Romney: Don't divide based on wealth
April 16th, 2012
05:01 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney: Don't divide based on wealth

(CNN) - Mitt Romney said Monday that persistent questions about how well he relates to middle class voters were reflecting of a diversion campaign run by Democrats eager to distract from failed economic policies.

"We don't divide America based upon success and wealth and other dimensions of that nature," Romney said in an interview with ABC News, excerpts of which were posted online. "We're one nation under God. We come together. This is a time when people of different backgrounds and different experiences need to come together."

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Romney was responding to a question from ABC host Diane Sawyer, who asked the former Massachusetts governor and all-but-certain GOP nominee if he was "too rich to relate" to voters.
The question has dogged Romney for months, often preceded by remarks from the candidate himself that opponents say signal he's out of touch.

The candidate and his campaign have written off such criticism as a tactic employed by opponents to cloud Obama's record as president. Romney continued that argument Monday.

"This is a campaign about getting a president that can get America back on track again, make sure our kids have a bright future, and we stop spending money we don't have," Romney said. "But I know there will be some who try to make it about anything else but that."

Calls to release a decade's worth of personal tax information are also a distraction, Romney said in the ABC interview.

"The president is going to try and do everything possible to divert from the attention being focused upon his record as president and the failure of his economic policies," Romney said, according to a posting on ABC's website. "So he's going to try to make this campaign about the fact that I've been successful, that I've made a lot of money."

Democrats and Obama's reelection campaign used the annual disclosure of the president's tax return Friday to pressure Romney to release his own tax information. Romney has released his 2010 tax return and an estimate of his 2011 form.

The Republican's campaign said late Friday the candidate had requested an extension with the Internal Revenue Service, and that his official 2011 tax return would be made public when the information is filed. A form released by the campaign showed the Romneys applied a payment of $887,000 toward estimated taxes when they filed for the extension.

On another topic – abortion – Romney said the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which disallowed state restrictions on abortion, should be overturned.

"I would love the Supreme Court to say, 'Let's send this back to the states,'" Romney said. "Rather than having a federal mandate through Roe v. Wade, let the states again consider this issue state by state."

Romney's record on abortion has been viewed with some skepticism by conservatives, who point to campaigns he ran in Massachusetts as an abortion rights supporter. He later moved to the right on the issue, vetoing an emergency contraception bill in 2005 and declaring in the pages of the Boston Globe that he was an opponent of abortion.

The interview also had lighter moments: responding to speculation about a hosting gig on Saturday Night Live, Romney said he would participate if the material was good.

"I haven't made a decision on that, just heard about it," Romney said. "Of course it would depend on the nature of the skit. I want it to be funny."

Also see:

Obama re-election team increases fundraising haul

Buffett Rule would barely dent debt but fits nicely into Obama's theme

McCain: I agree with Ann Romney


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. sonny chapman

    "Under God", "Country First"-hang on to your pocket book & vote, somebody is trying to fool you.

    April 16, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. Bill

    The problem is Mittens, they are not going to come together for you because most people realize you are a phony who wil say whatever it takes to win. Sorry, we are not buying it.

    April 16, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    GOP idiots divided this nation with 'greed" idiots.

    April 16, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  4. Eric

    Lol sure. Then stop writing tax codes that favor the wealthy and bankrupting middle class services. Romney is already right of Reagan and leaning more right... and he doesn't want the backlash? LOL HIM!

    April 16, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  5. Eric

    All economists evaluate wealth distribution. If his strength is economics, why does he get to ignore income distribution?

    Make no mistake, the GOP plan is for the middle class to run on hampster wheels while the 1% continue to suck up all real growth.

    April 16, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  6. Steve

    I don't care if Romney or anyone else is wealthy. That's the American dream. We ALL hope to get rich someday. if he's wealthy, more power to him for good business sense. What I DO care about is how he would treat those less fortunate than himself if he became POTUS. What I DO care about is his opinion on the rights of all Americans. It has nothing to do with money. I find it very weird that conservatives, who are supposedly Republican, are so anti-corporation. How do these people think wealthy people get wealthy? Mowing a lot of lawns?

    April 16, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    He has flipped and flopped so many times even he doesn't know what he thinks.

    President Obama didn't divide us, money didn't divide us, we are NOT jealous of anyone that will sell our outsource country and then line the Mormon church coffers – we're disgusted with the lies, hate, feat, paranoia spread by the republicans and baggers since "that one" was legally voted into the office of the President of the United States.

    No more hate and fear. No more flip-flopper Mittens.

    April 16, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  8. edison

    Unless Romney grew up poor then no he doesn't know what working peole go through. What's the big deal? How would he? I dislike him becasue he farm out private Ind jobs the one I work in and lost my job becasue it was sent over seas. SZo if satan ran against him he would be the better pick for me. Those not in privte Ind can make your own judgement..

    April 16, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  9. Larry L

    Of course the Republicans don't want to "divide based on wealth". You can't win elections with votes from the top 1% only. You must get the "social conservatives' energized on issues that actually cost people like Romney and the Koch brothers nothing – but it makes the crazies willing to vote. Things like abortion, guns, gay rights, and make-believe religious issues are perfect because the Tea Party radicals will vote – even when the fat-cats are pickling their pockets! Fortunately, the moderates and reasonable Republicans out-number the crazies and are defecting to the Democratic Party in droves – for a President who actually cares about working people.

    April 16, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  10. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    It's about time attention was brought to the disparity of wealth in this country!

    April 16, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  11. Woman In California

    "So he's going to try to make this campaign about the fact that I've been successful, that I've made a lot of money."

    Why don't you release your tax returns Willard IF you're so proud of being successful?

    "We're one nation under God.

    Which god do you serve Willard? Most likely, the god of money and greed.

    April 16, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  12. edog

    Says the man who is in the 1%. Income gap has widened over the last decade and Mitt continues to protect the 1%. I think the GOP policies of reduce taxes and regulations have proven to not work. There is a balanced approach, but it begins with evening out the income gap, so yes, must tax the 1% to get things going again.

    Think about this GOP. It takes a strong middle class to buy the products that in turn increases revenues for companies who will then reinvest and hire more workers. What happened to all the tax cuts to the rich during the BUSH years.... the rich kept their money in the Caymen Islands and made out like bandits. Why are corporations sitting on trillions of dollars? Because there are no one buying their products, not because they are not getting a tax cut...

    THINK AMERICA!!!

    April 16, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  13. king

    romney we are not trying to divide, based on wealth, are only suggesting that every one pitch in and help out our country, especially if it was the rich folks gambling regular folks money that got us into this mess. what so bad about the rich guy pitch in to help. why are you not giving rich folks an oportunity to be patriotic. they will curse you on their dying bed, when it sinks in that they were not allowed to bring prosperity back to this coutry mitt. most of these patriotic folks want to pitch in and help the country that have been so great to them, stand by mitten and let them participate, because the middle class and poor working classes will sure appreciate there help.

    April 16, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  14. DENNA

    Honestly, Mitt, I don't think you even have a clue about the middle class. Having Mrs. Romney play up her "choice" to raise her kids didn't help either. If poor women exercized their "choice" to stay home and raise their kids they would have to go on welfare – and we will all know what your conservative base would think of that "choice". You are rich, stop running from that, but also stop trying to pretend to understand – and keep Ann's mouth shut. She isn't helping.

    April 16, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  15. Nuwan

    I have news for Mr. Mitt the flip flopper. It is GOP who started taking this country to create the division. A division does not has to be created. It is the reality. This is not about who is successful and how is not. This is about the chances of being successful and for the middle class and the poor those chances are getting out of reach day by day thanks to GOP siding with the rich every day on every single issue. In America the wealth distribution is out of wack. A government of the people must make sure they have policies to correct this problem so that those who are poor yet willing to work hard still have a chance.

    April 16, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  16. Willis

    Fox poll has The Prez losin to the Bishop, They gotta be smokin some of Mitts majic underwear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 16, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  17. Willis

    Mitts to do list, 1 beat the dog, 2 buy baseball team &3 now call them Bejing Red Sox.

    April 16, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  18. Sandra

    Romny, that is so easy to say when you are part of the 1% who doesn't pay much tax. Not so easy when you are middle class. I personally think you have NO clue what middle class is. You talk out of both sides of your mouth.

    April 16, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  19. Mikey

    So when they manipulated the tax code to allow the wealthy to pay at a lower average rate, that was not dividing based on wealth, but when you try to correct the inequity, that's class warfare? Priceless!!!

    April 16, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  20. Marty, FL

    The American majortiy clearly supports President Obama on the tax issue.

    Romney has great opposition to his Ryan plan that would give millionaires and billionaires another tax cut while dividing the majority of sacrifice on the middle class and senior citizens.

    April 16, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  21. Willis

    I aint showin my taxes until the election, OH NO YOU MIDNT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! in other words, screw the regular folks.

    April 16, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  22. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    people like Mitt and the GOP with this class welfare argument just either don't get it or don't want to tell the whole story. We are ALWAYS going to have wealthy people in our society as well as poor ones. This discourse has little to do with class as to how people are treated. Since the Reagan years we have been told that tax cuts on our "job creators" would lead to more jobs and a better life for the middle class and even lower. Today we sit at 8.2% unemployment with lots of the job creators sitting on trillions of dollars in profit and not only not hiring people but sending jobs overseas for cheaper labour cost or using a machine to take the job of 3 or more people. Corporations as Mitt puts it are doing GREAT even under President Obama.....most middle class folks just want to work and get a fair share of what they have worked for and that my friends is NOT Sociolism. If 7 of 10 Americans support the "Buffet Rule" one I know will not pass in Congress, then Congress especially the GOP part is not heeding the wishes of the American people.

    April 16, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  23. caeser

    Why is it that the have not's always have to come together to protect the rich's of the have's.
    They lie,cheat and steal to get it from us and then want us to defend it for them,willingly.
    Make no mistake I do not envy the very rich often I loath and despise them because I suspect that in the cut-throat world of Capitalism the richest people are often the most driven greediest and most unscrupulous.

    April 16, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. NotFooledByDistractions

    Too late mr. romney – 40 years of mainly republican ideology has already divided this country – the haves and the have nots. I don't want more of the same policies that landed us where we are today. Mr. Romney has no true convictions or principles – and he's certainly no champion for the working class. I don't trust him, and often wonder how he stands upright without a spine.

    April 16, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  25. Thomas

    What about equality and justice for all ?

    Romney will defend his Aristocracy.

    King Romney 2012

    April 16, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
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