Romney on ‘poor’ comment: I misspoke
February 3rd, 2012
02:51 AM ET
10 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. Anonymous

    How do you know when Mitt Romney has misspoken? It`s really hard to catch him talking because his foot is usually in his mouth.

    February 3, 2012 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  2. Pushism

    No Mitten's your arogance jut said what was on your mind!

    February 3, 2012 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  3. T in Dallas

    Spoken from the heart from the start. Typical of a old rich republican.

    February 3, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  4. sahpiro

    He did not misspoke he means what is realy on is mind and how he felt.

    February 3, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  5. BEn275

    He was speaking from his heart.

    February 3, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  6. petena

    Now, how many times did you misspeak? Once is pardonable but one more than that is not misspeaking. It is WHO you really are.

    February 3, 2012 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  7. rcasa

    Yeah, right.

    February 3, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  8. fedup

    This was no gaffe or misspeech. He said this same exact phrase dozens of times at his speeches! He cannot walk this one back, he must own it. Romney is completely out of touch with Americans.

    February 3, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  9. Thomas

    After saying the intial comment, Mr. Romney said it was taken out of context. Now he misspoke after getting hammered by the media and his primary rival, Newt G. This guy is an empty suit. He touts his business and private sector experience, but has not listed one proposal or an exmaple of a policy he put in place that created jobs. Where is the proof?

    February 3, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  10. Jules

    I get the feeling that Mitt didn't misspeak at all – that is what he really thinks. But I have a couple of other questions for Mitt. When was the blind trust you keep referring to in debates established? When were your accounts in the Caymen Islands and Switzerland first established? My guess is the reason he won't release more tax records is because his blind trust was recently established to try to give him cover for his offshore accounts.

    February 3, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  11. iceload9

    Romney's definition of "mis-spoke" is going off script. The only time he's being himself.

    February 3, 2012 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  12. Annie, Atlanta

    "I really meant it. Those people don't matter. Heck, I don't even come in contact with them. But I really can't show such a lack of caring and run for president, too, so sorry if you were offended." Good grief.

    You also shouldn't be able to offshore your money to avoid tax liability and run for president, too. That sure doesn't speak love of country to me. But then what do I know.

    February 3, 2012 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  13. JBW

    He did not misspeak. all of the programs he supports will gut the safety net

    February 3, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  14. DaveinPA

    No, Romney did not misspeak... he said exactly what he thinks!

    February 3, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  15. Anafiel

    Misspoke? How convenient. No, what really happened is that he reveled his true platform, and now he's backpedaling.

    February 3, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  16. iowa mary

    It is the way he thinks, but didn't think it was wrong until the media grabbed it. This man is sooooo out of touch with reality. And he will still cut more taxes for the rich and more programs for the poor if he is elected.

    February 3, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  17. zorak

    Who wrote this piece? Mitt's campaign manager?

    February 3, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    You can "misspeak" on facts, poll numbers, but no one misspeaks on what they THINK. You either think it or you don't. You don't care about the poor.
    Obama 2012.

    February 3, 2012 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  19. Andrew

    Think about the intelligence of his statement. He simply said he misspoke. He didn't really clarify his stance.

    That way, he is not saying "I will fix the safety net" thus upsetting the ultra conservatives, and he is not saying "I don't care about the poor" thus upsetting the moderates.

    He is a crafty politician. True example of a flip flopper.

    February 3, 2012 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  20. icy

    move on all ready. i am the middle class and i am glad he feels the way he does.

    February 3, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  21. detada

    Romney did not "misspeak". He said exactly what he intended. He has made the exact same comment many times previously.

    February 3, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  22. Calvin

    Mitt said just what he wanted to say, he was sending a message to that 1% that are backing him.

    February 3, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  23. John B

    They all lie. Republicans without a doubt. But, Obama does too. They all profit while we lose. They do what they can to divide us so we pay less attention to all the destruction that they wreak on us and the country and world as a whole for their own personal power and profit. And yet most of us accept this as status quo. Only when people see what is really happening and the mass apathy ends will change begin.

    February 3, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  24. RBB

    This is what sells the news.

    February 3, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  25. Amazed2

    Evidently the mormon Bible and the GOP version both leave out the 2000+ times we are told to help the down trodden and the poor.....

    February 3, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
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