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. Robert

    Oh please.....he also said he didn't care about the very rich. But you don't see folks crying about that one for some reason. If you can't use the WHOLE quote in context, then take your pacifier and go back to bed.

    February 3, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. mm

    Misspoke again?!
    God help us all if this moron comes close to the White House. Can you imagine the implications of his misspeaking then and there? YIKES!

    February 3, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. Vote Mitter! He's a real bull sh...

    Notice how Mittens puts the focus on the act of speaking (He misspoke). As if he had no control. When in reality, it was his brain that made the error. Smooth move by the slicked-back slimeball.

    February 3, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    @Lynda/Minnesota – I was dumbfounded by "Fair is Fair's" remarks, too. I stared at it so long that they closed the comments.

    February 3, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  5. Brian B.

    Very disappointing. When your running for office you never misspoke.

    February 3, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  6. Punisher2000

    Typical of a politician. Screw up then apologize. Figures.

    February 3, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    "He argued the poor and the wealthy have not been as harshly affected because systems are in place to protect them."

    Yeah, the very poor have that world class safety net...that the GOP wants to destroy.
    And the wealthy??? To say systems are in place to protect them.....I guess so, Mr 13%!

    February 3, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  8. davetharave

    Romney and all the Republicans are continuously mis-speaking because they cannot hide what is really in their minds – that they have no thought for the poor, under-advantaged and struggling citizens of this country. Their friends are the rich, multi-millionaire and billionaire elite who bankrupted this country and will do so again if left to their own devices in a Romney administration.

    February 3, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  9. Skippy

    Like Santorum and his blah comment.

    February 3, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  10. Squigman

    No, you told the truth, now with the backpeddle, you're a damned liar. And you know htis is the truth.

    February 3, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  11. carly


    he said the same thing half a dozen times over the last month.

    February 3, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    Trustworthy and smart, Skeeter, or just plain predatory? If Romney is so skilled with public speaking, how can he be so clueless about what he is saying? Romney's skills are in firing people to make money for him and his investors, not in creating jobs. His claims about Staples happened largely after he left, and is Staples really a place where you can build a career? Please. Obama turned DOWN opportunities to work with prestigious law firms because he wanted to actually do something and help people, something the GOP used to admire and apparently now scorns. Oh, in case you have not noticed, some of your fellow Righties have shocking grammar as well.

    February 3, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  13. MikeG

    Romney didn't mispeak, he had a Freudian slip. He doesn't give a rat's behind about the poor, and none of his kind do. They only care to use the poor as wage-slaves to make the rich richer. He and his kind are a cancer on the body of capitalism. And nevermind the fact that he is a cultist who wears Magical Underpants +5.

    February 3, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Exactly my friend. Thank you."

    Truth to tell, I have more respect for the very poor (Mitt's words) than ever will I have for the very wealthy. No doubt I'll be called envious, jealous, and a whole slew of other "epithets" from our friends on the right, but whatever. If it makes them feel better, so be it.

    February 3, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. JohnRJohnson

    The man is a pathological liar. He didn't "misspoke". He has been repeating the identical remarks since 2004. Who could possibly vote for this cardboard cut-out of a human being.

    February 3, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  16. The Real Tom Paine

    Should we be crying for the very rich, Robert? Would that soothe you, so you can go to sleep, counting reality stars like Trump?

    February 3, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  17. Jim in San Mateo

    Misspoke? No, Romney, that was just saying how you feel. If this guy gets to be President, America will become a country run by the rich, for the benefit of the rich, with a large dose of influence from Salt Lake City. And the Middle Class, what is left of it, will be stuck with the bill at a 28% tax rate.

    February 3, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  18. Cindy

    He did not misspeak. He just got caught. His policies for the poor tells it all. He will raise their taxes while lowering taxes for himself and friends. He has absolutely no idea what being poor is like. I would like to see him make-up a budget for a poor person trying to live on $900.00 a month. I would like to see how far off he is.

    February 3, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  19. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Take a nap people, you'll feel better when you awake.

    February 3, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. T'sah from Virginia

    ►Romney on ‘poor’ comment: I misspoke◄
    And now THIS "misspoke" is his latest JOKE
    Because Romney did not misspeak just ONLY once
    He said it more than once – Now who is the dunce?

    I love it when “all” of candidates – mainly Romney – say what they believe
    But when they get "caught" they no longer want to wear it on their sleeves
    And one needs to ask the question – Does Romney really care?
    About "anyone" who lives outside his circle of "millionaires!!!!!???"

    Obama 2012 – Because he cares without fear!!

    February 3, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  21. Beverly - NYC

    Mitt Romney embodies every rotten Senior Management tool I've ever encountered during my corporate life. Executive hair, chauffered car, corporate jet, they stride in to a company with their bright ideas and consultants, FUBAR the company & get a golden parachute out the door leaving the working stiffs holding nothing but severence if they're lucky & their pension in ruins. But heavens forbid we ask these soul sucking "job creators" to pay their fair share in taxes of thir ill gotten gains can't have that.

    Elect Romney, he will make what Scott, and leather face Brewer are doing look like childs play. While Republican Governers can only affect their state, Romney can screw us all 50 at once.

    February 3, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. John

    Any Republican Is going to tell you what they think you want to here. But every once In a while they realty tell you the Truth and than tell you the Misspoke or the media didn't get It right. All Republican LIE to you,and I now they all Lie but the Republican are ten time worse.

    February 3, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  23. randomperson

    Don't Republicans hate the poor anyway? I thought they already didn't care about people who didn't have a college degree and generate a 6-figure income. I'm not sure why people are getting upset when he's just highlighting what the Republican party stands for- an obvious preference for the wealthy.

    February 3, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "I mispoke"....AFTER he defended the comments. This is ANOTHER FLIP FLOP based on the public's reaction. PANDERING BUFOON. Dance puppet dance!!!!

    February 3, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. Mark

    He's a rich and arrogant SOB, of course he is going to back pedal and say he misspoke. He let out his true feelings and it came back to tazer him.

    So to him: I laugh at thee.

    February 3, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
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