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. Palin2112

    He said what he meant and he meant what he said. Some fools will still vote for him.

    February 3, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  2. Kathy

    Do we really want a president who misspeaks? Doesn't seem like a good idea to me....

    February 3, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  3. smell the coffee

    Yes indeed Mitt – there are systems in place to protect the wealthy so don't you worry them either. Does this guy have a clue???

    February 3, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  4. BaileyB

    He is an actor who forgot his lines. His handlers are going to have to give him some more lessons on what they want him to say. It's tough remembering such a long script for such a long time.

    February 3, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  5. K3Citizen

    He admits he made a mistake because it cost him votes from independent voters. He said it to gain more tea party votes.

    February 3, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  6. MJ Taylor

    I misspoke, but also really don't care. The poor are indeed expendable, just pretend I don't think that

    February 3, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  7. Ferret out the B.S.

    What would he do if elected president; ooops sorry, about that nuclear missle heading your way, I misspoke.

    February 3, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  8. Krow

    Yes, I meant to hide my contempt for the lower classes until the election is over. My mistake. Sowwy.

    February 3, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  9. nell

    Many may hate or dislike Obama, but geez.....Romney or Newt?

    February 3, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  10. Seth

    "I misspoke" is Republican for "I accidentally said what I really think.

    February 3, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  11. backdoorpalin

    GOP just showing their true colors.....

    February 3, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  12. beevee

    He did not misspeak. It is actually what he had in the back of his mind about poor people in the US. Sometimes what a person really thinks (his true opinion) comes out when he/she is not careful. This is just a reminder to the voters about the true color of politicians.

    February 3, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  13. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    Mitt Romney seems to have misspoken a lot lately. If this guy misspeaks on the international stage, it will lead to unnecessary conflict. Bottom line is that Mitt Romney is not presidential material, even if he claims to be a Conservative.

    February 3, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  14. Bob

    He's the only public figure to admit making a mistake.. You Romney haters are ridiculous!

    February 3, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  15. vatoloke

    How can you misspeak something that you've mentioned numerous times before?

    February 3, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  16. Steve King

    I don't think Romney misspoke so much as he was accidentally honest.

    February 3, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  17. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    How has Mitt Romney "hoodwinked" Conservatives by saying that he is Conservative? Look at his record.

    February 3, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  18. beevee

    I am a bit dismayed at Mr. Romeny's statement " not worried about the poor because the system is in place to protect them". Did he mean that the systme is in place to keep poor people poor in the country and the rich richer? How worse can one get if you already poor and at the bottom?

    February 3, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  19. Bill

    And the truth comes out...

    February 3, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  20. Straight Shooter

    Here comes heresey–close your ears. In response to Judas' objection that expensive oil was being poured on his feet, Jesus made the difficult statement, "the poor you will always have, but I am with you for a short time only." Clearly neither Romney, nor any politician should be compared to Jesus. However, Romney is in good company. Like Jesus, his comments about the poor were misunderstood. If Romney cares about the poor, his record will reflect it–like the state healthcare he sponsored as a Governor of Mass. The ridicule posted here is rediculous!

    February 3, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  21. Obama Cares

    First he said what he believes, then defended and explained his remarks the next morning, now some 36 hours later he realized that he mis-spoke. Which time is he speaking about, the first or the second?

    February 3, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  22. ?

    Lol, Mitt's going to get the nomination, then promptly get slapped down by Obama. He keeps saying this dingbat elitist stuff at exactly the wrong time.

    February 3, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  23. vic , nashville ,tn

    Don’t say you misspoke that’s what you think

    February 3, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  24. Bill

    No matter, you will never be president. It just goes to show he has no clue about regular, working people.

    February 3, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  25. Lili

    For those of you who says move on from this topic need to dream on because it's not going to happen. This comment and his explanation plays right into the narrative of Romeny and the example he gave about "fixing the safety net" was a pile of baloney that don't add up to a hill of beans. Even listening to him talk, he sounds as fake as a $3 bill. The GOP establishment really shot themselves in the foot when they decided to put their support behind this guy!

    February 3, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
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