Romney on ‘poor’ comment: I misspoke
February 3rd, 2012
02:51 AM ET
11 years ago

Romney on ‘poor’ comment: I misspoke

(CNN) – One day after Mitt Romney took heat for a comment he made about the poor, the Republican presidential candidate characterized his remark as a “misstatement.”

“I misspoke,” Romney said Thursday in an interview aired on KSNV, a CNN affiliate in Las Vegas. “When you do I don’t know how many thousands of interviews, now and then you may get it wrong, and I misspoke.”

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Romney made the original comment in an interview with CNN on Wednesday morning, in which he said he was not "concerned about the very poor" because there is a safety net in place for them—but added, "if there are holes in it, I will work to repair that."

Opponents of the former Massachusetts governor quickly pounced on his remarks and took them out of context in attacks against the candidate. Republican presidential rival Newt Gingrich especially criticized Romney over the comment.

Romney spent Wednesday afternoon clarifying his statements, saying his prime focus was to help the middle class, a group he sees as “most hurt” by the Obama administration. He argued the poor and the wealthy have not been as harshly affected because systems are in place to protect them.

But Thursday was the first time the candidate acknowledged that he had misspoke, a rare moment for a candidate known for his discipline on the campaign trail.

Romney, who won Florida's primary earlier in the week, will compete in the Nevada caucuses on Saturday.

Filed under: 2012 • Economy • Mitt Romney
soundoff (639 Responses)
  1. WW_Dagger

    I think Romney should ignore the poorest 5% and focus on the middle class, as this will inevitably trickle down and benefit those 5% in a more permanent way than just giving out free money. Besides, I'd be willing to bet that many of those 5% probably choose the lifestyle, or simply deserve it. (think illegal immigrants, drug addicts, welfare queens, etc.) If you want to help the poorest that are simply just unfortunate, make it easier to be a middle class citizen and they will naturally move up.

    February 4, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  2. St Xavier

    Romney has the habit of misspeaking, do you want a president who speaks before thinking thing's out first, this kind of talk will get this country into trouble even WAR, THINK ABOUT IT.

    February 4, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  3. Zo

    He didnt misspeak, he has no general concern for the poor. Running for president is about power for Mitt
    Romney; he is not out to affect change or so called save the country. Someone with that much wealth could be much more effective in the private sector than being a politician. The U.S. is not Bain Capital, he is as out of touch as they come and will say anything to get elected.

    February 4, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  4. Roberto

    If he's not concerned about the poor because they have a safety net, why would he be concerned about the middle class? If they see hard times, they will just become poor (with that great safety net) and he won't have to worry about them anyway!

    February 4, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. jay

    Romney misspeaks a lot.

    February 4, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. jim

    Roberto, he is concerned about the middle class because they are the only hope of saving this country. The very poor contribute nothing and the very rich contribute little.

    February 4, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. Rabble

    He misspoke because he opened his mouth.

    February 4, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. For Mitt Romney

    sounds like a lot of liberals on here. I think its about time someone wants to step up and help the middle class, you go Mitt!!!!

    February 4, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  9. Terry G

    He mis-spoke? Bull.

    February 4, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  10. Janet Faye

    Speaking as a Democrat and therefore a non-Romney fan, in his defense I will say I think the statement was taken out of context and I understand the point he was attempting to make. However, I do think it speaks to the fact that he is basically out of touch with the very people to whom he was trying to reach – non-wealthy Americans. This isn't the first time he has "misspoke" and if he wants to mount a serious presidential campaign, he needs to learn to speak more like a politician and be careful of the words he chooses. Having said that, Gingrich, the consummate politician, often suffers from foot-in-mouth!

    February 4, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  11. Noah Shuster

    I am not American. I am Brazilian. But in this case, of couse he was misunderstood. I dont get how big deal is that. Honestly.

    February 4, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  12. gary

    Mitt is too rich to understand the average man's plight

    February 4, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  13. Brian

    It's amazing how both the Democrats and the Republicans claim to be worried about the middle class, yet they both keep taking from us without ever fixing anything for the middle class

    February 4, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. ronald

    mitt romney came to florida the other day,that comment he made about the poor,that came from the heart,the embassy suite denied him access,so he stayed at the sheraton river walk,he did not tip any of the valets his entire stay,

    February 4, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
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