Mitt Romney's infamous "47 percent" remarks from a May fundraising dinner were not a crisis, Stephen Colbert insisted Tuesday, but a triumph -- finally, he said, a presidential candidate was willing to say there's no such thing as a free lunch.
"Lunch is $50,000 a plate," Colbert said.
The video, circulated by Mother Jones on Monday, showed Romney, the Republican nominee for the presidency, denounce 47 percent of American voters as "people who pay no income tax." Subsequent analyses have pointed out that this group, that Romney "who believe that they are victims," included the elderly, the working poor, and U.S. military personnel.
"See? Romney mentioned the troops in a speech," Colbert pointed out before leading the crowd in applause.
In an effort to assist the former Massachusetts governor, Colbert then donned a top hat and tails to deliver the much-criticized remarks with more panache.
"As you know, we are all gathered here this evening because I have agreed to accept the presidency," Colbert said, affecting a posh tone. "But unfortunately, almost half -- two score and seven percent -- will vote for my opponent, that socialist hottentot!"
Colbert's version of Romney's remarks, aired Tuesday night on The Colbert Report, can be seen below.