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. Stacey

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

    lol! but Mr. One Percent doesn't care about the middle class either! Let's see how glad you are when you continue to pay your taxes at a higher rate than millionaires and billionaires!

    February 3, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  2. Ban KKiller

    When was the last time Mitt filled his own car with gas? Shopped at a grocery store? He is out of touch. We all know he is a total corporate stooge like most politicians. His goal is more power and to preserve the plutocracy we have in America today. There are no democrats or republicans...there is only people vs corporations. Is Greenwich, Ct fireproof?

    February 3, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  3. Brandonious

    No Mitt, you didn't mis-speak. You had a rare moment of being honest about how you really feel.

    February 3, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. Author Charlieg

    Agree with Annie, Atlanta, find out who is funding our candidates at least. That is how they will vote once elected, not for us. More debates, more relevant questions, not the ones they have been asking, and listen to what they say. Then vote.

    February 3, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  5. urthat

    Mitt actually said what he, as a one-percenter, actually felt. He is a blue blood. He is the opposite of a populist. If he gets the nomination, President Obama has four more years.

    February 3, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. Ryan

    That was Hilary's favorite line from the 08 campaign. No, it's what you meant.

    February 3, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. Rosie

    STOP. ENOUGH. With all the problems in this counrty and world, where does this rank?? Near the bottom....and most of us could care less.

    February 3, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |


    The unemployment rate has dropped to 8.5%! Sorry! I misspoke! Make that 8.3%! Sorry Mitt! Hahahahaha!

    February 3, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. native new yorker

    That's OK Mr. 1%. You just keep on misspeaking. That's the only way we'll learn the truth.

    February 3, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. Charlie from the North

    Well I will give Mitt his due on this one. I appreciate his apology. 8 long years of the "Bush Error" and constant mistakes and never a word about being sorry or even admitting he was wrong has jaded me towards his party but Mitt's stock has gone up in my book for actually admitting a mistake. Bravo! You will not earn my vote but my respect is always available to be earned.

    February 3, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. Shardik

    Interesting when he "misspoke" he also admitted the rich already have systems in place to protect them...

    February 3, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  12. david

    "Misspoke." Cheap. On a side note, one more month with unemployment decreasing and economy improving.

    February 3, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. Mortalc01l

    Ummmmm... I mis-spoke, ah... umm... what I said wasn't meant to be "factual".... Errrrr.... it was taken out of context...... OK... I LIED!!! You got me.

    February 3, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. B

    I am not sure he misspoke and as for what he said - we should still "care" about the poor. But, I am worried about people like me too. I and my husband are highly educated and work very hard but are bogged down by student debt from a professional degree. We live paycheck to paycheck. There is no safety net for me, for my husband, for our children. Its scary. We are doing the "right" thing by paying our bills on time, and all we get told is "congrats - pay more taxes."

    February 3, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  15. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    Mitt Romney only misspoke as far as the rightwing is concerned when he made the second part of his statement, the one about mending the saftey net for the poor..they don't want to hear that. They had little problem I don't think with Mitt saying he didn't care about the poor since they feel the same.

    February 3, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  16. DougO

    S(rew the poor! They don't have any money anyway! Oh, wait I mistyped, I didn't mean that, what I meant to type was "I care about the vermin", dang it, mistyped again, I mean "I care about the varmints" (is 'varmints' ok?, no!) I mean "I care about the little people".

    February 3, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  17. Big B

    BIG MISTAKE Mitt. This back pedaling will hurt you more than the comment.

    February 3, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    @T'sah from Virginia

    I wouldn't worry about Fair has to say. She's more consistent than her guy Mitt. Whenever Mitt screws up, she goes after Obama. Whenever anyone from the right screws up, she goes after Obama. I think we all know what's really on her mind where Obama is concerned. She's fairly transparent.

    February 3, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  19. Buster Bloodvessel

    His mistake was running for president.

    February 3, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  20. fissels

    You really can't win with the leftist media anyway. They are just waiting for something they can twist into a "gaffe" I have no problem with what he said, nor should anyone, including folks who hate Republicans

    February 3, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  21. JustMe

    Sorry Mitt, but this is not a mis-speak, but a flip-flop.

    February 3, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. CajunW

    This guy has probably given more of his personal money to the poor than everyone on this panel makes in their lifetime and you say he doesn't care about the poor??? He's a contributor to the safety net and yet he gets nothing but grief for his efforts. Can anyone here even name the programs in the safety net?

    February 3, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  23. Ray

    ...his magic underwear failed him.

    February 3, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. Knucklehead

    Let's be fair. I'm not a Republican but taken in context what Mitt said wasn't really that bad. What I don't think anyone has picked up on was when he said "..if there are holes in it, I will work to repair that." Shouldn't he know or at least have an opinion as to whether there are holes in it or not before he runs for President?

    February 3, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |

    I just misspoke I mean spoke to my brother Mitt II, and he said what he really meant when he mispoke was that he's not concerned with the very upper middle class because they're better off. Instead he's really in fact concerned with the very poor. Really! That is what he told me! Oops! I lie! Well, actually I misspoke too. He really didn't say that! Sorry Mitt II!

    PS. Your little bro!

    February 3, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
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