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. Buster Bloodvessel

    "Obama has shown that Class Warfare only creates uncertainty in the job market." The only ones conducting any class warfare lately are you conservative simpletons. How dare you turn "progress" and "liberal" into hate words? If there's a God, you'll burn like sausages on a griddle for your treasons. The job market is growing, the stock market is booming, and the news that Romney will be easily defeated is bringing about an increase in consumer confidence. Four more years of a good president and we'll be rich again.

    February 3, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. Gerry Daley

    He said exactly what he meant to say. I lived in Massachusetts the entire time he was governor. He lied his way into office...and then when people called him on it, his spokesperson's reply was "The Governor's position has EVOLVED."

    February 3, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  3. Enitan

    NO HE DID NOT MISSPOKE, he can not relate to poor people, because he has never ever worry about how to pay his bills or put food food on the table for his family.

    He has no FREAKING CLUE.

    February 3, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. Dopeysucks

    Unlike Odopey or Newton...they wouldn't apologize for making a mistake like this...they are to above that...

    February 3, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. a934222

    I think we are the one who are out of touch, this guy in no way can relate to us, he makes over $40k a day, a 100 dollar bill to us, means a Penny to him.

    February 3, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. GOP = Greed Over People

    Once again, a 1%er tells the truth and then backpedals and claims he "misspoke".

    February 3, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. benjolina

    Why did he apologize? He was stating the truth. Insensitive, yes. But the truth.

    February 3, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  8. JMcDermott

    Is this an opinion piece or political ticker? Either way they should fire the Editor. "A rare moment for a candidate known for his discipline on the campaign trail". Romney has put his foot in his mouth once again. This is not the first time and wont be the last. Also, his comments about the poor can not be taken out of context. It is pretty clear he is disillusioned about what is going on in this country.

    February 3, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  9. PM Ohio

    Nice picture, CNN, it looks like he just got done going down on Trump for his endorsement. at least he wiped up after...

    February 3, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. sortakinda

    What do we want? A pre-programmed robot whose every word has been vetted so that everyone will have the same understanding of what he says, and will agree with it? Not gonna happen.

    February 3, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  11. RositaCA

    MY President MUST think before he says anything, YOU WILL NEVER BE MY PRESIDENT Romney! take yourself another 4 years and learn how to connect with the American people, because you are NOT YET READY TO BE MY PRESIDENT

    February 3, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. Luke Brown

    Hey, Mr. Mittens ... I will probably mis-vote against you this November.

    February 3, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    They took a fraction of his sentence and abused the poor guy. "I am not worried about my mom having a place to live because she has a house that is full pad for" and then everyone says I do not care if my mom is homeless or not. He should not apologize, his full sentence put those words in proper context and it was not negative at all.

    February 3, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. Strangways

    I didn't think anyone was a verbal goof like GWB, but Mitt might be right up there. Next thing you know, he'll be surfing "the internets"...

    February 3, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. TR808

    Are these gaffes really not a window into what the real Mitt believes?


    February 3, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. jay105

    He was caught and put in evidence. He wants to be the president of the richest 1% not all of us so he will decrease their taxes and give them all the perks he can. the rest of us better rotten in our own poverty.

    and still people considering vooting Republican that makes me puke.

    February 3, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. KEV12

    If mitt romney say that I didn,t eat for 2 days because I didn,t feel good all dems and Newt will say that Romney is alien never eat and is going to starve the poor in america. And CNN will be talking about it aor a month.

    February 3, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. Jared

    Even if he meant what he said which is what so many people are arguing go listen to the interview. When you listen to it what he said makes sense. His campaign is focusing on the majority of America who lost their jobs under the Obama administration. He also said he is not worried about the rich. Romeny was just plainly trying to say he wants to focus his main efforts on the majority of America.

    To all those who continue to take his words out of context or say they know what Romney meant please go join hot headed Newt or enjoy another 4 years of Obama.

    February 3, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. GeneO

    Not worried about the poor – that will soon be the middle class and then he will not have to worry about anyone. We will be back to the days in England where the ultra-rich will dictate everything.
    The greedy shall inherit the earth.

    February 3, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. CBR

    Mr. Romney believes that his apology will get people to forget his original statement. However, he is being endorsed by a person who does not care for the poor or middle class. IF you accept endorsements like that, please do not come back and apologize particularly if you have not shown such compassion before you began your presidential campaign.

    February 3, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    I think this proves once and for all the Flipper the Elitist Robot is NOT a Christian.

    February 3, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  22. scmom

    Romneyrocks, you don't even know what a community organizer is do you?
    Mitt Romneny does not have your interest at heart. You probably have a job now, but God forbid if something castastropic happens in your life and you have to depend on some safety net. Exactly what would you do if Mitt succeeds as president and has his way and cut those programs? Think about it!

    February 3, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  23. Cedax

    Interesting, perhaps people will do the same and vote for Obama instead of Romney when election time comes around.

    February 3, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Fair is Fair

    @ Dominican Mama –

    Jesus also said "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eat for life". Seems like both you and Barack Hussien Obama are quite selective in your spirituality, huh?
    How can you teach someone anything if they are HUNGRY? We're -rational people- are not looking to keep someone on the gov't dole for life. We're looking to keep in place programs, and assistance to offer people who need it a leg up. That includes food stamps, medical assistance, UNEMPLOYMENT and all of those other programs that people like you think should be abolished.
    "What you do to the least of you you do unto me". NOTHING selective about that.

    @ Lynda:
    Exactly my friend. Thank you.

    February 3, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  25. Charles

    Make no mistake – He doesn't care about the middle class either. – Perhaps that was his actual mis-speak.

    February 3, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
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