Will Romney’s ‘poor’ comment become fodder for rivals?

Will Romney's 'poor' comment become fodder for rivals?
Will Romney's 'poor' comment become fodder for rivals?
REUTERS/Mike Carlson

Up until this morning, you probably would’ve been safe in assuming Newt Gingrich’s comments about moon colonies and kosher meals were going to be the enduring memories from a rather bitter Florida primary.

But this morning, during an interview with CNN, primary winner Mitt Romney may have given his rivals something to sound bite and loop to infinity.

While discussing his economic plans, Romney made a comment about the country’s “very poor” and the country’s “very rich.”

Both Greg Sargent and The Washington Post’s Rachel Weiner wonder if the “very poor” comment will haunt him.

Sargent was kind enough to transcribe the bit in question:

“I’m not concerned with the very poor. We have a safety net there,” Romney told CNN. “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.”
“The challenge right now — we will hear from the Democrat party the plight of the poor,” Romney responded, after repeating that he would fix any holes in the safety net. “It’s not good being poor and we have a safety net to help those that are very poor . . . My focus is on middle income Americans…
In any political campaign, he said, “you can choose where to focus. You can focus on the rich — that’s not my focus. You can focus on the very poor — that’s not my focus. My focus is on middle-income Americans.”

After all, it wasn’t long ago that Romney made a somewhat innocuous comment that ended up being used against him. Oh yeah, and this too.

So, what do you think? Will this muddy his win in Florida at all as he heads into Nevada? Or is it something that will pass over quickly and have no impact?

Will Romney's 'poor' comment become fodder for rivals?