During an interview with CNN on February 1st, Mitt Romney said – actually said – this: "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." You can see what he's driving at, but oh boy. As out-of-touch, caricature-confirming lines go, this one's right up there with "I like firing people," "[$370,000 is] not very much money," and the $10,000 bet. Click through our gallery to relive these and other classic Out-of-Touch Moments of the GOP frontrunner.
At June 2011 campaign stop in Tampa, multimillionaire former private-equity titan Romney sat around a table with a group of unemployed Floridians and attempted to lighten things up by saying, "I'm also unemployed." [New York Times]
Romney was working the tables during a campaign stop at a Mexican restaurant in Denver, Colorado last June when a boy offered him a $1 bill that he'd folded origami-style for good luck. Romney fished around in his wallet for something to give the boy in return, but couldn't find anything smaller than a $100 bill. An aide handed him a buck, but Romney kept on digging, eventually finding a $5 bill for the kid "deep" – a reporter observed – "inside his leather billfold." [Washington Post]
During an Independence Day visit to Amherst, New Hampshire, last year, Romney stopped at a lemonade stand along the 4th of July parade route. He opened his wallet, handed over a $5 bill to the kid-proprietor, and took a cup of lemonade (advertised cost: 25¢). "That’s an expensive lemonade, governor," a reporter drily observed. "Expensive lemonade, but good kids," said Romney, quickly moving along. [New York Times]
A visit to the Iowa State Fair last summer turned awkward for Romney when hecklers suggested he raise taxes on corporations rather than people. "Corporations are people, my friend," a testy Romney shot back. [Washington Post]
Sparring with Rick Perry over health care at a December 2011 debate, Romney challenged the Texas governor to prove that he, Romney, had required people to buy health insurance under his health reform law in Massachusetts. "I'll tell you what,” Romney said to Perry. "Ten thousand bucks? A ten thousand dollar bet?" Perry replied winningly, “I'm not in the betting business.”
At a campagin stop in New Hampshire a few days before the state's January 10, 2012 primary, Romney took another run at demonstrating empathy: "I know what it’s like to worry whether you’re going to get fired," he told a crowd. "There were a couple of times I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip." Pressed by reporters, his campaign wasn't able to provide any examples of a time when Mr. Romney really and truly feared for his job. [New York Times]
At a January 2012 campaign stop at the Nashua, New Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, Romney told his audience, "I like to be able to fire people who provide services to me." Romney later clarified that he was referring to insurance companies that offer inadequate coverage, but his rivals for the GOP nomination could barely suppress their glee at his gaffe. Rick Santorum, for one, noted that this was "not a good message" for voters to hear right now. [New York Times]
During an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC's "The Today Show" in January, 2012, Romney was asked about the concerns of "anyone who has questions about the distribution of wealth and power in this country." "I think it's about envy," he replied. "I think it's about class warfare." [ThinkProgress]
Under pressure from his GOP rivals and the media to release his tax returns, Romney told reporters his effective tax rate this past year was about 15 percent, the capital gains rate, since nearly all his income came from investments. He added, as a throwaway, that he also earned some money in speakers' fees, but "not very much." Turns out Romney made about $374,000 from speaking gigs in 2010.
During an interview with CNN on February 1, 2012, Romney said, "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." You can see what he's driving at, but oh boy.
During a Feb. 24 speech in Detroit, Romney said he drives two cars – a Mustang and a Chevy pickup – and his wife Anne drives "a couple of Cadillacs."