For those who see the former private-equity investor as hopeless out of touch with Americans in need, Mitt Romney’s latest comments will only add fuel to that fire.
In an interview with CNN‘s Soledad O’Brien, he had the following to say about the very poor:
“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 the America, the 90 percent, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.”
Not surprisingly, O’Brien pressed him on the statement, to which Romney again reiterated that there was a safety net for the very poor, and that he would fix it if necessary.
Unfortunately, the recession has hit some of the programs commonly thought of as part of the “safety net”, including Medicaid and food stamps. Budget deficits in many states have led lawmakers to consider cutting back on Medicaid spending and food stamps, even as the recession has increased the number of people turning to these programs.
These comments are the latest in a string of quotes that some say reflect poorly on the presidential candidate. In October, while in Las Vegas, he advocated letting the foreclosure process “run its course and hit the bottom.” Las Vegas has been one of the hardest hit areas by the mortgage crisis. More recently, he said, in reference to his healthcare plan, “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.”
— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics Editor
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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