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Romney: “I’m Not Concerned About the Very Poor”

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Slade Sohmer

By Slade Sohmer on February 1, 2012

Republican or Democrat, independent or apolitical, hopefully we can all put aside our differences, come together and agree that the very poor have had it too good for too long in this country.

Fresh off his win in the Florida primary, Republican front-runner Mitt Romney finally spoke some truth: “I’m not concerned about the very poor,” he told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien on Wednesday.

What should have been an easy victory lap turned into some all-time out-of-context attack ad material. But good on O’Brien for following up with Romney about the “odd” soundbite he just gave:

Okay, so there is mitigating context. But in the land of soundbites, the mute is king.

Romney was trying to point out his laser focus on the middle class — you know, people like him who work hard all day, every day to make ends meet, people like the steel workers he addressed in November who should be pissed at government workers who “making a lot more money than we are.”

In context, the headline quote isn’t as bad as it seems, but it’s still awful to quite awful. “I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there,” Romney said. “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.”

When challenged, Romney added, “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 . . . My focus is on middle income Americans … 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.”

Now, the liberal lamestream media and even some Not Mitt conservatives will likely point out that this is yet another flip-flop from the master, who just two weeks ago in South Carolina said, “I’m concerned about the poor in this country.” But let us be the first to point out that it’s the “very poor” about whom Romney doesn’t give a shit. The poor — hey, man, they’re still on his radar.

Hopefully someone in Romney’s camp will do some reading after this flub: Like about how more Americans live below the poverty line than ever before, or about the harsh reality of American families living in cars and motels, or how nearly half of all Americans are “low-income.” Start there.

That social safety net needs reinforcing, Mitt. You best be concerned.



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