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. gg

    republicans are scrapping the bottom of the barrel with this line up

    February 3, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. NateFromIndiana

    It was a Freudian slip, but that does reveal something about his inner thinking. This one is going to be hard to retract.

    February 3, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. Mmmer

    I will not vote for this man and neither will millions of others. Granted, he did not mean for his comments to be taken as him being 'uncaring', but that is what comes across, regardless. I do not trust that he will have my interests in mind, therefore, I will not be chosing him.

    February 3, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. Mike, Albany

    Not only does not care in the slightest for the poor, he has zero integrity if he would lie through his teeth on this just to make himself look better in the eyes of the voters. Sorry, Mitt, but you will never be president.

    February 3, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Reeiping it Real
    So why do you give Obama a complete pass?
    When did I do that Reeiping it or Keeping it? Text, chapter, and verse please.
    Speaking of partisanship: IOKIYAR (thanks for the loan Sniffit!).

    February 3, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. Rick

    If you look at it in context, Romney clearly wasn't saying that he doesn't care about the poor. That said, he misspoke because his point didn't come across very well and he gave the media and his opponents a soundbite they can run with. Nowadays you have to be calculated about everything you say or it's going to blow up in your face. It happens to Obama and everyone else too.

    February 3, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. Harry Baxter

    Romney is running out of excuses. His mistakes won't be acceptable if he accidentally pushes the red button. Fortunately, though, he isn't going to get close enough to the White House to even see the red button.

    February 3, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. PTNY

    In my opinion, Mitt say's he misspoke and that’s not true. He has said the same thing about the poor several times and meant it the way he said it.
    Now, when he calls The President the Food Stamp President...what does he think this means? Isn't this the very poor who he's not worried about that are on the food stamps. How will feeding the poor change if he gets into office? Less food?

    He has no doubt embarrassed our most unfortunate citizens, the poor. Seniors, handicapped, mentally disadvantaged, those who are on food stamps now. I'm wondering what other countries think after hearing the candidates tear down & insult Americans that are already in unfortunate situations.

    February 3, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. BLKMANinAmerica

    wow..................SO........................M.R. do you ever in your life not-"misspoke", because most commoners call that a LIE. Why on earth do repuks tell sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo many LIES? Just sayen.

    February 3, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    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
    It happens to all of us and by the time you realize it...they shut down the comments!

    February 3, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Myself wrote:

    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?
    Want to know what he really said? He said that the rich are doing well, which totally contradicts his assertion that raising their taxes would hurt the "job creators." Want more hypocrisy? The Bush Tax Rates everyone is talking about affect earned income, not capital gains taxes. In other words, raising that top rate *does not* affect investment incomes. Let me know if you need me to expose anymore lies and misleading misconceptions that Republicans have been saying for years on end.

    February 3, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. cf

    Mitt Romney has never had to worry about being able to afford something, or wonder how the next rent check or mortgage payment is going to get paid, or choose between having electricity or running water because there's only enough money this month for one. Pretend all he wants, he simply CANNOT relate to poor people, he does not THINK about poor people because it is beyond his understanding and reality, and therefore he does not CARE about poor people.

    MY president is the president of ALL of Americans, not just the richest 1%. Romney will not be my president.

    February 3, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. carrotroot

    Mr. Romney must have an identical evil-twin who he's always apologizing for, because surely the guy who said "I'm not very concerned about the very poor" apparently meant every word that he said.

    February 3, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    With regards to the charitable organizations you mention, Truth, what are they comprised of? People. What is a community comprised of? People. There is both an individual responsibility to the neighborhood, your community, and whatever organizations you belong to, as well as a responsibility by that community to you. I get the part about individual responsibility, but what you reject is your responsibility to anyone or anything beyond your narrow parochial interests. There was a time when those broader insterests were as American as apple pie, but they have been replaced by a narrow, blinkered vision that scorns any obligations to our communities and them to you in the name of some wierd, perverted, Ayn-Rand type of self interest. I truly feel sorry for you since you clearly reject the community, culture, and the society you live in, yet you expect them to grant you unfettered freedom to do whatever you want. You are clearly un-American.

    February 3, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  15. The Greedy Old PIgs have declared class war on US!

    "Maybe you should spend your time paying more attention to the issues and the message instead of getting hung up on one stray word."

    Maybe you should spend your time paying more attention to Flipper's words and actions. This is not a one time slip up. Rmoney is clearly representing the psychopathic elites among the 1%. Look at his tax plan to increase what we pay while they get more tax breaks. Listen to his "corporations are people too, my friend!" comment. Do you think that was also "out of context"? Rmoney is a snake bent on starting a war with Iran and screwing all but the filthy rich, just as he's done all his life.

    February 3, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. Omar Dice

    Romney is Restore our future?, More illegitimate and costly foreign wars? Another crippling economic crisis at home? Restore our future to what?..with his lies, biggest flip-flopped in America, brain washing the people with his negative ADS, he is only there for the RICH, don't care a dan about the middle class and poor, He will destory middle class and poor.Mr. Romney, go take a hike!

    February 3, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  17. Serious Person

    Mit's absolutely right. I'm lower middle class $85K, married filing jointly, family of four. I know, most don't consider that middle class. The republicans give my money to the rich, the democrats give it to the poor...I can't win either way. Either way, I'm paying for someone else.

    February 3, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  18. Did Not Misspeak

    Romney didn't misspeak. That is actually what is deep in his heart concerning the poor and how this Republican, just like the rest of them, would treat the Poor and the Middle Class if elected. They have absolutely NOTHING to offer to these two groups and it is amazing how the poor and the Middle Class would still even consider voting for any Con-servative candidate! Simply amazing, since they're digging their own hole in the ground when they cast a vote for them. Our ONLY hope is Obama/Biden 2012! Obama is truly concerned about those two groups which YOU, yourself fall into, yes YOU reading this, face it! So stop to think about it and forget about those who have turned their face from you and forgotten all about You.

    February 3, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  19. Omar Dice

    Romney is a job-ending robot set on auto-pilot. He pretends to be for the middle-class, but this is a lie. He is a liar and cheater afraid to talk about his role as a bishop in the Mormon church, Mormons believe that Jesus was just a man without a sinless nature and just as flawed as Mitt Romney, who should change his name to Mitt Robbed-me because he made his fortune by shuttong down businesses and raking in millions in profits off of others' misfortunes.

    February 3, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. JoJo

    When politicians say they "mispoke" it means they mistakenly said how they really feel.

    February 3, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  21. Need To Look Elsewhere

    There was clearly no mis-speaking here! Romney knew exactly what he was saying when he said that. As one of the extremely wealthy, he can't identify with the poor or even the middle-class in order to help them so he speaks clearly from the heart of what he thinks about them. That's what's so dangerous about this man should he be the nominee! Wake up folks, you need to look elsewhere!

    February 3, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. jim

    Too late – who's going to take a chance on this guy

    February 3, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. Agreed

    @Did Not Misspeak: Well spoken!

    February 3, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. Rosie

    That's right, cause none of YOU have ever misspoken. Gimme a break, and who cares anyway....

    February 3, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  25. Cant Identify

    You see, it works this way. They say something that deep down they truly believe about those they can't identify with, then when caught, they try to deny they meant it. Can't you see their game or are you too dense to realize that? Those who keep saying there's nothing wrong with being wealthy simply don't get it. It's not about being wealthy per se, folks, it's about a president who can't identify with the other 99% who aren't, therefore, would not do one thing to help them if elected and that includes US! That's the problem! That's the Big Concern Here! Do you get it now!

    February 3, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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