Romney says wealthy donors ‘by and large…doing just fine’
July 9th, 2012
01:47 AM ET
11 years ago

Romney says wealthy donors ‘by and large…doing just fine’

Southampton, New York (CNN) – At an exclusive gathering in Southampton, Mitt Romney told wealthy donors he worries more about helping the poor and middle class rather than wealthier individuals there, including himself, who he believes are “by and large…doing just fine.”

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee broke away from a weeklong vacation with his wife Ann and their large extended family at the Romneys' New Hampshire home on Lake Winnipesaukee to attend a trio of fund-raisers in the Hamptons, the ultimate summer resort of the rich and famous.

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As Democrats continued to hammer Mitt Romney for his vast personal wealth and handling of finances that includes offshore bank accounts, the White House hopeful raised millions on prime real estate of billionaires Ron Perelman and David Koch, and former U.S. Ambassador Clifford Sobel.

The reception and dinner in Southampton and lunch at Perelman’s estate in East Hampton were private events and closed to reporters. During the reception in the afternoon, Romney was speaking outside when CNN and another reporter overheard his remarks to people gathered under a tent on a tennis court.

“By the way, you guys are doing fine,” Romney was heard saying at Sobel’s beachfront home. “If you’re here, by and large you’re doing just fine. And I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about those that are doing as well as you guys are, or how I’m doing, but I spend a lot of time worrying about those that are poor and those in the middle class that are finding it hard to make a bright future for themselves.”

Early in the GOP primary campaign, Romney had to clarify a comment he made on CNN about not being “concerned about the very poor.”

He said his words were taken out of context and explained his campaign’s focus was on the middle class, stating that there are programs to help the poor and the rich are doing well on their own.

At the Southampton reception, Romney said “Democratic friends are always taking the high road,” casting his fellow Republicans as people who don’t care for anyone but themselves.

“We all care about the poor, we want to help the poor,” Romney said to applause. “But what we want to do is not just help; we want to help people from becoming poor.”

"Wealthy people are doing fine," Romney told reporters in February. "But my focus in the campaign is on middle-income people. Of course I'm concerned about all Americans - poor, wealthy, middle class, but the focus of my effort will be on middle-income families who I think have been most hurt by the Obama economy."

Romney, who told at least 100 people in the Hamptons he believed they are doing fine, has taken President Barack Obama to task for stating in a recent interview that the “private sector is doing fine.”

Many donors who arrived in top-of-the-line luxury cars to see Romney and his wife were greeted by some 200 protesters, gathered near the dinner hosted by Koch, with a large sign that read, “Romney has a Koch problem.” A plane flying overhead carried a banner with the same message.

– CNN’s Rachel Streitfeld and Jessica Yellin contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The wealthy are doing just fine, but if Mittens can give them an even bigger unnecessary tax cut, pass that cost on to the middle class and poor, then the rich could be doing so much better.

    July 9, 2012 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens said he does not worry about the poor, the wealthy are doing just fine, and after he eliminates the middle class, Americans will be living in hog heaven.

    July 9, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  3. n

    Snap out of it "We The People", must unplug ourselves from the matrix. Romney, maybe white, but he is not the one, he is not for middle class, average America. Take a look at the lay of the settled bias of how Romney's photos are shown when the story is about him. They, the powers that be, are trying to sell him off at being trust worthy, sincere and none threatening . There are a multitude of Romney's and they are all in conflict with each other. They cannot occupy the same space at the same time because eventually, they will cancel each other out. White america, not the americans who just happen to be white, but the ones who think white, stop reacting and siding with like kind in, in color only, If you are not rich, Romney is not for you, Don't be fooled by his goofy smile that is really a smirk. He does not care about the poor and or middle class. Stay the coarse. America is best when we all share leadership responsibilities across the board, send a strong message to the republican leadership of bigotry, hate and destruction. Send those old fatherless, sons of shame, packing.

    July 9, 2012 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  4. Donkey Party

    Oh, so now Willard Romney agrees with the President that the private sector, or rather the "job creators" are doing fine? Thanks for yet another flip-flop.

    July 9, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  5. 2012liberal

    Wealth people r doing fine comment will make gop heads spin again w previous article obama demand bush tax cut to expire 4 those 1%. Romney always stated wealthy doing fine and poor hv safety net, that he's taking scissors 2. Cutting food stamps, unemployment benifits, education-reduced brkfst and lunch.

    July 9, 2012 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  6. AF

    Romney said he concerns about poor, middle class, that's a lie. Romney never give a dime to any charity group, or organisation in America. Never donated to any other organisation except his mormon church. God will jugde

    July 9, 2012 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
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