Mitt Romney: 'I'm Not Concerned About The Very Poor'
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said on Wednesday that he's "not concerned about the very poor," citing the social safety net in place for that segment of the populace and adding that he's focused on the middle class.
"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," the Republican front-runner said Wednesday on CNN, following hisvictory in the Florida primary. "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."
CNN's Soledad O'Brien pressed him on his comments, adding that they may sound odd for Americans who are very poor.
omney's policies call for cutting federal spending and reconfiguring the social safety net. He calls for an immediate five-percent cut to non-discretionary spending, which would hit the safety net hard.He proposes turning Medicaid into a block grant program and undertaking a "fundamental restructuring of government programs and services." He also calls for capping spending at 20 percent of GDP -- a significant cut -- and adds that he "will pursue further cuts" as spending comes "under control.
Romney's statement is part of a pattern of previously poorly-phrased remarks that give his competitors fodder to call the former Bain Capital founder -- who is worth between $190 million and $250 million -- out of touch with the economic recession.
In January, Romney said, "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."