February 4th, 2012
01:25 AM ET
10 years ago

Paul defends Romney on 'poor' comment

(CNN) - While some opponents of Mitt Romney seized on his now-famous "misstatement" about the poor this week, Ron Paul defended his Republican presidential rival on Friday.

"I don't believe for a minute that if Mitt Romney was sitting here, that if he released everything in his heart, he (would say): 'You know what, the truth is, I really don't care about poor people.' That isn't–I just don't believe that," Paul said in an interview on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight."

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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 they have a government-backed safety net in place. He added, however, that "if there are holes in it, I will work to repair that."

His remark quickly sparked an outcry that forced the former Massachusetts to spend much of the day clarifying his comment and providing fuller context.

Ultimately Romney conceded Thursday, saying he "misspoke."

“When you do I don’t know how many thousands of interviews, now and then you may get it wrong, and I misspoke,” Romney said in an interview on KSNV, a CNN affiliate in Las Vegas.

Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, as well as top Democratic groups, took swipes at Romney over the remark, hitting the candidate as insensitive.

But Paul, who will compete with Romney in the Nevada caucuses on Saturday, said the comment was overblown.

"I think it was a big issue because of politics, because of the opposition, the demagoguing, the media jumping on this," Paul said. "Actually, I think I ended up probably defending him more than he defended himself."

The libertarian Texas congressman, instead, faulted Romney's economic plans for his slip-up.

"I think the problem is he's a victim of his own economic theories, rather than him being cold and heartless," Paul said.

Also see:

Romney on 'poor' comment: I misspoke

McDonnell open to spot as GOP running mate

Romney hits U.S. Taliban proposal

A Trump endorsement: Where imagination and reality meets

Gingrich to challenge Florida delegates

Watch Piers Morgan Live weeknights 9 p.m. ET. For the latest from Piers Morgan click here.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Ron Paul • TV-Piers Morgan
soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. tact

    Integrity at it's best.

    February 4, 2012 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  2. kat

    I can honestly say if Paul is the nominee, I will stay home and pray. He's an idiot just like BHO. Help us all if this is our choise.

    February 4, 2012 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  3. Raymond

    poor people have a safety net,,,,,,you jerks live off of it. the rich is going to ruin this country

    February 4, 2012 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  4. Raymond

    Romney does a lot of misspeaking,,,,,,,he gets lost in his own maze of B.S.. I don't want him to represent me

    February 4, 2012 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  5. Alex

    Ron Paul is right. The media distorts things way too much, especially with Ron Paul. Half the time I notice the media tries smearing Paul or ignoring him. Ron Paul is the only one offering real change. Strong national defense, less taxes, less Government intrusion on our lives (see bills like SOPA and NDAA which Ron Paul speaks out against), audit the federal reserve, stop arresting 800,000 Americans a year for something so stupid as marijuana – what a waste of tax dollars and people's time and privacy and also balance the budget. We're fifteen trillion dollars in debt, time for Government to wake up.

    Ron Paul 2012

    For liberty

    February 4, 2012 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  6. Rich

    I don't agree with Ron Paul's military ideas, but no one can deny that he has class. Gingrich on the other hand... well, not so much.

    February 4, 2012 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  7. Abus

    This man really does what he says. Wow...
    Paul's got my vote, RON PAUL REVOLUTION!!!!!

    February 4, 2012 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  8. Vinney47SLC

    Paul gets it. Not only does he get it about Romney and that he isn't heartless or cold, but he gets it that Romney IS going to be the nominee and it's no good to tear him down. Anyone going after the GOP nominee is really siding with the democrats. Way to keep it in perspective, Paul.

    February 4, 2012 05:04 am at 5:04 am |
  9. Marry

    Well, Ron, I understand why you do not “believe” that what Romney said is what he believes. The policies that give money and power the advantage OVER/AGAINST the rest (99%) is exactly what the GOP is all about. And you are just as much part of the idea: Everyone for him/herself but omitting the fact that “those” without education and outstanding talents are not ever going to participate in “getting rich” the system makes sure of that. The ones that have made it (most of them) through the hard work and sacrifice of others, unethical deals, and connections can channel their profits out of the country and shed their responsibility toward the "rest" of society. The talking point “Greed over Need” is short but true describing the GOP/TP!

    February 4, 2012 05:08 am at 5:08 am |
  10. Gabriel

    Victim of his own economic theories. Paul is brilliant, gotta respect him.

    February 4, 2012 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I wonder if Romney misspoke in his interview with Huckabee that he would sign legislation that life begins at orgasm. Even Mississippians rejected that.

    February 4, 2012 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  12. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Ron and his Paulbots just don't get it. Wingnuts don't want him.

    February 4, 2012 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  13. diridi

    senile...o.k, how about, Corporations are also people my friend...how about this...ha..ha..ha..

    February 4, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  14. lonestarst8

    Ron Paul is clearly the best candidate to run for president and to BE president.

    February 4, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  15. chaz8181

    Recall..."Let them eat cake:" and what happened after that.

    February 4, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  16. Peace

    Paul and Romney are both thinking the same way about the poor. Wasn't Paul during one of the debates he said he will let those who have no insurance die on streets??? Pathetic! and no sense of considering other human beings are like them!

    February 4, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  17. Willie Floyd

    Looking for VP???

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    February 4, 2012 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  18. paperpusher

    Now, u people r looking for any n everything to discredit this man. Romney isnt my favorite person, i roll with Paul, but if u people had the common sense god gave a grape, u would know what hes talking about. the poor do have a better safety net than the middle class. So can we please stop being a bunch of idoits and put tne focus on the hard working people n not the ones that we r paying for their way we, the middle class need help,, lets focus on that.

    February 4, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  19. Marie MD

    Poor paul, he really thinks he still matters.
    Can somebody in the "real" media ask the flip flopper about his father in law? He talks a lot about his 40+ year marriage but we haven't heard that his father in law didn't follow the Mormon religion. He was a scientist. A man with a mind of his own that didn't follow that religion and who was posthumously baptized 14 months ago.
    I guess this clown's people must have decided that everyone in the family had to follow their out of planet religion (for real) so they had to do something for a man that didn't believe in it now that he is dead.
    Way to go flip flopping machine!

    February 4, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  20. ash

    While I am not a Ron Paul fan, I think that this shows that he has class. I have a new respect for him...

    February 4, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  21. bookworm

    Dr. Paul.....a true class act.

    February 4, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  22. i want a mega rich Mormon who hides money overseas, and a master tax evader as president

    A racist sticking up for a racist.

    February 4, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  23. Ken Andrews

    kat: If you are voting for a Republican candidate you have no "choise." Perhaps you should do more research to find out which party wants to help the unfortunate, including those who have difficulty in spelling basic English words like choice.

    February 4, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  24. Tired of republican lies

    Marry

    Well, Ron, I understand why you do not “believe” that what Romney said is what he believes. The policies that give money and power the advantage OVER/AGAINST the rest (99%) is exactly what the GOP is all about. And you are just as much part of the idea: Everyone for him/herself but omitting the fact that “those” without education and outstanding talents are not ever going to participate in “getting rich” the system makes sure of that. The ones that have made it (most of them) through the hard work and sacrifice of others, unethical deals, and connections can channel their profits out of the country and shed their responsibility toward the "rest" of society. The talking point “Greed over Need” is short but true describing the GOP/TP!

    February 4, 2012 05:08 am at 5:08 am |

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________-Thank you Marry....I love it when people speak the truth!

    February 4, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  25. ZB

    Lets see, Romney wants to give more tax cuts to the wealthy and cut spending for the seniors, healthcare, the poor, environment, consumer and worker protection, education, and just about everything else. The fact is, his actions and his words say the same thing – he doesn't care about the poor. What Paul's remarks indicate is neither does he.

    February 4, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
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