Romney: Don't divide based on wealth
April 16th, 2012
05:01 PM ET
6 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. Jane

    I think the operative word here is 'choice', i.e., Ann Romney had the Choice to be a stay at home mother. This has nothing to do with whether anyone thinks being a mom is an easy thing; of course it's not. It has Everything to do with the fact (which Romney cannot even begin to understand) that the majority of America's mothers DONT HAVE THE CHOICE – esp single parents. They Have to go to work (usually 8 or more hours) and then go home and do all the things parents have to do on top of that. I know, I've been there, had to work to pay for the t-shirt that I had to wash after I got home from work....

    April 16, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  2. gg

    romney could not beat a egg,without help

    April 16, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  3. BBear1

    Willard thinks that discussions of income inequality should be held in "private rooms", out of the public spotlight. In other words, "The little people should just shut up and get back to work, mowing my lawn".

    April 16, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  4. Joan

    Mr. Romney saiid, "This is a time when people of different backgrounds and different experiences need to come together." Right. Better tell that to the Republican members of Congress and the members of the Tea Party.

    April 16, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. Willis

    The leader of The free world, BISHOP Willard. Now that is a SEVERLY scary thing!!!!!!!!!!

    April 16, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  6. 1crusader

    The president is only pointing out what Mitt Romney confirmed on tape at a fund-raiser: He and the GOP plan a radical overhaul of some departments of gov't. that the public looks to like the Dept. of Education, HUD; and others that people take for granted for things like educating their children, and finding an affordable house.These things will have a real world impact on most Americans. This is very serious.

    April 16, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  7. Randy, San Francisco

    Romney established the weath line in the sand a long time ago when he laid off workers and bankrupted companies. This man enjoys firing hard working workers. He has nothing in common with the ordinary hard working American.

    April 16, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  8. Willis

    Mu man Don Lemon, I knew he was talkin bout lettin free speech fly all up in their today. Da Bishop is real popular wit dis crew, specially wit da ladies, They be lovin all up in him!!!!

    April 16, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  9. Dave

    Jane – people do have a choice. My wife sacrificed a career while I worked full time and went to graduate school. Yes, single mothers and fathers have it difficult. But, more than rich people are willing to keep one parent at home to raise children and keep the home running.

    April 16, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  10. Republicans are Neanderthals

    Willard, you're playing with the big boys now. Tell your Tea Party friends to stop dividing the country.

    April 16, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  11. Romney is not My Hero

    "This is a time when people of different backgrounds and different experiences need to come together."

    - Yes, Rom-bot, we will come together and vote AGAINST you!

    OBAMA 2012!

    April 16, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  12. USA

    Mitt Romney believes poor woman who works from home to raise her children and recieve government help is lazy.....and a rich woman who stays at home are hard working.....SAY WHAT ????? Is the poor womans children needs for a stay at home parent any less.......REALLY.....

    April 16, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  13. hate and lies from the right

    If ann romney took care of her kids all by herself then the stay at home mom comment would have meant a lot more but she had hired mexicans to help with everyday chores

    April 16, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  14. ron

    Hmmmm. Doesn't he live in a gated community? It's kinda tough to come together when you don't have access. Oh, I get it. "Come together" to vote for Willard. Didn't he learn anything at Harvard??! Maybe he spent too much time there??

    April 16, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  15. Lisa P

    It doesn't get much funnier than this:

    "We don't divide America based upon success and wealth and other dimensions of that nature"

    Yeah, let's go back to the traditional divisions of race, religion and politics! In order to, you know, unite us! By making sure everyone is fighting each other so hard that they don't notice the rich are running this country for their own benefit! As usual.

    Actually I also thought that the bit about "we stop spending money we don't have" was also pretty funny coming from a guy who has more than he could spend in two lifetimes, to a populace (that would be "we") that has to buy the essentials of life on credit because what matters is that the stockholders get paid, not that the workers receive a living wage. If "we" stopped spending money "we" don't have then "we" would be dead in short order... which would be one way to solve the country's problems, I guess. Mitt could just outsource the working class to China.

    April 16, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  16. once upon a horse

    The SCOTUS made sure that wealth became an issue when they passed the Citizens United bill and because of that Mitt was not only able to do in his opponents but now has the Karl Rove mudslinging Obama hate machine all geared up along with the Koch Brothers bottomless cup of wealth to try to but this election. And yeah Soros has mucho dinero but not like what the GOP has to throw out. This election like it or not will put the have a lots against the want to have more. And if you read and trust the polls the message the president has been giving is sinking in and that is what the GOP is afraid of. More support the "Buffet Rule" and it even scores high among those asked that claim to be Republicans.

    April 16, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  17. hamsta

    @joan that class warfare stuff was started by obama and the occupy movement.the tea party simply wants smaller government,less government intrusion,less taxation without represemtation and more transparancy.the tea party doesnt seperate people into different classes,that was the occupy movement.the tea party doesnt champion redistribution of wealth(welfare),that was obama.

    April 16, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  18. Debbie

    It's not a diversion by Dems Mitt, its that people cannot relate to you. I was a Republican for 35years. I left because of GWBush policies of expanding the government with Dept Homeland Security and spent widely on un-justified costs on a un-justified war/Iraq. Your policies are no different than GWBush and I cannot relate to GWBush or you.

    April 16, 2012 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  19. BunnyBunny

    Mitt Romney needs a education on how people who live paycheck to paycheck live. He needs to know how much money necessities cost. He needs to know what someone has to do to get health care if they are sick with no insurance to pay for long term care.

    God bless his rich soul, but some of us don't have money hid all over the world for the hard times. He needs to see how cutting Social Security and medicare and low income programs affect people who are invisible to him.

    April 16, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  20. hamsta

    @jane thats all the things that you should think about before you have children.too many people believe that they have a right to have children.children are a privelege not a right.

    April 16, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  21. hamsta

    history will name obama as the absolute worst president america has ever elected.blaming the republicans and the tea party for everything is getting just as old as the race card.what happens in the dark eventually comes to light.

    April 16, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  22. HenryMiller

    "We don't divide America based upon success and wealth and other dimensions of that nature,"

    Uh, yes we do. Income tax alone divides people based on success–people with greater incomes pay more for the exact same government we're all equally subject to. That's just as must a kind of discrimination as, for example, taxing Jews more heavily, which was once a common practice in Europe.

    April 16, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  23. Mike

    Mitt you can not relate to the middle class never have nor can your wife that is not dividing the country , if anything you and pothers in your party claiming Obama is waging war on relgion is doing more to try and divide the two faced...just another lying RINO is all you are thanks Obama gets my vote

    April 16, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  24. Need a shovel

    Need a shovel to dig out from under the pubbie horse manure...

    romney really doesn't get it. The polls showing President Obama ahead by 9% are baffling. Why isn't it 90%? mittens represents less than 10% of the nation, and promises -PROMISES to support policies that will harm almost every man women and child in the nation. Voting republicon right now is like begging to get kicked in the face, then a swift boot in the groin once you are on the ground.

    April 16, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  25. varag

    The current tax policy is dividing Rich and Poor. Rich people get preferential treatment and pay lower taxes than middle class. By making a policy which says Rich should pay ATLEAST the same percentage or equal share as middle class is not dividing. It is called fixing the problem that Rich and powerful have given it to themselves for many years at the expense of everyone else.

    April 16, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
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