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Mitt Romney: "I'm not concerned about the very poor."
The Weekly Standard ^ | February 1, 2012 | JOHN MCCORMACK

Posted on 02/01/2012 8:41:49 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife

Fresh off his big win in Florida Tuesday night, Mitt Romney made the most stunningly stupid remark of his campaign.

“I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there,” Romney said in an interview with CNN's Soledad O'Brien this morning. “If it needs repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich, they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of the America, the 90 percent, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.”

"There are lots of very poor Americans who are struggling who would say, 'That sounds odd,'" O'Brien replied.

"Well, finish the sentence, Soledad," Romney said. "I said I'm not concerned about the very poor that have a safety net, but if it has holes in it, I will repair them. We will hear from the Democrat party, the plight of the poor. And there's no question, it's not good being poor, and we have a safety net to help those that are very poor. But my campaign is focused on middle-income Americans. You can choose where to focus, you can focus on the rich. That's not my focus. You can focus on the very poor, that's not my focus. My focus in on middle income Americans. Retirees living on Social Security, people who can't find work, folks that have kids that are getting ready to go to college. These are the people most badly hurt during the Obama years. We have a very ample safety net and we can talk about whether it needs to be strengthened or whether there are holes in it. But we have food stamps, we have Medicaid, we have housing vouchers, we have programs to help the poor. But the middle income Americans, they're the folks that are really struggling right now and they need someone that can help get this economy going for them.”

It's obvious that Romney's statement that he's "not concerned about the very poor" is incredibly tone-deaf. A candidate can say he's "focused" on the middle class without saying he's "not concerned" about the very poor, just as a candidate can say he's "focused" on the economy without saying he's "not concerned" about national security or even less vital issues like education.

But Romney's remark isn't merely tone-deaf, it's also un-conservative. The standard conservative argument is that a conservative economic agenda will help everyone. For the poor, that means getting as many as possible back on their feet and working rather than languishing as wards of the welfare state.

And then of course there are the poor who will rely on the safety net even in good times. Romney isn't sure if the safety net is in need of repair, but for the poor, Medicaid is a dysfunctional system because of federal regulation. So Republicans are united behind the proposal to block-grant the program back to the states--not just to save money but to help the poor. School choice is another conservative program designed to help poor children flourish.

Medicare and Social Security--programs Romney promised to protect the other night--are the two huge safety net programs, and they are being threatened by runaway spending. To be anti-debt is to be anti-poverty. As Congressman Paul Ryan says, when a debt crisis hits the elderly and the poor are hit the first and the worst.

Had Mitt Romney picked up his conservatism sooner, perhaps he would know these arguments by heart.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Military/Veterans; Politics
KEYWORDS: backstabberromney; dense; dumb; emperorromney; gopprimary; imperiousromney; mittromney; romney4dnc; romney4obama; romney4provenloss; romney4romney; romneygaffes; romneythemagnificent; themagicrino
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1 posted on 02/01/2012 8:41:50 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I’m going to laugh watching this guy implode.


2 posted on 02/01/2012 8:43:38 AM PST by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Romney is already a disaster, this type of flub could allow Gingrich to surge again... if he can capitalize.


3 posted on 02/01/2012 8:44:03 AM PST by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Thurston Cayman Island Howell III speaks. Will voters listen?


4 posted on 02/01/2012 8:46:59 AM PST by vbmoneyspender
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

As a conservative I accept his statement 100%. Most of the “poor” safety net now includes cell phones, an SUV, Gucci bags. Why even mention the flat screen color tv’s and drugs those are givens.

I’d criticize more his including the very rich. We need business. But I’ll accept a focus on the great middle class.

Let’s not go liberal please.


5 posted on 02/01/2012 8:47:57 AM PST by Williams (Honey Badger Don't Care)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
I hate Romney (do I have to qualify all my post in which he is not disagreed with?) and would prefer that patriots ignore this election. I don't think George Washington participated in the politics of England.

I don't care about the povs either. I've been forced at gunpoint to provide for their every worldly need since I've been born and never once got a TY. Screw 'em. Let nature take it's course.

And I don't care what libs think of that nor should he. Don't hide truth under a PC bushel. Break the chains.


6 posted on 02/01/2012 8:48:41 AM PST by I see my hands (The old sod ne'er shall be forgot.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Poor choice of words that will be touted out of context by the Dems should Romney get the nomination.


7 posted on 02/01/2012 8:49:08 AM PST by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Yes, there is a larger context for the comment. But those words did come out of Romney’s mouth! He has no one to blame but himself, no one.

But I guess ‘electable” candidates say outrageously idiotic things all the time. By the end of Romney’s campaign I bet we’ll have all manner of examples of how an “electable” candidate operates.


8 posted on 02/01/2012 8:50:14 AM PST by cvq3842
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius
His statement sounds cold, but his point is valid. Obama has been injuring the middle class with his policies and if he is reelected much of our population may find themselves in the very poor category.

Newt has a lot of ideas (one every few minutes), that he needs to whittle down and articulate so people can develop some confidence in him and begin to picture him in the Oval Office. He is wasting his energy with the school yard arguing.

9 posted on 02/01/2012 8:50:52 AM PST by Baynative (The penalty for not participating in politics is you will be governed by your inferiors.)
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To: dfwgator

Click to Donate to Newt Gingrich

10 posted on 02/01/2012 8:50:55 AM PST by hoosiermama (Stand with God: Newt, Rick and Sarah will be right next to you.)
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius
Romney is already a disaster, this type of flub could allow Gingrich to surge again... if he can capitalize.

The MSM jumped on Gingrich and his Obama is the "food stamp" president because he'd struck a vein of gold and they knew it so they twisted his meaning, making it into a racist comment to deflect from the truth of it.

Now here we have the standard bearer of the "stupid establishment party" saying something so unbelievably stupid -- that fits exactly into Obama's reelection campaign. The audio will be played endlessly.

11 posted on 02/01/2012 8:51:54 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: dfwgator

While I agree with him in principle, it was an astoundingly dumb-ass thing to say. The left will have his testicles for lunch over this. This is why he shouldn’t be the GOP Nominee.


12 posted on 02/01/2012 8:52:05 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Congrats Florida. You’ve picked a real winner.


13 posted on 02/01/2012 8:54:20 AM PST by dragonblustar (Allah Ain't So Akbar!)
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To: dfwgator

Ya know what? Me too. I’ve been so upset about the Elite giving us this fool that for a bit it was depressing. Now, I’ve just decided to sit back and watch the GOP elite get slaughtered in the General Election. Yeah, I wanted a Conservative as POTUS like the rest of us, but if I can’t have that, maybe, just maybe, I can watch the GOP elite beaten SO badly in Nov that we can FINALLY be rid of them.

Romney has been doing this for HOW many years now and is STILL this bad at it? The RATS are gonna have a field day with this moron.


14 posted on 02/01/2012 8:55:03 AM PST by RIghtwardHo
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To: dfwgator

He’s going to repair those holes in the safety net. He’s going to do whatever your dreams and wishes command.


15 posted on 02/01/2012 8:55:11 AM PST by HectorOne
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Somone needs to captoion that with “I’m not concerned about the very poor.”


16 posted on 02/01/2012 8:55:32 AM PST by KansasGirl
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Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: Gaffer

I believe that the GOP don’t want to win. I bet Romney even gave money to support Obama.


18 posted on 02/01/2012 8:55:54 AM PST by dragonblustar (Allah Ain't So Akbar!)
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To: Gaffer

Exactly. He makes these gaffes time and time again. It’s not just Biden stupidity, this goes to the core of whether voters will vote for him, and what the RATS will do to him. Romney is DOA in the General.


19 posted on 02/01/2012 8:56:38 AM PST by RIghtwardHo
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To: Baynative

The 10 second attention span voter does not care about digging into or even listening to explanations. The sound bite is all that matters.

Let me repeat that

THE SOUND BITE IS ALL THAT MATTERS

When a commercial is made and Romney’s own voice is heard to say:

“I’m not concerned about the very poor”

That is the entirety of what apathetic voters will hear and understand.


20 posted on 02/01/2012 8:56:39 AM PST by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I’m for Newt 150% but I do not see how he can win the nomination at this point. It’s all up hill from here.

That said, with a statement like this the election is essentially over. Four more years of Obama.


21 posted on 02/01/2012 8:56:54 AM PST by Peter from Rutland
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Romney has a hard time making a valid point effectively. He sticks his foot in his mouth and it will be used against him, this quote, now in the primaries and then, should he win the nomination, in the general.

He could have (and should have) easily said something like,

"You know, the poor in this country have been betrayed by the left. They are locked into an endless food stamp/welfare game where their vote is purchased for a meager existance. I am worried about growing this economy by empowering the job creators so these less well off people have an opportunity at a job and a life that is not beholden to, or bought by Obama and the DNC,"
Would have made the point effectively and taken the attack...as it should...right to Obama and the DNC and left.

Instead he gave them ammo against him and the entire message.

AMERICA AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY

22 posted on 02/01/2012 8:56:54 AM PST by Jeff Head (Liberty is not free. Never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

The ineligible Milt:
I bet you $10,000 that WHATEVER
misstatement I make will be ignored by the MSM
that BAIN and I own and control ..... for now."

23 posted on 02/01/2012 8:58:50 AM PST by Diogenesis ("Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. " Pres. Ronald Reagan)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

One word: PERCEPTION and for Mittens it’s not good.


24 posted on 02/01/2012 8:59:32 AM PST by Clyde5445
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Mitt Romney: "I'm not concerned about the very poor."

I'm not too concerned either since the poor seem to have more toys than I and don't have to do jack to get it.

25 posted on 02/01/2012 8:59:56 AM PST by SouthTexas (You cannot bargain with the devil, shut the government down.)
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To: Williams

But Romney is defending the welfare state and even suggest it may have holes in it. Anyone truly concerned about the middle class would recognize that the welfare state, including Obamneycare, is killing it! Newt wants everyone to have a job!


26 posted on 02/01/2012 9:00:11 AM PST by KansasGirl
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To: vbmoneyspender
Thurston Cayman Island Howell III speaks.

Why oh why couldn't he have taken that 3 hour tour on the S.S. Minnow.

27 posted on 02/01/2012 9:00:33 AM PST by mc5cents
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To: Williams

Exactly! We don’t need a welfare president.


28 posted on 02/01/2012 9:01:00 AM PST by stuck_in_new_orleans
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To: WellyP

You might want to edit the first sentence of your post wrt “clip” vs something unmentionable on FR!


29 posted on 02/01/2012 9:04:06 AM PST by TEXOKIE (... and HAPPY NEW YEAR to all FREEPERS EVERYWHERE!)
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To: dfwgator

I am not conscerned over the very poor = Read my lips


30 posted on 02/01/2012 9:04:38 AM PST by DarthVader (Politicians govern out of self interest, Statesmen govern for a Vision greater than themselves)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

His dad ruined his presidential chances with the “brainwashed” comment. Like father, like son?


31 posted on 02/01/2012 9:04:39 AM PST by cvq3842
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Epic facepalm. And unfortunately, the implosion won’t happen until after he gets the nomination, assuming he does (Please God, no!)


32 posted on 02/01/2012 9:04:46 AM PST by OCCASparky (Steely-eyed killer of the deep.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I guess Newt’s next TV ad is already being prepared....

“I’m not concerned about the very poor” followed by “I like firing people”... because you KNOW the Democrats are salivating to use it in the general election.

Too bad he didn’t say this before Florida.

The establishment sure sends out their craptacular candidates don’t they?


33 posted on 02/01/2012 9:05:25 AM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: Jeff Head

That’s what a conservative would say, Jeff. Romney is a statist who Is perfectly fine with the welfare state and big government.


34 posted on 02/01/2012 9:05:36 AM PST by KansasGirl
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To: Williams
The fact that Romney is not a good candidate does not change the fact that Gingrich is also not a good candidate.

And Gingrich's comments after Florida about "money power" and buying elections are leftist nonsense.

There's nothing conservative about "campaign finance reform" and similar garbage.

There's a lot more to attack Romney on other than his wealth and organizational acumen - those are features not bugs.

35 posted on 02/01/2012 9:05:41 AM PST by wideawake
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

A major gaffe. If he wins the nomination, Obama will hit him with this in television ads.


36 posted on 02/01/2012 9:08:20 AM PST by Thane_Banquo
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To: WellyP

Lol!! You mean clip.


37 posted on 02/01/2012 9:09:23 AM PST by goseminoles
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To: Gaffer
I believe there is a whole lot of the middle class that will agree with Romney on this. He's not going to destroy the job creators as they are the ones that will lift the middle class who through no fault of their own move one step forward and two steps back. He's also consulted with Paul Ryan and his road map instead of demagoging it like Newty did. Newt's dumb ass remark Right Wing Social Egineering referring to the Ryan Plan done to make another headline pi$$ed me off.
38 posted on 02/01/2012 9:09:35 AM PST by mimaw
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To: Williams

Still cheering on your guy....you must be ecstatic this morning!


39 posted on 02/01/2012 9:09:35 AM PST by Jrabbit
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To: Williams
As a conservative I accept his statement 100%. Most of the “poor” safety net now includes cell phones, an SUV, Gucci bags. Why even mention the flat screen color tv’s and drugs those are givens. I’d criticize more his including the very rich. We need business. But I’ll accept a focus on the great middle class. Let’s not go liberal please.

Since this DUNCE is being touted as the "most electable conservative" I TAKE ISSUE!

The idea is to REMOVE government regulations and allow the God given abilities of mankind to flourish undeterred by burdensome government.

In one fell swoop the DUNCE has segregated Americans into groups -- the POOR (who he'll keep alive and poor), the RICH (of which he is one and thank you very much we're doing just fine) and the MIDDLE that NEED HIS help (MY what could he have up his sleeve to help us -- RomneyCare that so many "love?").

He misses the essence of what being conservative is because he's a big government MANAGER!

40 posted on 02/01/2012 9:10:54 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

He’s a gaffe machine. I can’t believe so many Republicans have been tricked into believing this idiot is the only shot at winning in November. That’s the only reason people are voting for him according to exit polls. How well will that “platform” stand up when his [lack of] principles are made of sand? Ridiculous.


41 posted on 02/01/2012 9:12:27 AM PST by Lady4Liberty (Watch Romney endorse Obama's radical liberal agenda: http://youtu.be/i1fThdWagJ4)
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To: WellyP

I’ve heard Romney called a lot of things, but never that.


42 posted on 02/01/2012 9:12:51 AM PST by Retired Greyhound (.)
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To: Baynative
He is wasting his energy with the school yard arguing.

You can bet that IF Newt had said this, the media and internet would have been all over it. He would then be forced into what you refer to as "school yard arguing."

Romney doesn't care about the poor, because of the safety net?! Remember when people talked about this country as "the land of opportunity." That extended to the poor, as well.

We don't only need jobs and the economy straightened out, we need someone that can inspire. Romney fails at that.

43 posted on 02/01/2012 9:13:15 AM PST by World'sGoneInsane
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

More Big Government, goody! /sarc


44 posted on 02/01/2012 9:14:46 AM PST by greatvikingone
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I’m not concerned about the very poor either! In fact I believe that the tax code is lopsided. Those making less should pay more so they’ll try harder to succeed at ANYTHING other than collecting food stamps and government handouts!

Perhaps the dismally poor are just stupid!


45 posted on 02/01/2012 9:15:03 AM PST by IbJensen (Demint for President, Paul for Treasury Secretary, Apaio For AG)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Yes. Conservatism is a foreign language to him. Even Soledad O’Brien seemed surprised, and basically gave him a prompting and a second chance to modify his words.


46 posted on 02/01/2012 9:15:07 AM PST by cvq3842
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To: Retired Greyhound

I should have written Arrogant Bastard. I’m not talking about the beer, the beer is great, Romney, not so much!


47 posted on 02/01/2012 9:17:09 AM PST by WellyP (REAL)
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To: mimaw

My agreement with him on the deeply poor (our EBT society) stops at the sentiment that they are afforded EVERY opportunity and chance at money they did not earn.

I hold no misconceptions that Romney would choose to continue this despicable practice (paying the poor to be poor while stealing from hard working taxpayers).

I’m not sure what Newt would do in this case, but Romney’s tacit acknowledgement indicates to me that this group will be pandered to instead of being forced to get out and work is a real eye-opener for me.

I am sick of seeing able bodied, YOUNG men and women, at WalMart spitting out that goddamned EBT card for their junk food purchases merely because baby-daddy don’t have a job and couldn’t use a rubber.


48 posted on 02/01/2012 9:21:56 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Remind me again why so many Floridian idiots want this haircut without a brain to be our the GOP nominee?
49 posted on 02/01/2012 9:22:41 AM PST by Timaeus (Willard Mitt Romney Delenda Est)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

“Hello, Gov Romney? Yes, this is Barack Obama’s campaign manager. Listen, I just wanted to thank you for giving us the one ad that we will be able to loop on radio and television 24/7. I really do appreciate it!”


50 posted on 02/01/2012 9:23:33 AM PST by JaguarXKE
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