Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts and leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, has seen his fair share of speedbumps on the campaign. The latest comes from his interview with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien where Romney said, “I’m not concerned about the very poor.”
The comment, which the candidate says was taken out of context, has created a minor political firestorm, and Romney is feeling the heat from both sides of the aisle.
The full comment was: “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. I’m not concerned about the very rich, they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of America, the 90-95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.”
When O’Brien challenged Romney about his “very poor” comment, he repeated the statement, stressing that he’s willing to repair the “safety net,” if need be.
Newt Gingrich, Romney’s Republican rival, blasted the former governor during a recent campaign speech in Las Vegas, according to the Boston Globe. “I really believe that we should care about the very poor, unlike Governor Romney,” Gingrich said, according to the Globe. “What the poor need is a trampoline so they can spring up, so I am for replacing the safety net with a trampoline.”
Rush Limbaugh has even derided Romney for his gaffe. According to The Huffington Post, the conservative talk-radio host said the candidate “makes himself a target with this stuff. He comes across as the prototypical rich Republican. And it’s gonna make it harder and harder and harder and harder to go after Obama because this turns around on him.”
So far, Romney has won the New Hampshire and Florida primaries. Gingrich was victorious in South Carolina, while Rick Santorum won the Iowa caucuses by a handful of votes. Most polls have Romney winning this weekend’s contest in Nevada.