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. superfudge1

    I wish Obama would stop speaking. Everything he says makes me sick

    February 3, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. The Greedy Old PIgs have declared class war on US!

    "His campaign is focusing on the majority of America who lost their jobs under the Obama administration."

    Ummm, no. Rmoney is focusing on his fellow neocons, predatory capitalists and psycopaths hidden among the elites. Have you even looked at his insane tax plan to increase the burden on us while handing out more corporate welfare to his corporate welfare queen buddies?

    February 3, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |

    So what's the big deal about his comment? After all, its not too late for him to seek psychiatric help!

    February 3, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    Wait, isn't Mitt following a policy of appeasement? If he were a real conservative, he would never apologise, becasue we all know they never make any mistakes, well, none that affect people that matter.

    February 3, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    All I know is that Mitt Romney's got Rush Limbaugh ranting about him instead of Pres. Obama. That's pretty bad.

    February 3, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    "I wish Obama would stop speaking. Everything he says makes me sick"

    Blah, blah, blah. In case you didn't notice, this article is about Flipper the Elitist Robot and his disdain for those not like him.

    February 3, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. rosaadriana

    Compared to Mitt we are all poor, so who is it he cares about?

    February 3, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. American

    He is right the Rich are doing just fine and the poor are doing great, after all the poor don't know what it is to have money anyways.
    Let the poor eat Cake just like Romney said.

    February 3, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. Will

    He is just not a very good candidate at all. This election seems very winnable for the Repubs, but they very well may blow it.

    February 3, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. bjaverly

    Mitt Romney is so out of touch with "regular people". And the media have already ordained him the Republcan nominee-Brian Williams of NBC News was laughing all over himself Wednesday evening as Gingrich asserted he would remain in the race. Very disappointing. Is it any wonder that many citizens feel our votes and/or opinions do not matter!

    February 3, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. Guest

    Well to be perfectly honest, the "middle class" as Romney calls it, a majority of them have become the "very poor." Does he have a plan for them to get back to the middle class?

    February 3, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  12. Kimo

    My advisers told me that I misspoke.

    February 3, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. matt

    Nah Romney was just telling the truth in regards to what he's about. Why would he ever support any policy that doesn't line his and his rich buddies pockets with gold? Those haircuts of his don't come cheap after all.

    February 3, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  14. OACL

    Romney makes me nauseous ... sorry, i misspoke, what i meant to say is "hes a great selection for president of the united states"

    February 3, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  15. felines

    What Gov Romney said is exactly how I feel. I am college educated, steadily employed at a "good" job, no hugh flatscreen TV's, no plethora of expensive electronics in my home, budgeted AC/heat, economical car, credit cards used sparingly, taxed to the hilt and fed up with concerns for food stamp, bus token provided people! The Feds, State, County, Churches, philanthropy groups are all concerned about the recipients of MY largess. But no one is looking out for people like me who are forced, though taxation on their HARD & HONEST WORK, to support OWS tantrum hooligans, unwed mothers with each kid having a different sperm donor, people with their hand out, high school dropouts , union thuggery- the list goes on. Hurray for saying what I dare say is the feeling dhared by many hard working American citizens.

    February 3, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  16. Sarbear

    People here do not understand the meaning of the word "context". Context means what he said in the interview... not what you think he meant to say, not what he has said previously – what he said at the time! This was not taken out of context at all. He said that the Democratic party is around to deal with the "plight of the poor", and that he was concentrating on the middle class in order to win the election. There – done, said. Stop trying to philosophize what he said! He said it – he did not misspeak, as he was asked to clarify and he did. He clearly does not care about the very poor because the very poor have safety nets. In the case of the nets not working, he will look into it – but, he's clearly not invested. The End.

    February 3, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  17. Me

    That's why it is important to write one's core values on one's hand. Good to have as a "reminder".

    February 3, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    While Republican Governers can only affect their state, Romney can screw us all 50 at once.
    I enjoy reading your posts Beverly. This one made me smile albeit ruefully.

    @ The Real Tom Paine: your forthrightness (sp) is refreshing, and appreciated.

    February 3, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    "I stared at it so long that they closed the comments."

    LOL Rudy. It happens to me all the time. For someone who prides herself on "raising Liberals blood pressure" it looks as if she let her own blood pressure carry her rhetoric too far. Tom Paine did get a really great reply in before CNN closed the comments.

    February 3, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  20. rs

    With Romney, I'll credit him with a wee bit of mis-speaking, but a whole lot of out of context quoting. That said, how can he say he'll "fix it" for the poor? Republicans are anxious to hack away at Social Security, Medicare and Medicad- never mind their anti-union, anti-blue collar plans. Sorry. Republicans simply don't care about anybody but the rich.

    February 3, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy: You cracked me up! Thanks, I needed that.

    February 3, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. Reeiping it Real

    To: 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.

    So why do you give Obama a complete pass? Your partisanship says everything.

    February 3, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  23. lorraine

    What part was a "misstatement"? The part about not being concerned about the very poor, the part about the poor having a safety net, the part about not caring about the very rich (ha!) or the part about how he is very concerned about the middle class? The only part that was TRUE was that he doesn't care about the very poor.

    February 3, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  24. Myself

    Wow...really people. How much whining can you do because of one statement that he said? Are all of you perfect in everything you say? Do you always express yourselves how you wish? Watch the video and see what he's saying. He didn't say he doesn't care about people, he said that he's more worried about the middle class than anything else. He's right by the way, overall the "very poor" have alot of programs set up to help them where the middle class citizens who are struggling do not. As Romney said, no program is perfect and some slip past...but didn't he say he wanted to fix that too? Maybe you should spend your time paying more attention to the issues and the message instead of getting hung up on one stray word.

    February 3, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  25. The Real Tom Paine

    You are welcome, Dominican mama 4 Obama and Lynda/Minnesota. There are only so many comments coming from the Conseravtive cartoon world/alternate reality that real Americans can take before they feel compelled to respond. My only regret is that I forget to check my spelling sometimes.

    February 3, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
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