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Mitt Romney Explains Comment about the ‘Very Poor’
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Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, said that he is “not concerned about the very poor,” as he cited the social safety net that is in place for that particular segment of the population. He added that he is more focused on the middle class of the United States.

“I’m in this race because I care about Americans. I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I’ll fix it,” Romney said following his victory in Florida. “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.”

  
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When Romney was pressed about his comments he went on to say the following to CNN reporter Soledad O’Brien.

“Well you had to finish the sentence, Soledad,” he replied. “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.’ The challenge right now — 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.”

“We have a very ample safety net,” Romney explained. “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.”

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The programs that he is referring to within the safety net are also struggling from the economic recession. One of those programs, Medicaid, is facing cuts as states are trying to balance budgets as more people are using the system. Lawmakers are also trying to make cuts in food stamps as the price of food continues to rise, despite a larger number of Americans using the system because of the recession.

The policies that Romney wants to put in place call for a five percent cut to non-discretionary spending, which would cause a massive blow to the safety net of the country that he speaks of in his comments. Romney also wants to turn Medicaid into a program that utilizes block grants. He has also talked about putting a cap on spending at 20 percent of the GDP, which would be a major cut.



The comments made by Romney continue a pattern of poorly timed and poorly phrased comments that give his opponents a chance to say that he is out of touch with the recession.

“Don’t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom,” he said in Las Vegas in October. Las Vegas was the hardest hit metro area in the country.

Romney also said in January that, “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me” to explain why he favored competition among health insurers. “If someone doesn’t give me the good service I need, I want to say I am going to get somebody else to provide that service to me.”

While on a plane to Minneapolis, reporters asked Romney about his comments once again. Romney replied with:

“No, no, no, no, no, no, no. No, no, no. You’ve got to take the whole sentence, alright, it’s mostly the same. If there are people that are falling through the cracks, I want to fix that.”

“President Obama has destroyed the middle class. His policies have given us a stagnant economy, high unemployment, declining wages, increase in poverty, and record amounts of new debt,” said Andrea Saul, a Romney spokesperson. “President Obama is so detached from what is happening in the real world that he finds it hard to believe an unemployed engineer can’t find a job. President Obama calls the plight of the unemployed ‘interesting.’ Mitt Romney calls it ‘inexcusable.’ We look forward debating President Obama on how his policies have failed the middle class.”



 

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