Krugman begins: "If you're an American down on your luck, Mitt Romney has a message for you: He doesn't feel your pain. Earlier this week, Mr. Romney told a startled CNN interviewer, 'I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there.'"
Portrait, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, 06/15/09. (photo: Fred R. Conrad/NYT)
Romney Isn't Concerned
03 February 12
If you’re an American down on your luck, Mitt Romney has a message for you: He doesn’t feel your pain. Earlier this week, Mr. Romney told a startled CNN interviewer, "I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there."
Faced with criticism, the candidate has claimed that he didn’t mean what he seemed to mean, and that his words were taken out of context. But he quite clearly did mean what he said. And the more context you give to his statement, the worse it gets.
First of all, just a few days ago, Mr. Romney was denying that the very programs he now says take care of the poor actually provide any significant help. On Jan. 22, he asserted that safety-net programs - yes, he specifically used that term - have “massive overhead,” and that because of the cost of a huge bureaucracy “very little of the money that’s actually needed by those that really need help, those that can’t care for themselves, actually reaches them.”
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