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)

    Misspoke heck, you said exactly what you feel Willard. You have no clue about the poor and middle class. You're out of your league Mitt. Go crawl under your rock and take Newt and rest of the pathetic,narrow minded Rethuglicans with you. Obama 2012

    February 3, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  2. Desperate Move

    The GOP is strongly showing their desperate move to nominate a loser. If they are going to nominate Romney who lost to a guy who was defeated by Obama then that speaks volumes for the GO Poop Party!

    February 3, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  3. Znod

    When didn't Romney misspeak? Ignoring the "poor Romney" issue, what is he doing acting like he is interested in helping the vanishing middle class. After his silence on this issue, does he expect us to believe he is interested now? Sure Mitt we believe you. 🙂 Maybe he believes the middle class is, say, the 95 to the 98 percenters. Romney is was better than loose-cannon Gingrich, but neither is one of the smartest kids on the short bus.

    February 3, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. Beeman

    I was poor about half my life and at age 45 after working my tail off for 25 years was able to retire early and have not worried about money since. So I have been poor and rich and never remember any politcian making a d@mn bit of difference. Who gives a rip.

    February 3, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. GJS

    People (including the media) cannot possibly be this stupid. I knew exactly what he meant and he is right. The poor DO have plenty of help..... free housing, free medical, food stamps, fuel help, food pantries, tons of charities and churches that help them and the rich, well they are RICH so they do not NEED help. It is the middle class who don't qualify for freebies because they make a few dollars too much and they are the ones who have no "outs" when it comes to tax relief (the poor do not even pay taxes) nor do they get free food or medical. So it is the middle class that needs relief the most. Unbelievable that this was ever twisted around!!

    February 3, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  6. TheMagusNYC

    My wife considers my mispokes more revealing than my spokes, w/o explicit reference to Freud.

    February 3, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  7. smokim

    just think if this clown gets in office and has his finger on the Nuke button! oops..

    February 3, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  8. John

    There aren't many here, but the Romney Apologists who are here are so deluded. One guy even brought Obama into the mix saying the only reason he doesn't misspeak is because he's always on a teleprompter. As though every other politician in the past and present doesn't use them. And the she-clown from Alaska who first labeled the teleprompter as a crutch of the weak was the very one who was caught with talking points printed on ink on her hand. Hilarious. What is wrong with giving a speech via a teleprompter? No one answers direct questions with them, so what really is the problem?

    February 3, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  9. Karina

    America , the once Proud and Beautiful country has turned into a place of over zealous and ignorant people.
    You chose a President because he sounded nice and told you everything you wanted to hear , well almost 4 years later he has run your country into the ground.
    This constant drivel and spewing forth of partisan comments will not get you anywhere.
    Do your homework and then make your decision , not solely based on which party you belong to but rather what the candidate stands for.There are good and bad on both sides.

    February 3, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  10. josephine

    Put him through a lie detector test. Who is doing the class warfare thing now? Reminder to what this shifty person had to say when was questioned about hiring illegals to mow his lawn ( Please don't mention that I hire illegals, I'm running for office) So what does that tell you?

    February 3, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  11. TheMagusNYC

    This apparent blindness to extreme and generational poverty, and unequal distribution of resources, and impediments to advancement is revealed in Romney's use of "IF there are holes in the safety net"; and denial of any GOP support in addressing them. "Misspoke" apparently refers to expressing one's views without due regard for being interpreted correctly.

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

    He meant every word that he said, not a word was mispoken.

    February 3, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Repeeing it Real (I just got your moniker. I like it.):
    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.
    I've been known to voice my concerns and dissentions with Democraps, and decisions made by the President.You've cited no specific examples however. Let me then submit to you that it is quite possible that what you see as a mistake may not be a mistake at all.

    February 3, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  14. Ain't life strange?

    The middle class are the one's "most hurt by Obama?" Excuse me... the economy tubed it before Obama was elected and he's the one trying to clean up the mess while Romney's partners in crime try to stop him at every turn. Do you actually read the news Mitt?? What about today with the encouraging market and jobless statistics coming in. Do you really think independant American thinkers are buying the right winf crap??

    February 3, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    The only mistake was saying that he was concerned about the middle class. That was a lie.

    February 3, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  16. bluemax77

    “Misspoke” – nice euphemism for “letting it slip” or “true feelings”. You can bet your a$s he doesn’t care about the poor, I’ve never seen a Republican who does, and supposedly a man of God (sounds about right!). The hypocrisy of politics and religion in this country stinks, always has, always will. Blessed are the billionaires...!!

    February 3, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  17. GOP = Greed Over People

    Romney just raised the "window to his soul" and we all got a peek about how he really feels about the 99%!

    February 3, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. PTNY

    What happens if the President of the US to the UN about striking IRAN before Iran strikes the US or Isreal. That misspoken would could start a war! Inialate Isreal! Can you take that back? NO!

    I'm so sorry Mr. Romney...this was your third interview for the position of President, all of which you misspoke, and you didn't get the job! Or as The Donald would say, "YOU'RE FIRED"!

    February 3, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  19. politics as usual

    CNN, haven't you gotten enough mileage out of this ridiculous post yet? Once you match Romney's charitable gift-giving, then maybe you will be in a position to see how he REALLY feels about the poor. Until then, give it a rest!

    February 3, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  20. ReligionIs4Dolts

    "If there are holes in it"....

    I don't know (or care) what those alleged holes may be, but I'll "fix them" if you'll just elect me! HA HA HA HA HA!

    February 3, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  21. Forsetti

    To paraphrase F.Scott Fitzgerald, The poor are very different from you and I. They haven't any money.
    Mitt: For just a moment let go of imagining yourself as president and try to imagine yourself as poor.

    February 3, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  22. Plain and Simple

    The majority of Americans do not want this man for our president.
    It does not get any more simple than that.
    We are not "simple" or "stupid" or "deluded" as some claim in anger.
    We do not trust him. We do not want him. We will not vote for him.
    Case closed.

    February 3, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  23. David

    Interesting. One of the rare moments when he actually speaks the truth and he takes it back.

    February 3, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    My wife considers my mispokes more revealing than my spokes, w/o explicit reference to Freud
    God I miss my fellow New Yorkers and their wit!

    February 3, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  25. Mindie from Indie

    so the flip flopper flip flops again. Are we really surprised.

    February 3, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
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