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. horace v rogers

    I miss Governor Anne Richards may she RIP. What she said of George W. Bush is so appropriate for ole Mitt.

    "Poor Mitt he can't help it, he was born with a silver FOOT in his mouth."

    OBAMA 2012

    February 3, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  2. Relictus

    Mittens forgot that poor people can vote, too. It's an easy mistake to make in a Republican world.

    February 3, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. PTNY

    Misspeaks! I missed the word up there...sorry!

    What happens if the President of the US MISSPEAKS 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 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Allow me to sign off for the week by quoting Rhett Butler. In regards to Mittens "frankly my dear, I don't give a dam".
    Be safe everyone.

    February 3, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  5. PTNY

    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!

    I beg your pardon...he gave 90% to his own church...does that count?

    February 3, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  6. OrangeW3dge

    He wouldn't be "getting it wrong" if he wasn't trying to recite the same lies over and over. Going off script is proof that it's just a script in the first place.

    February 3, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  7. Marco

    Slimy. Obama 2012

    February 3, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  8. flatbushfred

    MSNBC showed previous Romney clips, proving that he didn't "miispeak." What he said was totally consistent with past statements. It's just that no one called him on it before.

    February 3, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. Patriot

    Mitt,admitt, seemitt what ever, spend your money on the poor, because you will never beat Obama its all a big waste of money give it to the poor. Stop living in a dream because you will wake up

    February 3, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  10. notogop

    I'm not exactly sure what "misspoke" means in this context. Romney tried to undo how he really feels and thinks. He is so far removed from the majority of Americans, he truly forgets who he is talking to much of the time. He makes the Bush family look in touch with Joe the plumber. We can look forward to many more such faux pas. Hang on it's going to be a bumpy ride.

    February 3, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  11. obandon

    He says the people most hurt by the Obama Administration?????????? He should be saying the people most hurt by his Republican House of Representatives who want to cut all assistance to the poor (because they are lazy)! Disgusting.

    February 3, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    "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."

    Wait, are you suggesting that his donations to the Mormon church are proof he cares about the poor?

    February 3, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  13. Ronald

    Remember folks, he is Republican and the usually don't "intend to be factual" and while your thinking about this don't forget Fox News helpful hint for you ladies out can get your pap smears, breast exams and such at Walgreens.

    February 3, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  14. Romney Un-Electible

    What a putz!

    February 3, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. Dave, CA

    How many "misspokes" do these GOP clowns need to make before their i d i o t supporters see how completely full of it and un-electable they are. Seriously- it's like a 2 x 4 to the skull every time they open their mouths. It's not just that they're blatant LIARS; they're awful at it as well. Horrible, HORRIBLE people.

    February 3, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  16. talbet

    He just confirmed what everything suspected about him. He won't hold up well against Obama.

    February 3, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  17. Riley

    At least, he admits his mistakes. Obama NEVER does. Obama only blames Bush or Fox news.

    February 3, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  18. GeminiGirl

    By now mentioning he wants to help the "middle class," he is clearly pandering to the majority of the people! He hasn't worked in 10 years, so he is not politically savvy – otherwise he never would have put his foot in his mouth the half-dozen times or so he has done it – but Willard will NEVER truly understand the plight of the middle class, much less the poor. I am hoping Santorum gets ahead soon, and wins the Repub election, so that President Obama can clean his clock!

    February 3, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  19. Romney is not My Hero

    Repukes, don't fret. Robot Romney broke down. His battery was low, and he finally started telling the truth. Fortunatley the GOP has fixed him, and he's lying once again. LMAO

    OBAMA 2012

    February 3, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. tiara

    Romney actually spoke his mind. He was just telling us just as it is... he doesn't care for the poor. He spoke as a business man. Let us be happy he is honest; well, until his handlers taught him the spin he is saying now...

    February 3, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  21. GeminiGirl

    In typical flip-flop Willard ways, he wants to fix those "holes in the net," so that he can then DISMANTLE it! How anyone can like this guy is beyond reason. The worst was when he said there were times in his life when he was afraid he would get a pink slip! Just the body language alone & facial expression tells you he was clearly lying. Newt may be a bigger hypocrite, but Willard is a bigger phony. I have a feeling that Repubs will stay home on Election Day, because they will be disgusted with their final candidate...

    February 3, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  22. successgal

    If it was what he meant or not, at least he has the guts to clarify and apologyze?!

    February 3, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  23. amac

    Fool us once, shame on you.

    Fool us twice, shame on us.

    February 3, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. Michael DOe

    Mitt Romney is a Muslim and Barack Obama is a Mormon. Mitt Romney wants to make America an Islamic Socialist nation and Barack Obama wants us to starve on the streets and fund illegal invasions of other countries like Bush. Romney-Biden are Socalist and Obama-Bachman are racist. OOPSSS I mispoke. I meant to say Obama-Biden and Romney-Bachman. Oh well, they are all the same.
    HEY, Alan is here.

    February 3, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  25. Larry

    Romney is very similar to another former Republican presidential candidate. It was Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Theodore Roosevelt's daughter, who described Thomas Dewey as "the little man on the wedding cake." Looking dapper but out of touch with reality. By the way, Dewey lost - twice.

    February 3, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
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