The Washington Times - October 1, 2012, 05:05PM

Almost half of Americans who are aware of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s comments criticizing 47 percent of voters as “dependent upon government” say the issue received too much news coverage, according to a survey released Monday.

The Pew Research Center poll showed that two in three Americans know that Mr. Romney made the comments, of which 49 percent think the issue received too much coverage from news outlets.

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Video surfaced last month of the Republican nominee, who was secretly recorded during a May fundraiser, saying that nearly half of voters consider themselves entitlement-dependent victims, and that his “job is not to worry about those people.”

Mr. Romney has not backed off of his comments but has said they were “not elegantly stated.”

The poll showed that while 49 percent of people familiar with the incident think it was overblown, 28 percent say it received the right amount of news coverage and 13 percent say it received too little. More than half of respondents had a negative reaction to the comments.

The poll also showed that response was divided largely along party lines, 54 percent of Republicans who knew about the comments had a positive reaction to them, while just 5 percent of Democrats and 18 percent of independents did.

Nearly three in four Republicans thought the comments received too much play in the press, as did 48 percent of independents and 29 percent of Democrats.