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. bill

    they are all a bunch of cry babies, did you ever see a skinny repubiphat

    February 3, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |

    “When you do I don’t know how many thousands of interviews, now and then you may get it wrong, and I misspoke.”
    Then he has NO business being president and speaking for our nation!

    February 3, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  3. CATom

    Sorry. I don't believe that for a second. He spent 2 days defending his remarks. He really believes or believed that the "safety net" we have in place for the poor is sufficient. Food stamps provide barely enough to keep you alive. Social security provides enough to pay rent on only the worst apartments if your lucky. And Medicare doesn't hardly cover anything. If you need an expensive treatment most of the time your out of luck.

    February 3, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  4. TG

    Everyone should read Paul Krugman's column in the New York Times today. It completely demolishes Romney's "mispeak," especially when taken in full context.

    February 3, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  5. Adrian

    it doesn't matter if he misspoke or even if his original comment was taken out of context... the fact of the matter is his tax policies and ideas for economic growth for this country is NOT going to help people at the lower income at all. that is a FACT!

    February 3, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  6. Simon Says

    Try using a telepromter......
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
    Freaking lying republicans.

    February 3, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  7. h

    its not his fault, anyone as rich as he is isn't ever going to understand what it means to be poor in america

    February 3, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  8. Dino Droppings

    Actors flub lines all the time.
    You just cant edit live tv huh ?
    Sorry Mittens, you blew it.
    Flip flop all you want, its out there and you cant take it back.

    You guys used this crap on Obama, nice to see it come back home.
    You get what you give,
    Live with it.

    February 3, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  9. Mischief Managed

    *** marcia

    this "mistake" doesn't even come close to what the idiot in the White House has done to our country! Let's address that

    We have.
    Obama is doing a fine job of cleaning up the garbage left over
    from eight years of republican abuse.
    Four more coming.
    Thanks for playing.

    February 3, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  10. Mischief Managed

    *** Doug

    Not like he called them the enemy who cling to their guns and religion, maybe he should have, every Democrat says that is an example of tolerance.

    Interesting that you should bring up that.
    Obama at the end said, that he understood that,
    but you republicans always seem to leave that part out.
    You get what you give.
    Grow up.

    February 3, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  11. harleybike

    for disclosure, i am a ron paul supporter. that said, what romney said was true, the very poor has a safety net. the very poor who owns almost nothing and have almost nothing to lose. they have all the public aid. the middle class stands a chance of losing everything and become the very poor if the economy continues to tank, if the healthcare is not fixed, if the taxes and government spending continue to increase, if debt continues to increase, etc, etc etc. the middle class will be hit the hardest. so you middle class people should appreciate it when romney says he is going to help the middle class. grow a brain.

    February 3, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  12. I'm Voting for Obama 2012!

    If you peal back Romney skin you'll probably will find some wiring, circuits and no core. Romney is soulless and think the poor are the burden.

    February 3, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  13. And Also

    "GOP = Greed Over People", while that's totally right, we've also heard this one: Go Poop Party! LOL!

    February 3, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  14. jennifer kirby

    President Reagan has said " Where the beef". Today no beef only bared bones . GOP competes for bared bones based on the poor to get votes without beef.

    February 3, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  15. harry

    It is not the first misspoken statement from Willard and may not be the last.

    February 3, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  16. Deep in the Heart of Texas

    Why does Mr. .006% have herpes simplex or canker sores on his upper lip?

    We want to see his "long" medical form!

    February 3, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  17. MP in VA

    Remember when flip-flopping was such a bad thing to the Republican Party? Now it's all the rage.

    February 3, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  18. Dick Cheney is the smegma of mankind!

    By the by, if mitten's dad was born in Mexico, doesn't that make mittens an "anchor baby"?

    February 3, 2012 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  19. Mischief Managed

    *** Plain and Simple

    The majority of Americans do not want this man for our president.
    It does not get any more simple than that.

    The majority of Americans do want Obama for president.
    Its very clear that what the republicans and tea party have done to this country
    has been a complete freaking disaster.

    You are just in denial.
    Hope you wake up from your fog.
    You will breath better after the stentch is gone.

    February 3, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  20. Grandpa Tom

    Romney is a lying SOB who has unresolved father issues. He said he didn't care about the poor TWICE!!! He accepted Trump's edorsement not realizing one near-do well who knows how to work the system ain't worth a damn. he said he was unemployed while pulling down 40Mill plus. he was for issues before he was against the very same issues.

    He is against the pullout from afghanistan even though it kills americans and nato sholdiers while draining us dry.

    If i was a republican i would stay home on election day, but i am not and i am going out to vote for Obama who has done a good job! Thanl you very much for reading this!

    February 3, 2012 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  21. JeffinIL

    I misspoke. I didn't mean to say that out loud.

    February 3, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  22. Dont Take The Brown Acid

    *** This is what happens when the republicans cut funding for education....


    You all non-republicans and non-conservatives love jump on at every little word misspoken by those you disagree with. How many times has your Oboso in chief done stupid things and you all were quiet. Remember all the dumb things he has said and Biden has said–just be honest yourselves before you criticize this very intelligent guy, yes SMARTER than the Teleprompter reader in ....

    My best guess is that the crack kicked in here....

    February 3, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  23. Cold Todd

    Hope the democrats win.
    Those other guys are selfish, rude, and mean.
    I gotta find my dog, and search the dumpster for some food.
    Goodnite from Todd at the public library.
    Supposed to be cold tonight.

    February 3, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  24. sabina barnes

    Mitt mitt spoke to quick they say a drunk person speaks a sober mind, oh I forgot he wasnt drunk!!!!!!

    February 3, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  25. dexter

    yeah, guess we shouldn't elect people who win in life. Oh well.

    February 3, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
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