Skip to comments.Mitt Romney: "I'm not concerned about the very poor."
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.
Im 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, Ill fix it. Im not concerned about the very rich, theyre doing just fine. Im 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.
I’m going to laugh watching this guy implode.
Romney is already a disaster, this type of flub could allow Gingrich to surge again... if he can capitalize.
Thurston Cayman Island Howell III speaks. Will voters listen?
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.
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.
Poor choice of words that will be touted out of context by the Dems should Romney get the nomination.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Congrats Florida. You’ve picked a real winner.
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.
He’s going to repair those holes in the safety net. He’s going to do whatever your dreams and wishes command.
Somone needs to captoion that with “I’m not concerned about the very poor.”
I believe that the GOP don’t want to win. I bet Romney even gave money to support Obama.
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.
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.
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