January 25th, 2008
08:15 AM ET
15 years ago

Romney: 'I'm not concerned about voters'

(CNN) – It’s a sound bite that probably wouldn’t play well without any context.

"Well, I'm not concerned about the voters," Mitt Romney said during Thursday’s presidential debate.

The statement came during a back and forth with moderator Tim Russert, after Romney was asked how much of his own money he has donated to his presidential campaign.

"We'll report that on the 31st of January, as required by law, and probably not a minute earlier. You'll just have to wait, Tim," Romney said.

"But why not tell the voters of Florida and across the country how much of your own wealth you're spending, so they can make a judgment and factor that into their own decision?" Russert responded.

"Well, I'm not concerned about the voters," Romney replied. "I'm much more concerned about the other guys on this stage. And we have some competitive information that we make sure that we use for our own benefit.

"But I can tell you this: I've raised more money than any other Republican in this race - raised more," he added. "Friends of mine have come together, people I knew in high school and helped raised money for me."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Mitt Romney
soundoff (321 Responses)
  1. Gobama

    We all know that CNN is playing 'sound bite politics' with Romney's "don't care about voters".

    However, that expression from Romney's mouth DOES sum up well the character of the deceptive and duplicitous Romney, who, like the Clintons, will say ANYTHING in order to score political points.

    Romney is the Hilary Clinton of the Republican party. All the candidates HATE Romney, much as most democrats and others HATE Hilary Clinton.

    January 25, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. MCR

    .....how sad that our elections are simply coming down to who has the most money to run smear ads daily!!! Yes, Mr. Romney you do have the most money but, that won't change my opinion of you.....rich, entitled, spolied little brat who thinks he can buy everyone & everything. Sorry, you can't buy my vote!!!!!

    January 25, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. malachi7608

    For reasons such as this the public remains ill informed about politics. You can do better than this CNN.

    January 25, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. Wayne, Greenville TX

    It's a little funny, very telling, and somewhat sad how the pro-Romney folks will go to such great lengths to "prove" that CNN took him out of context.

    What Romney said was very clear. He's doesn't care about voters – he only cares about himself and his own quest for power. As such, anyone who is still supporting this clown needs a check-up from the neck up, IMHO.

    January 25, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. Bob, Seattle

    Perhaps the man has 'earned' his money the old fashioned way. By working hard, investing hard and being smart. He certainly is entitled to spend his money as he see fits. Vote for him or against him. Your choice. At least he isn't spending your money.

    January 25, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. Brian

    Even as a staunch Dem., I knew what Mr. Romney meant when he said "Well, I'm not concerned about the voters.". He meant he wasn't concerned with voters viewing the information in a negative way and using it against him–as his opponents surely would have. I probably will not vote for Mitt, but come on; anybody who was watching knew that he meant it as swipe at his rivals, not voters. I am sorry CNN has decided to make this an issue.

    January 25, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. Pete

    Mitt also said that he does not owe anyone (lobbyist) any favors for giving him money to include his entire answer.
    Mitt is a Washington outsider unlike McCain so think about who really wants John McCain to go against the Clintons. The answer is the dems, the media and the lobbyist.
    Lobbyist – a person who tries to influence legislation on behalf of a special interest; a member of a lobby.

    January 25, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. Voter in MA

    I just donated $200.00 to his campaign yesterday. He is the man that will fix our country's economy.

    Romney 08! Romney all the way!

    January 25, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. Ba Gua

    Romney said, "Well, I'm not concerned about the voters." That pretty much says it all, doesn't it? Do we need an ego-inflated, narcissistic ideologue like this as the leader of our nation. No. This is what politics USA has devolved to. Pathetic.

    January 25, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. Melissa Festus,MO

    Ah Ha !!!! Mr Perfect screwed up and gave his real thoughts on the American people. We have to give Willard some credit here. He finally told the truth about something!

    January 25, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. Earl

    Despite how CNN spins it, Mitt did a fantastic job last night.

    January 25, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  12. L. S., Atlanta, Georgia

    Romney will say anything to get a vote.
    Puh-lease spare me, this guy has such little integrity and sincerity!
    (Check YouTube for Mitt 's "bling bling" pathetic attempt to connect with Black votersin Jacksonville, FL.)

    Yet, he'll probably get plenty of votes from the folks who voted for Bush, because they thought he was a "nice guy." When will people get it? ...Secrecy is for those who have something to hide.

    (P.S. Nobody has that many friends and high school acquaintances with that kind of cash.)

    January 25, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. Phil

    A new low in reporting for CNN. Wow! I didn't think I could be surprised anymore by your ridiculously shoddy and biased reporting. But I am - I am surprised.

    As anyone who actually watched the debate knows, this is a truly ridiculous report.

    January 25, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  14. Kenny, VA

    Did it seems like MSNBC had secretly declared McCain the candidate of choice to anyone else? He got more air time than any candidate, and nothing but powder-puff questions. Poor old Ron Paul just as well not have even come for the three token questions they tossed him.

    Romney got more than his fair share of questions too, but too bad so many of them were attack questions from the moderators. Look at the last round of questions when the moderators...er, I mean the New York Times, unloaded on Giuliani and Romney, not even bothering to attack policy but rather attack them personally as arrogant and unlikeable.

    Then you get to McCain. The "Chuck Norris incident" is mentioned, but there's no direct mention of age and it's dropped without asking McCain to respond to it, and then he's asked very mildly without all the editorializing and name calling that had come in the previous two "questions," if he has a temper.

    Overall, that debate was about as lame as they come. I thought all the candidates performed well enough and we did get to hear some policy points rather than vague generalizations. But on the whole it was sort of a waste I thought. Thanks for nothing, MSNBC.

    Oh ya, and as for the quote in question, I saw it in context. I knew what he was saying, but there's no question that it's an unfortunate sound bite.

    January 25, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. Al Cutris

    You Romney supporters are totally delusional lunatics. Have a nice life... on mars.

    January 25, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  16. Gerald Anderson

    If you like Bush, you will love Romney. Bush on steroids. Only two things the Mittster cares about; power and power.

    The Mittster is arrogant, pompous, and hated by his fellow seekers of the presidency.
    Who cares how much money he spends – he'll spend it all if he has to so he can look his church elders in the eye and say "now who is most powerful?"

    If this guy wins the grand prize, Costa Rica, here I come...

    January 25, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. Derek

    If contributions decide who you vote for, perhaps you shouldn't vote.

    Mitt '08

    January 25, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    You "commentors" who are playing right into CNN's hands...wise up! It was taken out of context and then placed on the top of the story in bold print! Read the article.

    January 25, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  19. Victor Edwards

    The arrogant Mr. Romney ought to be a little less cocky. He ought to know that there was a phenomenon in Michigan that he seems to deny. I and many of my friends crossed over to the Republican primary to vote for this turkey so that we could "mess" with the Republican primary mess, keeping this turkey in to confuse and make McCain crazy. The margin of victory in Michigan was not due to Romney's charisma or message at all, but to a bunch of crossover Dems whose primary was thwarted by the ignorant leadership of the Democratic party in Michigan. Knowing that our vote was simply a waste of time over on our Dem side, many of us went over and cast votes for Republican candidates. I think the general election will show that Michigan, as a state, is not at all a Republican, and especially not a Romney state.

    January 25, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  20. Tony.A Goodyear AZ

    Truer words were never spoken by a politician. What interest does any politician have in voters especially those with shallow or no pockets besides getting the vote.

    January 25, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. Christopher London, NYC

    So many politicians are outright frauds but since the mainstream media is behind the candidacy of Hillary Clinton, the Clinton News Network spends time in these gotcha games against Romney who would defeat her easily rather than reporting on the pile of evidence highlighting the fraudulent, deceptive and racist campaign being waged by Hillary Clinton.

    January 25, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  22. JB in NYC

    Whether in or out of context, the statement is more indicative of the fact that Romney has nothing in common with the voters.

    The #1 issue influencing my presidential vote while our country is at war and American soldiers are being killed on the battlefield is a candidate's position on how to effectively manage that war and provide American soldiers placed in harm's way with the maximum degree of safety possible .

    In the past, with his country at war and American soldiers being killed on the battlefield in Viet Nam, presidential candidate Romney avoided military service by performing "missionary work" in Paris.

    Today, with his country at war and American soldiers being killed on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan, presidential candidate Romney told reporters with a straight face that his five military eligible sons were serving their country by helping him get elected president. That spontaneous response to a reporter's question was a window into Romney's true character and it cannot be mitigated by the fact that 24 hours later his tactical PR spinners pushed him in front of microphones to say he understood that political campaigning for one's father does not in any way equate with military service for one's country during wartime.

    During a televised debate, presidential candidate Romney said the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba should be "doubled" in size and refused to take a straightforward position on torture. These statements from a man, whose actions and words demonstrate he does not believe in military service for his own family, showed a callous disregard for potential retaliatory torture of American soldiers captured by the enemy.

    This arrogant, selfish, unpatriotic hypocrite is not the type of person we need in the White House when our country is at war and American soldiers are being killed on the battlefield.

    January 25, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  23. Mike

    1st CNN knowingly posts this story with the response taken out of context. What kind of journalistic integrity is there? CNN should clean house if this is going to continue, just like Ted from Denver said "the most trusted name in news". Not if you guys keep this up.

    2nd if Mitt Romney wants to spend his own money so be it, at least he is not taking a bunch of money from private interest groups or lobyists. Or asking for the voters to give him money, especially with the economy the way it is now.

    3rd has any other candidate say that they would forfeit their presidential salary and give it to a charity? No. Mitt is the only one.

    Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee, and I can't wait until he gets to squre off with the Clintons.

    I loved that line last night in the debate..."we should all be afraid of Bill in the White House with nothing to do". Made me roll around on the floor laughing hysterically.

    January 25, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  24. Watching FL


    January 25, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  25. Anthony Palmer

    I love it how people are complaining about how CNN is taking Romney's words out of context, but they had no problems doing so when it came to John Kerry's "I voted for it before I voted against it" remarks, even though the full context wasn't provided there either.

    January 25, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
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