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. engineer1

    He only misspoke because, apparently, in this country if you say any short sentence or phrase that can be taken out of context it will be used against you. We need to hold people accountable for this crap that clouds issues and debate, including most of the comments here by people that can't be bothered to read what he actually said. Come on, people, we're better than this.

    February 3, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  2. Mitt's grass is green because it's cash.

    Yeah, lots of video was shown on the news outlets yesterday of Mitt mispeaking over and over and over again in different locations saying the exact same thing.

    February 3, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  3. Maine LIberal

    in mitts work "the poor" are those without a trust fund

    February 3, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  4. Good stuff

    There are so many disengenuous comments posted here. Everyone knows what Romney meant and yet they continue to take the comment out of context. What ever happened to fair-mindedness?

    February 3, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  5. 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!

    February 3, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  6. Randy, San Francisco

    Mitt is another GOP/Tea Party politician with the Palin foot in the mouth disease.

    February 3, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. Justin

    More like the truth just accidently slipped out.
    Mitt is bad news

    February 3, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |

    I can only hope that there are intelligent people in this nation who cringe when they hear lies like Romney's "I just want to help the people that have been hurt by the Obama administration? Excuse me? The Republicans got us to where we are along with the Wall St. buddies and the big bank guys. I would love to see Romney back up those statements with facts instead of rhetoric because the facts that I find is everything has been turning around under the Obama administration from the disaster of the Bush administration and the republican control of congress for 14 years. I cannot stand when politician lie and it seems that this ficticious person they are running against doesn't exist except in their own minds.

    February 3, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. Scott

    Mittwit first says he was quoted out of context; now Mittwit says he misspoke. It's classic Mittwit – switch positions faster than you hope that people can keep track of.

    February 3, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  10. Joi Gibson

    He did not misspeak. I believe it is what he really believes. This man has no concept of the working poor. It simply is not in his reality. And to make matters worse, he stands on stage for an endorsement from the hair bomb who also has no concept of the working poor. The Donald is a braggart who relishes throwing his wealth in peoples' faces, even as most Americans are struggling to make ends meet. Neither could care less. Willard is only now saying he misspoke because he was getting hammered by pundits from the left and right. Seriously, the man had to be told that what he said does not sit well with most of America. Shame on him. Someone on TV yesterday said Willard and Donald looked like the Ken Doll and Gordon Gekko.


    February 3, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. SouthTexan

    It is your policies, Mitt, that speak loudest on your views of the poor.

    February 3, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. Auzzie

    How can you "misspeak" when you have said the same thing numerous times in different venues??
    Just admit that you really do not care about the "very poor" and stop being the flip-flop politician, that everyone knows that you are

    February 3, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  13. SNAPPA

    Rooney please explain what exactly are you down on Obama about? He has done as much as anyone could considering the obstacles he had to deal with given the congress' turnover to the republicans they have blocked everything that man has tried to do. He has raised the deficit by only 16% agianst Bush's 155% and Reagans 185%. I wish I could understand when people make statements like that what it is they see that I don't. I deal in FACTS not rhetoric I don't listen to people who bad mouth without any kind of proof or evidence to the contrary.

    February 3, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. ST

    Oh! please! Romney did not misspoke. He is totally a rich another guy and being poor hardly cross his mind.

    February 3, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  15. Andy F

    Nothing Romney says will make the Democrats more attractive or make we want to vote for another 4 years of disaster. Obama is the problem.

    February 3, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  16. Joshua Ludd

    Yeah, I know the first thing to go when you start doing lots of interviews is remembering whether or not you are concerned about all Americans or just certain groups.

    February 3, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  17. McShannon

    Romney is pompous, arrogant and callous. I don’t agree with most of the ranting from Rush but he is exactly right about Romney. I’m not a Republican but if I were I would at least consider Santorum as lesser of evil than Romney and Gingrich. .

    February 3, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. Mr. InDa Redd

    If Mitt Romney really did not care about the poor why would he donate 7 million dollars to charity/church organizations. He obviously cares. I would like to see any of the other candidates give the same percentage of their income to the less fortunate. Also, when you raise the middle class donations to charitable foundations goes up which in turn helps the very poor. He did not mis-speak he was very clear on what this country needs to do. Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.

    February 3, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  19. AZ1st

    He's a bigger man than I. I thought what he said was perfectly sound. I work until April every year supporting that safety net which keeps growing each year. I don't start taking home any money until May. The poor want a job and a hand-up... not more hand-outs!

    February 3, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  20. ancil 77

    wake up all you poor people if mitt is not concern about you.i know that us people of color will be in big trouble if he win in nov. if you vote for some one like like that. you have no one to blame but your self. you knot what he thiink' about us' he only say what is in his heart. dont be fool about i misspoke 'he say the same thing when he said what he said about thefrist lady.sorry mitt i dont trust you. ancil 77

    February 3, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  21. Fair is Fair

    olivia Dillard

    how can a millionaire understand the poor,
    I guess I have to agree... the millionaire empty suit residing at 1600 Pennsylvania is certainly no exception.

    February 3, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  22. AFM

    Mitt's a very charitable guy. Gives millions to charity to help poor and homeless. He puts his money where his mouth is. Poor need a job and Romney can create the environment to put us all back to work. ROMNEY 2012! Millions of us are supporting you.

    February 3, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  23. DaveinSC

    I wonder what would say with a few shots of Jack Daniel's in him? How much would he loosen up then?

    February 3, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  24. sbhuyan

    Where are all tea party millionaires ? This is your candidate...?

    February 3, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  25. SoSad

    Oh no you did'nt................that's what in your heart, your true feelings came out!

    February 3, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
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