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. Mary M.

    When Joseph Smith, the founder and great prophet of the Mormon religion, ran for president in 1844, a pamphlet expressing his views (”General Smith’s Views”) was distributed across the nation. The following are some of Joseph’s positions*; they are worth reading for their striking humanity alone, born, no doubt out of his own deprivations:

    “Petition your state legislatures to pardon every convict in their several penitentiaries, blessing them as they go, and saying to them, in the name of the Lord, go thy way and sin no more. Advise your legislators when they make laws for larceny, burglary or any felony, to make the penalty applicable to work upon roads, public works, or any place where the culprit can be taught more wisdom and more virtue; and become more enlightened. Rigor and seclusion will never do as much to reform the propensities of man, as reason and friendship. Murder only can claim confinement or death. Let the penitentiaries be turned into seminaries of learning, where intelligence, like the angels of heaven, would banish such fragments of barbarism.

    January 25, 2008 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  2. Chris Shaw

    CNN and the other media players are more and more desperate to find anything and everything to dismiss and discount Romney's success. Here is another example of fabricated "news." The fact that the victories in Wyoming, Michigan and Nevada went resoundingly to Mitt Romney is not mentioned nearly as frequently as the "impression" that he had garnered the most ill will of any candidate. It seems he garners this ill will more from the "experts" and "pundits" who are repeated proved wrong as he makes his way to the White House despite all the best attempts to distort the truth and sway the public with dishonest and biased reporting

    January 25, 2008 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  3. Pat Sanders

    These debates usually favor the leading candidates because they get more questions, but the way the questions went out on this one I felt like Romney was being courted by those asking the questions. It was like date night with Romey. And since no other candidate put up any real debate with Romey about what he was saying it was like Romey was Scarlet O'Hara and the rest were just at the barbecue admiring Romney...just happy to be in Romey's company. And when Romney was asked how much money he had spent on his campaign...well just like Scarlet O'hara...he will "worry" about that question "tomorrow".

    January 25, 2008 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  4. Bryan

    I can't believe Russert was so adamant with that question. What relevance does that have with voters, really? None. Totally worthless question. And for Russert to pretend that he's doing Florida voters a favor by asking the question...as if Florida is gathered outside the debate hall, waiting for the answer so they can go on with their early voting ballots. What a joke Russert. Stupid, stupid question.

    January 25, 2008 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  5. Eric G from Prospect Ave in Brooklyn, NY

    These guys don't take the issues seriously.
    The republicns play politics as if it were a game. Give me a break. God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 25, 2008 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  6. Bill

    Come on. This isn't news worthy. Are you trying to get readers to take this out of context?

    January 25, 2008 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  7. Democrat for life

    Nice and the people who vote for him will be voting about a candidate that doesn't even care about you and wants to be president for his own personal gain.

    That's Ward Cleaver for you folks...

    January 25, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  8. Left Despiser

    CNN!!! Come on guys. Romney made his point- it had nothing to do with the "voters" it was about Tim Russert's framed question and not willing to let Romney answer how he wanted- Russert couldn't handle not owning the situation.

    Romney is the answer to beat the left-wing-loco's!

    MITT 2008!!!

    January 25, 2008 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  9. ED

    Mitt is a loser, just wait.

    Go McCain!!!!!!!!!

    January 25, 2008 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  10. keith Pike

    Russert got an earfull,but was still soft ball question.

    January 25, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  11. John

    So you acknowledge that taking the line out of context is misleading and potentially damaging to Romney, and you do it in the headline anyway? I'm no fan of Romney, but that's a little low.

    January 25, 2008 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  12. Robert Robertovich

    Dear CNN,

    I know you're in the business of combing through intelligent dialogue for good soundbites, but this is raw distortion.

    Russert's question was loaded and, in my opinion, inappropriate. As an independent who looks quite favorably on multiple candidates, I felt Mitt provided an honest, articulate, and very reasonable response. To pull an unbecoming "buzzphrase" from an otherwise legitimate answer is an unfortunate attempt to raise controversy where there is none.

    I humbly suggest that you chose a headline that reflects the reality of a civil and excellently conducted debate – an endengered species as of late.

    January 25, 2008 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  13. stan pitts pa

    please dont distort his comments! present his whole sentence, im not a romney fan, but i admire this guy, he is smart and knows how to play a goog game! he had a great debate night!

    January 25, 2008 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  14. Robert Robertovich

    Forgive my spelling error. It is late and I study economics, not English (obviously). The last snippet should read:

    I humbly suggest that you CHOOSE a headline that reflects the reality of a civil and excellently conducted debate – an ENDANGERED species as of late.

    January 25, 2008 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  15. Seamcg

    I used to think that no one could be more deceitful to the American people than Bill Clinton was. I believe Mitt Romey may be that guy. He will say anything to get his way. Unbelieveable!

    January 25, 2008 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  16. Sidney

    What is it with the news coverage, this is all they could come up with.
    Every correspondant I heard gave Romney glowing reports on his performance, he's leading in the polls and the news papers act like he's not a serious contender. This is getting to be rediculous. There' s good reason he's the least liked by the other Republican candidates, he's the least like all of them and the biggest threat.

    January 25, 2008 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  17. Stimbot

    "I have rich friends"

    January 25, 2008 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  18. Sam, Chicago, IL

    Random comment taken out of context. He meant he wasnt concerned about voters knowing how much he spent in Florida.

    Not fair to make that the headline. Maybe the debate was so boring that the folks at CNN are fishing for controversy.

    January 25, 2008 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  19. Mike in Kentucky

    Again, as a Democrat, what better gift to be given, than the gift that keeps on giving!

    I can hear this comment echoing down the long hallway of the election process, and to the Republicans and Mitt Romney, it will become the gift that keeps on hurting!

    He will not survive the ordeal.

    I smile as they shoot themselves in the feet.

    January 25, 2008 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  20. Jason

    “not concerned about voters” [finding out] - "finding out" was inferred in the context of his answer and was obvious to all. He noted that because campaigns are a competition, he would wait and disclose that information along with everybody else on the appointed date.

    I like that Romney is "putting his money where his mouth is."

    Politician are so willing to spend other peoples money–here is a guy willing to put in some of his own. I like it.

    The fact that he has raised more than his peers and is able to add some of his own says to me that not only do others believe in him, he believes in his ability to win and bring positive change.

    January 25, 2008 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  21. DBDarrough

    You have got to be kidding me CNN....You know full well that most readers don't click on every single headline to read every single article and to have a headline like this is just ridiculous. It just goes to show the liberal bias of CNN. Any honest person that watched the debate would feel this headline is obnoxious and totally misleading and to choose this as your blog post shows how warped your coverage of the debate is.

    January 25, 2008 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  22. Sidney

    You lead with a story that completely twisted what you know he was talking about why?( He slipped and said voter instead of candidate.) What ever happened to good journalism? You all need to go work for THE STAR or other taploids. Was it late and this reporter just wanted get a story submitted and could come up with nothing better?Alexander Mooney you are a poor journalists.

    January 25, 2008 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  23. M. Gaudreau

    Of course he's not. The only people he's concerned about are the wealthy and the radical right.

    January 25, 2008 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  24. Dr. Narin G. Singer

    "I'm not concerned about voters," stated Mitt Romney. I don't care what context that's taken out of–it's still a slip that shows what's really going on in his mind.

    He doesn't care about constantly changing his positions on the issues to suit his needs at a particular moment either, which he has proven time and time again.

    When are voters finally going to recognize Mitt Romney for what he really is: a "wishy-washy" yet good-looking and smooth politician who will say whatever it takes to look good in front of a specific crowd without regard for the actual truth of the matter at hand.

    He won't even tell us how much of his own money he's spent on his own campaign because that would be proof positive that he wouldn't even be a contender if he wasn't incredibly independently wealthy.

    America, we can do a lot better than Mitt Romney! With a common sense, outstanding candidate in Mike Huckabee who's a contender despite working with very limited finances and another lesser but good option in John McCain, why should we settle for a "second rate" president like Mitt Romney?

    January 25, 2008 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  25. Real Conservative

    The problem is not only the context but you have to understand how a campaign runs. If he tells everyone X amount then his opponents take that figure and try to make it negative any way they can. Also, there is an entire strategy within political campaigns of trying to make your opponents spend money out of a reaction of your own spending of money (or how you act like you are spending tons of money). Nothing to see here, except for understand competitive intelligence!

    January 25, 2008 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
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