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. Amber

    Very poor context or very Freudian. People will spin this anyway that they want.

    January 25, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  2. Pedro

    Did he not say he raised more than any other on the stage, then proceed to say that he was his own largest donor?
    What else could this mean than he's put more money into his campaign than the public?

    January 25, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  3. Brittany, TN

    The other candidates couldn't have said it better themselves! Great job Mitt! Go Huckabee!

    January 25, 2008 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  4. D. Frank

    When I watch CNN, I feel like they are acting as a media manager for Clinton and McCain. They intentionally clouted the debate, raising the race issue to help Clinton. That’s why Time magazine already focused McCain's picture.

    January 25, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  5. b


    January 25, 2008 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  6. Tim

    Wait just a minute, politicians AREN'T concerned, this is earth shattering stuff people.

    January 25, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  7. supernovia

    Thanks for posting this. I'll be curious to see who exploits the soundbyte and who does not.

    January 25, 2008 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  8. Deb

    He is not concerned about the voters!!! He is only concerned about HIS own self importance. What a telling comment... I wouldn't vote for him EVER!!!!!!!!!! Pompus jerk.

    January 25, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  9. Mark

    Yes... this statement can easily be taken WAY out of context. I too am not concerned about voters because the VAST majority of voters don't care how much money a candidate personally invests into a campaign. Neither is Gov. Romney.... voter simply don't care by and large. But the other candidates are because they're all strapped for cash and Romney's the only one who isn't and they're not happy about it.

    January 25, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  10. steve addison - wilmington, nc

    Context...is CNN trying to sabotage Romney...this isn't relevant.

    January 25, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  11. K. Wilkinson

    Why do people care so much how much of his own money Romney has spent? Does that change where Romney stands on the issues, or his past record? Does it change his multitude of successes? Does it change his character, or his abilities to lead?

    From what I've read Romney has raised more money than any other Republican candidate. He has also contributed from his own money. Romney stated earlier that he didn't think it was right to ask people to contribute to something that he was not willing to contribute to himself. I think that is pretty honorable.

    Romney knows that the voters are smart people. He doesn't need to worry about them, as he said.

    It seems the media will try to sour anything they can about Romney. Good luck. He’s a pretty amazing guy. The best they have is name calling and stupid questions about how much money he has invested.

    One thing is for sure. The American people have contributed more to his campaign more than any other candidate. That says something.

    January 25, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  12. Adam

    Russert seemed shocked when Romney said that he had raised more money than any other candidate. "What? you mean that people want you to be president?" Sorry Tim, more people have voted for Mitt than any other candidate, and he has more delegates. People support Romney because he is talented, not because he has boat-loads of money to buy TV spots.

    January 25, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  13. Brian

    This is AWFUL reporting. There was absolutely NO DOUBT that Mitt was saying he was not concerned about voters knowing how much he spent, but concerned about rivals knowing.

    The fact that you call out that it sounds bad out of context, but then don't give the context, makes you irresponsible.

    January 25, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  14. Pat Campbell

    This oops comment, "Well, I'm not concerned about the voters," may have been a freeby for the other candidates. It will be used out of context I'm pretty sure. I'm not a Romney supporter; but the qestion was a bit unfair because all the politicians are sinking in money to win no matter how you look at it.

    January 25, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  15. Nicholas Dahl

    Every Republican candidate, including Mitt Romney, should look hard at this "Mitt-stake." Every voter should look hard too. If this statement doesn't tell people about the type of politician Romney really is, nothing else will.

    January 25, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  16. Jed

    Romney is right. And his totals only recently (since right after New Hampshire) start to take into account General Election funds. Following New Hampshire, Mitt raised another $5 million in ONE DAY. Makes you wonder how much he would have raised if he had won the state?

    January 25, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  17. Chris

    It's obvious from context that he meant "I'm not concerned about the voters knowing how much of my own wealth I spent". Duh!

    January 25, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  18. Molly

    Sounds like a good campaign strategy to me.
    You've got my vote!

    January 25, 2008 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  19. Phil

    Why don't we try to be honest and true to the values of journalism and tell the truth and report all of the facts. In your piece here, you delibertly mislead us all by the way it is titled and your failure to report the whole message that came from Govenor Romney. You make it sound that he says he does not care about voters across the whole spectrum of both voters and issues. That is so blatantly not true as anyonie with at least some degree intelligence knows. He clearly stated that he has contributed a large amount of HIS own wealth, but it is worth it to have the opportunity to run for this office. I personally admire a person that is so strong in his convictions that he is willing to put his own dollar on the line. Come on CNN you can do better.

    January 25, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  20. jeff

    CNN stop starting off for me with your opinion please!

    January 25, 2008 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  21. Zach

    Come on CNN. You know better than this. This quote is taken completely out of context and you know it. By any standard Romney won this debate and you decided to pick one random comment, spin to your favor, and use it against Romney. Luckily voters were listening and they are intelligent enough to decide for themselves that Romney is most qualified to lead this country to economic security.

    January 25, 2008 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  22. Josh

    That's ok Slick Willard, we're not concerned about you either. =)

    January 25, 2008 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  23. Jonathan

    Do you at CNN think you could make this headline sound any more negative? "It’s a sound bite that probably wouldn’t play well without any context." This is exactly what you have done to readers who online skim the headlines on your page.

    January 25, 2008 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  24. RD

    Typical CNN BIAS.... take the verbiage out of context and make it an issue. Then in customary liberal style... remove the meat of the answer where Romney explains why he is investing his own funds and that he will OWE NO ONE.

    January 25, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  25. Joey Vedge

    Way to go, Mitt. Even if this is some kind of a slip, this guy obviously shouldn't be leading the nation. "I'm not concerned about voters." AWESOME.

    January 25, 2008 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
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