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. Walt

    I think what he meant was not that he did not care about the voters, but that the information was more useful to his opponents, and that he was not worried about the voters knowing the amount.

    January 25, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. bill

    Romney's the only one who knows how the economy works.

    That makes my vote easy.

    January 25, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. Brian

    Why is anyone surprised? Romney is a Republican, and by definition Republicans don't care about anyone (voters include) who's worth is less than a few million bucks.

    January 25, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. R S

    Does he really think he can buy his way into the White House ?

    Can it be that , in the end he will , take Obama as his running mate an Kerry to Swift Boat them down Victory Lane.
    With McCaski at the whelm. A good four some.

    January 25, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. Gene

    I detect some JEALOUSY...
    Mitt Romney meant that he 'wasn't concerned about the voters' thinking that spending his own hard-earned money in his campaign would be an issue whatsoever. That's not on their minds... IT'S THE ISSUES, STUPID. I admire someone who sacrifices his time, and money, (not to mention the sacrifices of his family, who have busy lives of their own), toward making this country a better place in which to live for everyone.
    Mitt Romney is smart, handsome and rich and people are jealous. It's a free country, so go out there and earn your own money and stop trying to blame your shortcomings on someone else.

    GO MITT IN '08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 25, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. Nomad

    He meant he didn't care to disclose the amount to the voters now!!! It's not germaine to a debate on political issues! Why did Tim ask HIM that question? That figure will be disclosed at the required time like it always is – he won't be non-compliant. I didn't think Tim had a bias, but I believe he does also. Come on – let's report things in context. I watched and listened to the debate. Stop pulling those snip-its of sentences to be sensational and inflammatory to Mr. Romney. You're just showing you're as jealous as his fellow Repub candidates ... they, and YOU, hate him because:

    * he's gorgeous
    * he's rich
    * he's brilliant
    * he speaks beautifully and gives quick and direct answers
    * he knows the nation's issues and has ideas and knows steps to take to solve them
    * he has a beautiful wife and family
    ... the list goes on and on.

    Romney in 2008!!!!!

    January 25, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. charlotte

    Mitt doesn't care for voters, A lot of republicans don't care. Colin Powell .. There is someone I respect. Who knows what secrets are in his closet. At least he had the good sense to quit the Bush admn. A lot of smart people quit the Bush Admn. However, Powell is a republican. If he were running this would be a very interesting race. Then what would Oprah do?
    Oprah has turned really black, I'm not talking color, Oprah supports Obama, only because he is black . A School in S. Africa, when inner schools in Chicago could use some help. Nothing wrong with getting back to your roots. Black people cannot let go of theirs. I asked a black friend where she might be or would even be, if her ancestors were not sold into slavery by their own people? Would she still be in Kenya or some other place in Africa, living in absolute poverty. The Civil rights movement, affirmative action have lifted them out of very dark time in our history. Here they are at time when their votes really matter. White people who spoke up for them changed their lives. MLK was their voice, Rosa parks was the catalist. There was a time they could not vote, there was a time when women could not vote. For any Obama supporter to suggest they stay home from the polls in protest if Obama is not the nominee is very sad. If you vote for Obama merely because he is black thats fine, just VOTE don't give up any of your rights to protest something the republicans would love for you to do. We are Americans first!

    January 25, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. Oliver

    Maybe someone should explain the system to him, unless of course it does not agree with his religious doctrine

    January 25, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. Ronald Todd

    I wish that people that comment would read the quote and study the context before showing how dumb or prejudiced they are. It is very clear that the news media has informed us very well about Mr Romney spending his money on his campaign. why should he have to report a partial amount before January 31st.

    January 25, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. Libby McLiberal

    Bush says thsi all the time, he'snot concerned about polls or what america wants he has an agenda for his evangelical military industrial war complex and no one, certainly not the people, for the people, by the people, will get in his way, and theyrenot going to get in Mitt's way either i guess.

    January 25, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  11. Rob

    There are no set of circumstances under which Romney would ever get my vote. He is such a corporate puppet.

    January 25, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  12. RJ, El Paso TX

    Mitt is a liar and a snake. He's just practicing for his backroom deals with security and electronic surveillance corporations, can you say 3Com, just like Cheney did with the energy industry and Halliburton.

    This guy is nothing but a corporate puppet.

    January 25, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. K. Wilkinson

    Some of you Romney haters are so pathetic. I wonder if there is any brain activity in your heads at all. You can call him a jerk, you can call him arrogant, but the truth is CNN grossly misrepresented Romney and those of you who have silly putty for brains are all over it like mindless zombies!

    FACT: Did you know that Romney took on the job of fixing the Olympic Winter games when it had a 379 million dollar deficit and it was mired in scandal. Romney used his knowledge, education, experience and character to turn the games around. Not only did they clear the 379 million dollar deficit, he made 100 million dollars. Then, HE DONATED HIS $825,000.00 SALARY TO CHARITY. He also made a million dollar donation to the games from his own pocket. Sounds pretty selfish and arrogant doesn't it? You wouldn't know a good thing if it reached up and bit your *%$!

    You can call him a jerk. You can hate him because he has used his education and drive to make millions of dollars, but the truth is he has more character, more ambition, and more drive than any of you.

    January 25, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. Troy

    Hey, the more of his own money that he spends – the less he has to take from the government (via the taxpayers) like the other candidates do because nobody will donate to their crappy positions.

    January 25, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. Charles

    I see CNN is using the “Reality TV: Manual of Editing.” They “conveniently” omitted the sentence in which Romney stated he would not divulge his personal contribution to his campaign in front of his rivals as it would give them strategic information and compromise his political campaign. Mr. Russert seemed more intent on casting Romney in a negative light than he was to get an answer. Romney was lucid and articulate and clearly the better man in that exchange.

    January 25, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  16. Walt, Belton, TX

    If only Romney had a little bit of integrity, a smidgeon of fortitude and really cared about anything but himself....

    January 25, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  17. In deep endunt

    There is no way, in this lifetime or any other, that I would vote for or support Romney, but that quote is taken way out of context. This is exactly the type of thing that has Americans disgusted and pissed off wtih the media. Report, keep the politicians and the people informed and in check. Do your job and stop fanning fires that nobody wants.

    January 25, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  18. Steve

    People that support McCain over Romney typically have no perspective on illegal immigration.

    January 25, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  19. taxes people

    Whats funny is every dem is complaining about how bad they have had it as of late, even though the dems have been pushing all the spending in the government. They have no idea how bad it would get if one of their own got in the white house and taxes start to go up. You think your wallet is stretched now try cutting everything you have in your wallet by half if the dems get their way.

    I'm concerned for me and how this affects my wallet and way of life. Dems are so political and out of touch. But you get what you ask for. Don't be so short sighted.

    Mitt understands how the changes in Washington affect the real person. Not one of the dems or republicans understand this as they have never had to live like a real person, whith exception to Mitt.

    January 25, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  20. aaron

    I got a question for AK Surprise, Ted, Alvin Tanner, Mark in Tampa John Allen, and the Christian from NY and all the other "Conservatives":

    But first, how can you fall for a johnny-come-lately, say anything to get elected phony? What enraged me is, Mitt is so ready to talk tough about winning in Iraq. But he skipped Viet Nam. If his religion forbade him, he could have been a medic.
    He already admitted he is not interested in sending any of his five sons. (But he will send others) His most pathetic statement, saying his sons are serving by working on his campaign is almost treasonous. How dare he compare his spoiled brat kids licking envelopes to our sons and daughters in Baghdad.

    But to you Liberal-bashers, just this one question: What the hell are you doing here? Your country and party need you in "Southwest Asia" If any of you already did your tour of duty in Iraq, I apologize. But I am guessing you are just like all your heroes (O'reiily, Rush, Beck, and Dennis MIller) -- Chicken hawks.

    Answer my question.

    January 25, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  21. Former Rightie

    FINALLY !! It is long overdue that the press notices Romney has been trying to write his checks into the White House. This guy views the Presidential Office as for sale and he wants to buy it. Of course with a little help from "his friends!" I've had enough of the last 7 years of someone taking care of their friends.

    January 25, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  22. David Wright

    Mitt won last nights debate by a landslide and this is the headline? It will be the country's loss if Governor Romney is not our next president.

    January 25, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  23. winston

    Mitt is a good guy, who is really hard to hate....He is not very good words.....he's like Barack who fumbles sometimes, but he a good guy at heart

    January 25, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  24. Revale 4

    Does anyone realize that mormonism is the belief that "god" was once a guy who did real good things and was rewarded his own planet, and that if you (a mormon) do "good" here on earth, you'll be rewarded with your own planet and your own people?

    January 25, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  25. Deb

    He is a self serving, egomaniac who changes his positions to fit the crowd. I don't trust anything he says. One of those "tell them what they want to hear" guys with no idea what honesty is. His casual disregard of the "Voters" has been quite apparent. His only concern is "How much is it gonna cost to get me to the White House", Then let's see, "My friends gave me this much, so which cabinet position does he want........Hum, how many of those positions do I have to fill?"

    The only way another candidate could use anything against him, is if he has done something questionable. Then guess what!! Everyone would use it against him.

    As far as the illegal aliens factor. Who is gonna pay to deport all the ones that are here now? WE ARE. McCain is right in saying we have to secure our borders NOW, so that we can keep them, drugs, and terrorists OUT.

    January 25, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
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