And as the conservative site The Daily Caller notes, Republican president Ronald Reagan eliminated income taxes on the very poor when he signed the Tax Reform Act of 1986. In the 1990s, the Republican-controlled Congress also passed a child tax credit that did away with income-tax liability for many low-income families.
The statement raised questions for the National Council of La Raza, the nation's largest Latino advocacy organization.
"It's disturbing," said Eric Rodriguez, vice president of public policy for the organization. "For a presidential candidate to express,and to some degree potentially think they're true, these views is cleary cause for concern, and not in a partisan way."
Ultimately, most of the 47 percent are not people trying to game the system. They are seniors and working poor.
Romney also commented in the video that it would be easier in the world of politics to be Latino.
"My dad, as you probably know, was the governor of Michigan and was the head of a car company. But he was born in Mexico ... and had he been born of Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot at winning this. But he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico. He lived there for a number of years. I mean, I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino," he said.
Rodriguez thinks there are several ways to look at this comment.
"There are lots of ways to look at that statement, one is disparaging," he said. "We haven't really seen Romney mention his heritage."
While Romney does often include a brief remark about his father's birthplace in his standard stump speech, he has not really delved into the topic publicly.
And Rodriguez says it's not too late. Latinos want to hear substantive arguments from Romne, he said. The candidates are set to debate in early October, and many Latinos are hoping Romney will offer some specifics, such as what he plans to do with the recently enacted deferred action program.
"There's still plenty of time," he said.