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. jeremy,TX

    Who stills watches CNN??????

    January 25, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. Colby

    You guys just have to take this and try and make something bad out of it don't you!!! All I can do is laugh when they say Mitt is only after POWER POWER POWER. There is not a single Republican OR Democrat that has the experience Mitt does; none of them could get us out of this economic mess that we're in except for ROMNEY. So hate him all you want!!! Show me ONE person who is as educated and qualified as Romney is to fix our economy!!

    January 25, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  3. Brady Bonk

    Even IN context, it's not good. What Willard Romney has just told you is that he DOES NOT believe transparency to be important in the arena of campaign finance. He's also told you that he believes that his campaign has a right and reason to be secretive, and a secretive presidential admin. is something we don't need another term of. He's also revealed to you his personal paradigm about the presidential race: It's not a campaign to appeal to you, to the voter; it is instead a competition against the other guy. No, kids, I'm sorry. In context, out of context, however: This comment reveals a lot about Willard Romney, how he is running, and how he would govern.

    January 25, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. Nate Smith

    Democrat or Republican, you have to admit that the choices this year are a lot better than the previous two presidential elections.

    If it ends up being Romney v Obama choice we can't lose!

    January 25, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. Girlbird

    I am all for a free market, but how on earth have we made it legal in America for someone to buy his way to the White House?? It's not right in the money comes from corporate interests, and it's not right if the money comes from a rich guy, whether his name is Romney 08 or Kennedy 60 or whoever. This is just wrong. American deserves better than this cynical garbage.

    January 25, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. homjett

    The Clinton Network (CNN) at its best, trying to discredit Gov Romney, again, an again, an again. Its why they are losing their credibility. I noticed that CNN did not take comments of others out of context. Interesting. I am not a big fan of MSNBC (MSDNC) but I respect Tim Russert, an when he says Gov Romney won the debate, that works for me. Could we see a retraction of this obvious slight to Gov Romney, or maybe a qualifier, before the voting starts.

    January 25, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  7. KO Fan

    Please, please let MItt be the candidate ... even Shrill with all her negatives will mop up the floor with him!

    Go Obama 08!

    January 25, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  8. jdeasy

    Romney had an interesting twist on an answer asked by Russert.
    The reason that things have gotten so bad in Washington for the past ten years is that republicans have been acting like democrats in spending. I turned the TV off after this amazingly stupid answer. You go Mit. Go to hell!

    January 25, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. Jacob, Indianapolis, IN

    You Romney bashers are pathetic. Take a line completely out of context and make Romney out to be "spoiled" and "uncaring." Use some logic. If Romney truly didn't care about the voters, would he be spending so much of his PERSONAL money to fund his campaign? Would you be happier if he bought a yacht and squandered his wealth on selfish things? He truly believes that he can make a difference and make America better. That's why he's spending his money. What he doesn't want is to divulge to the other candidates how much he still has in his coffers for strategic reasons.

    Get some new material. By the way, the religion card has already been used. So has the "flip-flopper" rhetoric. Do any of you have any constructive analysis?

    Here's some constructive criticism: McCain has no clue about the economy. He didn't even understand the question Paul posed to him. All he did was list the Washington gang that he'll pull in around him. Huckabee's fair tax is a fraud. Do a little independent research. Try the Wall Street Journal for example and read about how it is such a foolish idea that "no competent candidate" would push for its implementation.

    January 25, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  10. btc

    I can't believe that CNN had the audacity to try to spin that statement so out of context. Maybe they just didn't watch the debate because it wasn't on their own network. Anyone who watched the debate understands that he meant he wouldn't mind the voters knowing how much he had spent, but he wouldn't want to divulge it to his competitors. Romney fan or not, this story is a perfect example of how the media use their influence to sway voters.

    January 25, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  11. Lee

    So, Christina is more worried about faith than whether a candidate cares about voters? I would not be surprised if many others feel this way – it says a lot about the sad state of American politics that fundamentalists have such a powerful impact and influence on the process and on politicians.

    January 25, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  12. Zach G

    When I first read the transcript of the debate (I wasn't able to watch it live), I thought the exact same thing this article says. Even IN CONTEXT it sounds negative to the voters. Why would he NOT want the voters to know how he runs his campaign? Will he do the same with his administration as president too? When you're running your campaign on your economic principles and abilities, it should be understood that people would want to know how you manage your campaign finances. If you're in debt (to yourself or anyone else) the public should know.

    I think how you run your campaign says a lot about how you would run your presidency. I'm impressed with Huckabee's decision to not go in debt with his campaign. That's the kind of outlook and focus I'd like to see our candidates take with their campaigns and presidency when they get there.

    January 25, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  13. Todd

    Why does CNN have it in for Romney? They only give positive press to Hillary, Obama and McCain.

    January 25, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. CC, Bartlesville, OK

    Victor Edwards,
    You ought to get a REAL life..........talk about ARROGANT ....and maybe IGNORANT!

    January 25, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. Morgan

    This is horrible reporting. I'm done with CNN.

    January 25, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. Blake

    Good sign about not being concerned about voters – say what you think without worrying about what other people think. Agree about always contorting his words to make headlines.

    January 25, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  17. josh 7911

    Romney doesn't care about anything but power. I hope he wins the GOP because any of the Dems would eat him for breakfast

    January 25, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  18. veronica lynne

    I caught this remark last night and thought it was a terrible answer!
    Kind of like when he said "I'd first check with my lawyers" when asked in a previous debate what he would do if there was an another terrorist attack!
    Mitt Romney is trying to buy the nomination with his riches, and I think that stinks for America.
    Go away Mitt, and take your millions with you.

    January 25, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  19. CJ, Richmond, VA

    For all you knee-jerk reactors WATCH HIS ACTUAL RESPONSE IN THE DEBATE. That's right, I'M SUGGESTING THAT YOU ACTUALLY INFORM YOURSELVES!! CNN even admits that this quote was taken out of context. If you actually watched the debate you'd see that he was saying that he wasn't concerned what the voters would do with the knowledge of how much he's contributed, only what his opponents on that stage would do with that knowledge. It would give all of them an unfair advantage. By the way, there is a system in place which requires all candidates to report on their campaign contributions. Romney will do so WHEN ALL THE OTHER CANDIDATES do it, which is only fair and just. So all you Romney-haters can just chill out. There is no reason for him to have to report prematurely. THINK, people... please!

    January 25, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. John





    January 25, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. Ian

    It's obvious why CNN is reporting this. If they laid down the many facts as to why Romney is NOT a good candidate you're little pea brain would quickly get bored. Little sound bites are the only way to get through to you Mitt loving morons. Or is it mormons?

    January 25, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  22. CJ, Richmond, VA

    Michael, as to our "irrationality," all you have to do is look at some of the the comments on this article made by uninformed and ignorant people who did NOT understand the article the way you understood it to see that damage was done.

    January 25, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  23. erin

    Anyone who actually watched the debate would know that the "I'm not concerned about voters" line came from the statement that 44% of the nation doesn't believe that a Mormon president could unify the nation. It had nothing to do with money. For all of you who think that CNN was reporting that accurately, go find the actual viewing of the debate and figure it out for yourself.

    Mitt totally took the debate last night, especially in terms of economics. The other nominees don't like him because they know he has the experience to turn the country around and they won't admit that.

    January 25, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  24. Richard

    This guy Romney is a joke. I will NEVER vote for him.

    Americans are sick of corporte America controlling everything and Romney is the face of the corporations. He cant wait to sell us out to China by outsourcing good paying jobs. Come on people wake up!!

    Please if you care about America and saving your job DO NOT vote for Willard Mitt Romney

    January 25, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  25. GLENN

    What if he uses his on money? To me this shows he really want's to be President (why I do not know, I would not have the job). He is the only one that I would trust to be president. I hope he makes it all the way and for the people that say they would vote for HILARY "BILL" Clinton need to stick their heads back in the sand.

    January 25, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
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