Mitt Romney said in an interview set to air Thursday evening that he “misspoke” when he said that he was “not concerned about the very poor.”
In an interview with Nevada’s “Face to Face with Jon Ralston,” the former Massachusetts governor and GOP presidential front-runner said he merely flubbed a line that he has said before.
“It was a misstatement; I misspoke,” Romney said, according to a transcript provided to The Fix. “I’ve said something that is similar to that but quite acceptable for a long time.”
Romney said in an interview with CNN early Wednesday that his economic policy is more focused on the middle class than the rich or the poor.
Previously, Romney has said he wasn’t very concerned about the rich. This time, he said the same thing about the “very poor.”
“I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there,” Romney said in the Wednesday interview. “If it needs repair, I’ll fix it.”
The comment drew instant ridicule of Romney, a wealthy businessman who has at times struggled to connect with average Americans on the campaign trail.
But Romney’s campaign responded to the criticism by emphasizing the context and didn’t immediately back off the offending quote.
In his interview with Ralston, though, Romney said he messed up, citing the many interviews he does.
“When you do — I don’t know — how many thousands of interviews, now and then, you may get it wrong,” Romney said. “And I misspoke — plain and simple.”