A day after insisting that the media had taken his comments about not being concerned for the poor out of context, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney shifted positions on Thursday, claiming he simply “misspoke.”
On Monday, Romney had told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien that he wasn’t running for president to help the most impoverished Americans.
“I’m not concerned about the very poor, we have a safety net there, if we need to repair, I’ll fix it,” he said. “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 is on middle-income Americans.”
A day later aboard his campaign charter plane, the candidate blamed reporters for not putting his comment in context.
“No, no, no, no,” the former Massachusetts governor said. “You’ve got to take the whole sentence, all right, as opposed to saying, and then change it just a little bit, because then it sounds very different. I’ve said throughout the campaign my focus, my concern, my energy is gonna be devoted to helping middle income people, all right?”
Speaking to KSNV’s John Ralston later that afternoon, Romney finally began to take responsibility for his remarks.
“John, it was a misstatement,” the candidate asserted. “I misspoke.”
“I’ve said something that is similar to that but quite acceptable for a long time. And you know when you do I don’t know how many thousands of interviews, now and then you may get it wrong. And I misspoke, plain and simple.”
Watch this video from KSNV, Face to Face, broadcast Feb. 2, 2012.