Romney: Don't divide based on wealth
April 16th, 2012
05:01 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney: Don't divide based on wealth

(CNN) – Mitt Romney said Monday that persistent questions about how well he relates to middle class voters were reflecting of a diversion campaign run by Democrats eager to distract from failed economic policies.

"We don't divide America based upon success and wealth and other dimensions of that nature," Romney said in an interview with ABC News, excerpts of which were posted online. "We're one nation under God. We come together. This is a time when people of different backgrounds and different experiences need to come together."

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Romney was responding to a question from ABC host Diane Sawyer, who asked the former Massachusetts governor and all-but-certain GOP nominee if he was "too rich to relate" to voters.
The question has dogged Romney for months, often preceded by remarks from the candidate himself that opponents say signal he's out of touch.

The candidate and his campaign have written off such criticism as a tactic employed by opponents to cloud Obama's record as president. Romney continued that argument Monday.

"This is a campaign about getting a president that can get America back on track again, make sure our kids have a bright future, and we stop spending money we don't have," Romney said. "But I know there will be some who try to make it about anything else but that."

Calls to release a decade's worth of personal tax information are also a distraction, Romney said in the ABC interview.

"The president is going to try and do everything possible to divert from the attention being focused upon his record as president and the failure of his economic policies," Romney said, according to a posting on ABC's website. "So he's going to try to make this campaign about the fact that I've been successful, that I've made a lot of money."

Democrats and Obama's reelection campaign used the annual disclosure of the president's tax return Friday to pressure Romney to release his own tax information. Romney has released his 2010 tax return and an estimate of his 2011 form.

The Republican's campaign said late Friday the candidate had requested an extension with the Internal Revenue Service, and that his official 2011 tax return would be made public when the information is filed. A form released by the campaign showed the Romneys applied a payment of $887,000 toward estimated taxes when they filed for the extension.

On another topic – abortion – Romney said the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which disallowed state restrictions on abortion, should be overturned.

"I would love the Supreme Court to say, 'Let's send this back to the states,'" Romney said. "Rather than having a federal mandate through Roe v. Wade, let the states again consider this issue state by state."

Romney's record on abortion has been viewed with some skepticism by conservatives, who point to campaigns he ran in Massachusetts as an abortion rights supporter. He later moved to the right on the issue, vetoing an emergency contraception bill in 2005 and declaring in the pages of the Boston Globe that he was an opponent of abortion.

The interview also had lighter moments: responding to speculation about a hosting gig on Saturday Night Live, Romney said he would participate if the material was good.

"I haven't made a decision on that, just heard about it," Romney said. "Of course it would depend on the nature of the skit. I want it to be funny."

Also see:

Obama re-election team increases fundraising haul

Buffett Rule would barely dent debt but fits nicely into Obama's theme

McCain: I agree with Ann Romney

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Dvet

    The war mongers are about to start a war that they cant win. the war between the haves and the have nots. they need to think about the people of the united states before thinking global. OBAMA 2012.

    April 16, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  2. The GOP's "Trickle Down" economic policy left a wet spot on the shoes of middle America!

    So, is that why you and the other 1% brown shirts were holding a closed meeting in which you promised to cut taxes by 20%?

    April 16, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  3. Jimmy T

    Come together ... from a Republican? What a crock of you-know-what.

    April 16, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  4. GOP = Greed Over People

    Overturn Roe v. Wade?

    Oops, that makes certain the only women's vote Mr. 1% will garner, are the GOP Stepford wives and the evilgelicals that insist their chattel, er, wives submit, obey AND walk 3 paces behind them.

    Some one needs to pull him aside and whisper "Yo, numbnuts, you are in the general now"!

    April 16, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  5. JulesT

    "We don't divide America based upon success and wealth and other dimensions of that nature,"...Romney is so 2-faced that he doesn't know what side of his mouth to talk out of. He is willing to cut programs for the less fortunate and yet protects the wealthy by not supporting eliminating the subsidies for the big oil companies, by not supporting the Buffet Rule, by not supporting the elimination of the Bush tax break for the the 1%.

    He is ruthless and pathetic and will surpress the middle class and lower class. Big brother will only support his other big brothers.

    April 16, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  6. DENNA

    Mitt, I'd vote for you in a heart beat if you: 1) stop running away from being rich; 2) tell Ann to shut up; 3) tell the Tea Party and right wing to go jump in the lake. In other words, if you would man-up I would vote for you. Luckily, we have President Barack Obama, a man who wishes to serve ALL of America.

    April 16, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  7. Pander Bear

    Mitty gimme a break here. You were talking about getting rid of Housing and Urban Development a few hours ago. Ya know, the urban areas where poor people live? YOU are dividing based on wealth – as in, if you don't have any, yer screwed.

    April 16, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  8. The GOP's "Trickle Down" economic policy left a wet spot on the shoes of middle America!

    Mr. 1% advocate the GOP mantra that taxing millionaires is bad because it would negatively affect small business owners that are "job creators", and today, it is revealed only 1% of the "job creators" are millionaires.

    Oh, the irony.

    April 16, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  9. hamsta

    The tea party isnt into class warfare or being divisive,neither is the gop.but obama and the occupy crowd are all about class warfare and division of people.

    April 16, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  10. JerseyGirl

    Willard gives new meaning to spinning the Etch a Sketch. His wife, today, too, pretending she is happy that "women are finally talking about the economy, etc." A couple of phonies who deserve each other. And today he looked like he got Botox & a tan. What a phony in so many ways. People! If this guy goes anywhere near the White House, then we deserve him! Let's make sure at the polls he crashs and burns!! And in record numbers!! We can do it!

    April 16, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  11. Lynn P.

    I wonder if he was saying that when he was taking over businesses and laying off workers for massive profit. Depends on which way the wind is blowing, huh, Mr. Romney?

    April 16, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  12. MP in VA

    If I understand what Romney is saying, the SCOTUS should overturn Roe vs Wade and the government should control what my wife does with her uterus, but the states should have the say-so with a health care mandate? We're also supposed to all come together? And do what exactly? Sing the Coca-Cola I'd like to Teach the World to Sing song? If Obama was naive about changing Washington, then Romney is certainly naive about his ability to "bring people together." Won't happen on his watch or, if he tries, his party will throw him under the bus like the Dems did to Obama.

    April 16, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  13. Smako

    You can't seriously think that ANY candidate can relate to the working class. Has ANY of them ever had to decide whether to pay the electric bill or buy food? Has ANY of them had to put something back in the check out line? Has ANY of them even seen a check out line?
    Romneyphobia is just Mormophobia, people fear and dislike him because he doesn't smoke, drink or fornicate. They would rather have Bill Clinton in office than someone who challenges their morals by proxy.

    April 16, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  14. Liska

    Dear Thurston Howell,
    You know full well class division exist in this country. That is why you want to privatize everything. You also know that outlawing abortion will only lead to the back alleys for the poor and to private doctors making a house call for the rich. Release your stunning tax returns for 10 years like your father said was needed, and like your father did himself. Please quit your private clubs and go swimming and horseback riding at the Y or at the county pools. Please eat dinner out where and when I do. And please make sure my VA benefits are not cut, as I served this country to keep it free for all of us~ not to hand it over to the 1% and to the teabaggers, all of whom have used all the good programs of the federal government from schools to road and libraries, and who scream "Socialist" at my president. I am the socialist ~for I drink from the public fountain of schools, roads, health care, libraries, universities, transport, military, DOT's, FCC, EPA, FDA, DOE, etc etc. And I am a democrat and I vote and I advocate for both free markets and socialism: I like my government mixed. BHO 2012

    April 16, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
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