform, tax cuts - and cooperation with Congress. Scott Pelley reports.

(CBS News) As the election approaches -- there are 43 days left - CBS News is keeping an eye on the states that could vote either way, the so-called swing states that will decide the race.

The latest polling in Ohio shows the president slightly ahead of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, 51 percent to 46 percent. The margin of error is three percentage points.

In Florida, Mr. Obama leads 50 percent to 45 percent, with a margin of error of four points.

And in Colorado, it's essentially a tie: the president leads 48 percent to 47 percent, with a margin of error of three points.

Last night on "60 Minutes," CBS News devoted the entire hour to a conversation with the president and Gov. Romney.

Campaign 2012: Obama vs. Romney

In one interview, Gov. Romney was asked about his controversial comments to a private group -- when he said he didn't care about trying to attract 47 percent of Americans

Below is a transcript of the candidate's response:

Scott Pelley: We were talking in an interview a few weeks ago. And-- I remember the quote. You said that you "had a passion for all the people of this country," end quote. And then we see the surreptitiously-recorded video from that fundraiser in which you suggested that you didn't care about 47 percent of the people because they're dependent on government and they won't take personal responsibility for their lives. Which is the real Mitt Romney?

Gov. Mitt Romney: I care about 100% of the American people. And I'm in this race for the poor, for the middle class. The only way you're gonna see America come back and provide the kind of future that we want to pass along to our kids is if we're able to create the economic prosperity and the freedom that brings people from poverty back to the middle class and helps the middle class have a bright and prosperous future.

Pelley: So why did you say that?

Romney: It was talking about a very different context, a political context of which is the group that you focus on to try and get the undecideds to get behind your camp. My campaign - and you've heard me give speeches time and time again - is about the 100 percent.

Pelley: Is it just that when someone is running for president in this day and age, you can't always say what you believe?

Romney: Oh, you always, you do say what you believe. Now and then you don't say it very elegantly. And you get tongue-tied or you mix it up and you say something you don't exactly mean. And then you have to go back and say, "That's not quite what I meant." But my record speaks much more loudly than any word than someone's gonna take off a tape. And that record is that I am in this race to help the people of America.

Mitt Romney will be campaigning in Ohio tomorrow.

  • Scott Pelley

    Correspondent, "60 Minutes"