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. Natalie Lavering

    Romney answered every question directly, articulately, and intelligently. It is even more clear now who will receive the Republican presidential nomination.

    Go Mitt!

    January 25, 2008 04:35 am at 4:35 am |
  2. tony

    Hey this guy is arrogant as hell and like Ross Perot,he thinks he can buy the presendency............My vote is for Hillary Clinton all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 25, 2008 05:17 am at 5:17 am |
  3. The Observer

    That has to be the most idiotic comment ever.

    January 25, 2008 05:18 am at 5:18 am |
  4. katiecashdavis

    To Christina–Your comment is so offensive and bigoted. You admit yourself that you too are a Christian, and so surely there are people who wonder about your underpinnings because a Christian actually believes that a man who was God was raised from the dead after three days. Faith does not always look logical, especially when put under such a bigoted light. I don't care if you like Romney or not, but please look to the issues. 6 million other Americans believe like Romney does so it can't be that dumb.

    January 25, 2008 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  5. Mark, Wilkes Barre PA

    Using admitted out of context quotes as a title to a news story ? hmmmmmm,,,,,I see very few bomb thrower comments on this story,,, I guess Obama and hillary's bickering tired the haters out,, It couldn't be that dem/libs are starting to get it ?

    January 25, 2008 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  6. Mike

    This just shows that Romney will be another Bush, not caring about voters, laws and regulations, privacy, the constitution, and many other issues. If you want another president that wants you to just trust him and not share anything with the people vote for Mitt "The Chameleon" Romney!

    January 25, 2008 05:37 am at 5:37 am |
  7. Hey Willard!

    'Mitt' cant even tell the truth to the public when asked what his name is (which is Willard Milton, names after Willard Marriott (marriott Hotels), another gazillionaire)...so what else is he inventing as truth? Seems like a spoiled RICHER THAN RICH kid trying to get the top toy in the store...at any cost.

    January 25, 2008 05:37 am at 5:37 am |
  8. Lisa

    One should ask if Mitt "I saved the Olympics" and "I saved MA's economy" can't get endorsements from the governors of the States that he suppose to have done so much for. Governor Huntsman (a fellow Mormon) from Utah endorses McCain.

    Too bad the average voter falls for what candidates claim they accomplished rather than look into the facts.
    If Romney was so good for MA, then why does he not have a chance to be elected there again?

    January 25, 2008 05:37 am at 5:37 am |
  9. Romney

    Romney stepped up as the leader on the stage in the debate last night. Who better to lead the county than an extremely successful businessman who has morals. Mitt Romney will do great things for the USA. He will make us proud to be Americans and proud he is our President.

    January 25, 2008 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  10. Bryan


    Don't get started with the faith issue. We could always bring up some of the things the catholics have done to other people throughout the centuries and what they believe but where does that leave me? Attacking a fellow American. This is what makes this country the greatest. That we all have the freedom to choose the religion that our conscience dictates. Does the belief in golden plates and angels make a person bad or is it the choices that they make with their life? Please make a decision base on what they are talking about and not their religious beliefs.

    January 25, 2008 05:48 am at 5:48 am |
  11. Jgian

    And he's not concerned about the voters? How True! He is only concerned about the corporations.

    January 25, 2008 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  12. Mittens

    There is nothing misleading about it. He said what he said. The real zinger is how testy Mitt got when Russert brought this up. Not good for someone who said a year ago that it would be a "nightmare" to have to use his own money for his campaign. He definately came off as quite the slimeball.

    January 25, 2008 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  13. James Tucker

    In the Iowa we saw alot of concern with Huckabee over religion endorsements? Now He wasn't active baptist minister.But,Romney is active Melchizedek Priest. Is not his endorsing him self representing the Church and issue that makes him unelectable? I mean you can't serve two god's.Does he not expect his Melchizedek Priest be issue brought on by the Clinton Political war machinery. And will destroy the GOP?

    January 25, 2008 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  14. Chuck

    It's irrevelant – so a guy is willing to invest his own money because he believes he can help the nation. The question was designed to get headlines and the exact amount shouldn't be a relevant factor for voters. Romney is the only candidate period. McCain is too old, too slow and doesn't get it on many issues. Guilani is a one-trick pony and we don't need a preacher as president in Huckabee. We need a CEO-model president like Romney who has intelligence and the resolve to "restructure government".

    January 25, 2008 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  15. DJR

    More spin, comments after the debate they couldn't say enough about Mitt and how he won the debate, in the morning I have seen one headline. what happened over night.

    Romney, was not saying he didn't care for the voters, a better choice of words would have been I have "CONFIDENCE" in the voters. He was saying in this that he didn't think the voters had an "ISSUE" with it.

    I think it says a lot about a person who puts there own money behind there convictions. They understand the value we place on it ourselves. No matter how much you spend, it is still up to the voters and he knows that.

    January 25, 2008 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  16. brooklyn

    I don't care for Romney but that comment was taken out of content as were so many other comments were from other candidates.

    January 25, 2008 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  17. James, Phoenix AZ

    More anti-Romney rhetoric. You people at CNN (and especially TIME) can't help yourselves can you? You can't give Romney a story without bashing him at least part of the way through it. So the man has spent some of his personal money on the campaign trail! The question should be: why hasn't McCain? McCain is filthy rich by anyone's standard and yet he hasn't seen fit to sacrifice some of his own wealth for his own campaign. Romney is the leader for 2008.

    January 25, 2008 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  18. bullmoose

    Mitt is just a Republican John Kerry.

    January 25, 2008 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  19. Warming up to Mitt

    I find myself as a woman who relys on her income warming up to Mitt Romney he really cares and that means a lot to me.

    The more I get to see Mitt, the more I find myself warming up to him.

    January 25, 2008 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  20. Doug

    If you're looking for journalistic integrity at CNN you're wasting your time. Every analyst agrees that Romney won the debate hands down and the only thing CNN can report is a comment taken out of context. This is a great example of "MAKING THE NEWS" not Reporting it. Shame on CNN.

    January 25, 2008 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  21. Russs

    In the context of his statement, he doesnt need to worry about the voters judging him negatively for caring enough to spend his own money. What he does worry about is that someone "on the stage" would use that information to twist his motives in the same way they have twisted this quote. He seems to be very wise in keeping strategy within the campaign. Surely spending is part of a candidates strategy.

    January 25, 2008 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  22. Andy

    Wow CNN, is that the best you can do to knock Romney? Pathetic.
    There are so many good sound bites from Romney at the latest GOP debate and you came up with that baloney? Romney was, by far and away, the only convincing presidential candidate out there last night. While McCain is aging by the minute, Huck and Rudy fading fast, and Paul (what is there to say?)....Romney made the others look like the weak politicians they are. The guy has a brilliant mind (law AND business degrees from Harvard) and has a record to back up his words. And all this talk about pouring his own money into the campaign...the guy is putting his money where his mouth is and the more people that get the chance to listen to him, the more his popularity grows.

    You're going to have to try a little harder than this lame rubbish to stop the surge for Romney!

    January 25, 2008 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  23. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    ... this from Mitt – the man who told us that he was a life-long hunter, that he saw his Daddy marching with MLK and that the dog really liked traveling on the top of the car – speaking in harsh tones about illegal immigrants while the same worked on his lawn.

    Why do all the major NE newspapers, including the ultra-conservative NH Union Leader, and the MA Boston refuse to endorse "the governor" or "the neighbor?" ???

    What has New England seen in Mitt?

    His comment about voters was out of context , unscripted and probably one of the truest comments he's made in the past year. You want change? Vote for Mitt! He changes his policies every week or so...

    January 25, 2008 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  24. Janice

    Sorry the story left out something very important that Mitt included in his answer. Mitt also said that he does not owe anyone (lobbyist) any favors for giving him money.

    Lobbyist – a person who tries to influence legislation on behalf of a special interest; a member of a lobby.

    Mitt is a Washington outsider unlike McCain so think about who really wants McCain to go against the Clintons. The answer is the dems, the media and the lobbyist.

    Fortunately only republicans will have a voice in Florida next week and we will see who wins.

    January 25, 2008 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  25. John

    --–Ha, he spoke the truth--ha. The GOP has never been about the average American and they finally spoke the truth.......and don't worry haters, I read the whole story and he really does not care about me. No surprise here really!

    January 25, 2008 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
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