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. Agreed

    None of us are running for president, either.

    February 3, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. AgrippaMT

    Claiming to have "misspoken" simply doesn't hack it in Romney's case. He said it and it revealed how he really feels about ordinary people. He is just another selfish, rich Republican and certainly does not deserve to be President.

    February 3, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  3. PTNY

    Guess we truly have one of the greatest Presidents ever. He’s literally doing this all alone. It seems The President has pulled off lowering unemployment, consumer confidence is going up, economy speeding up, auto industry saved, help for homeowners that were cheated, got Bin Laden! all while CONGRESS and the others sit with their with arms crossed REFUSING TO APPLAUSE or stand up even at the State of the Union. They vote against everything, undermining the needs of the public and are deliberately laying land mines for The President & hoping he fails. Even after today when things are truly looking better, they still tear him down. Only selfish, ill mannered, greedy, lying jealous types that are only concerned about themselves are those who refuse to call him President Obama, and then say his wife is mean! Well, do they ever look foolish today!

    What could The President do if the other side had ever tried to help?

    February 3, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. podunda

    Obama will be reelected.

    February 3, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  5. Freeyamind

    1) I agree with everyone else that he didn't misspeak. He just gave us a rare glimpse into what he truly feels. 2) The real gem of his heartfelt speech was a couple lines later when he arrogantly stated, "We'll hear from the Democratic Party about the plight of the poor". Watch his face when he says it. He's basically throwing an economic class of people away. That's a lot of votes but the problem is nobody wants to identify themselves as poor. There are plenty of people people out here that are tricking themselves into thinking they aren't poor when the reality is otherwise! Get real with yourself people!!

    February 3, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  6. 4 More!

    America, Let's re-elect President Obama in November!!!!!

    February 3, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. My name is Jose Jimenez

    No, Willard, you didn't. You stuck your foot in your big mouth and now everyone knows from your own lips what you are all about.

    February 3, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain

    Romney has a history of saying these kinds of things; he didn't "misspeak." It was a slip, an instance of him going off message and saying how he really feels.

    President Obama's policies are working, so if you want to keep our country moving forward, vote to re-elect him and a Democratic majority in the House and Senate.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    February 3, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  9. e.b.

    Every time I look at Romney's face, I just see a liar who hates the middle class and poor. This guy is just one disgusting, pathetic excuse for a candidate. GOP, you must really hate America!

    February 3, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  10. Kerry

    I'm voting for Obama but Mitt was right.....the middle class does need help. They are always the ones who get screwed tax wise. They are the working poor.

    February 3, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. Thomas

    Lower income men and women fight on the front lines in far away countries for our great nation.

    Mitt Romneys five sons avoided military service , they opted to help there father in the boardroom and the campaign trail.

    Most mediocre president money can buy ," MITT ROMNEY" !

    February 3, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. PTNY

    Just think how far ahead our country would be if the President had gotten help from the other side!

    February 3, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. Pete/Ark

    "the people are starving , they have no bread..." "let them eat cake..." heads have rolled for such statements

    February 3, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. Rich White Guy

    Romeny only mispoke on the poor. The reality is he wants to ensure that the poor will be able to vote for him as long as they are able to bring a state ID (cost $50) or a US Passport ($150) or Citizenship papers ($450) and prove that they can vote.
    Romney will also give the poor any change his has in his pocket as long as you can get close enough to him. Thank you Romney. Gawd Bless Romney. Mormon Gawd Bless Romney. Buddah bless Romney. Allah bless Romney (as long you donated money to his super pac that is)

    February 3, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. terre08

    Like he misspoke on the 10,000 dollar bet or that he likes firing people?

    February 3, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. Step Back And Just Listen To Him

    You know, if this extremely wealthy Republican is claiming he didn't know that he had misspoken, then what the hell is he doing running for president? A good president HAS to know what he says ALL of the time because he not only represents this country, he represents the one country the rest of the world looks up to! That's Why We Simply Cannot Buy That Poor Excuse Romney Has Made! He knew good and well what he was saying, because he felt it deep down! He just didn't want to own up to the fact that he could not give a flying damn about the poor and the middle class! Let's just call it like it is!

    February 3, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. Buster Bloodvessel

    Whew! The Newtmare© is over. Mittens will be nominated and nobody will vote for him. Things are going to be nice and steady for the next four years, and the recession will be over by then. Then Hillary for eight years, and maybe we'll interview a Repub for the position.

    February 3, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  18. teacheng

    This was a pathetic excuse for a pathetic candidate. I have voted for Republicans in the past, but they have shown their true colors since Obama was elected. And it is not pretty. I will never vote Republican again.

    February 3, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. Jonathan Rodriguez

    perhaps if he had accepted that from the beginning we would believe him, the fact that he continues to "misspeak" and when caught deny it and then days later accept it is very troublesome as it shows he is willing to do anything to cover his mistakes and at the same time say anything to get elected.

    February 3, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  20. Ha!

    @ Buster



    February 3, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. Omar Dice

    If he should be President, a "MISPOKE' AT THE WRONG TIME COULD LEAD TO WAR.

    February 3, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  22. Rita

    How can you run for President of the United States and degrade poor people, he has no business running!!! I guest he will only be President for "The Rich Only United States of America".

    February 3, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. FIELD1stSGT

    Obama reminds me of a snail. he leaves a trail of slime behind him wherever he goes. The s t u p i d supporters think this man has their interest at heart. if that was so why did he threaten the poor by saying he would not Pay Social Security or medicare benefits if his budget didn't get signed. Is this not worse than what Romney said. If and for you who said he was a nice, handsome, Christian man. Are you on Dope. How can you even see such a msn who atttended Rev. Wright's church for 20 years cussing America and W h i t e y could be a Christian man. if he was why did he bow down and kiss the enemy's hand who was a Muslim's hand. This man is a liar, imposter and traitor to America. wouldn't give him a cup of u r i n e in the desert if he was fsading for thirst.

    February 3, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  24. Omar Dice

    When Mitt miss peaks it means he just showed his 1% greedy rich side again.

    February 3, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  25. Keeiping it Real

    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.
    So you're saying you've held Obama to task on anything? He's made plenty of "misstatements", yet I've never seen a remark from you. The point I'm making is that several obvious partisans on this board, such as yourself, have a double standard. I have no problem with you pointing out a mistake that a Republican or Independent make, but when it's a Democrat, you never see it.

    February 3, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
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