Rachel Maddow opened her Friday show by roundly lampooning Mitt Romney’s attempt to back away from his statement that he is “not concerned about the very poor.
“The GOP presidential frontrunner stepped into a landmine earlier in the week when he said those words to CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, arguing that poor people have a “safety net” and that he wants to focus on the middle class.
On Thursday and Friday, Romney told a pair of interviewers that he had misspoken and mangled the point he was trying to make. O’Brien herself seemed skeptical about this line of defense, and Maddow was downright incredulous.
“Misspeaking is a real thing,” she said, before playing a series of verbal gaffes by everyone from news anchors to John McCain. Romney’s statement, she said, was not so much a misplaced set of words as it was a real statement of beliefs that people took issue with.
“You can tell what’s a legitimate mistake and what is a slip of the tongue,” she said. Maddow also wondered what Romney meant to say, if he had simply fumbled his words.”I just bobbled it!” she cried mockingly. “I meant to say ‘sore people,’ not ‘poor people!'”
This week, the President made history by holding the first completely virtual interview at the White House on Google+.
He also tackled the rising cost of tuition at the University of Michigan, welcomed the President of Georgia, convened a cabinet meeting, stopped by the Washington Auto Show, announced a major refinancing plan for responsible homeowners, and attended the National Prayer Breakfast.
They continue to say the economy is failing when it isn’t. Everything they’ve tried to pin on this President is a lie. So, they’re throwing any and everything out there hoping something will stick! Shame on them…
After O’Donnell was identified last week as advising Romney and then highlighted in subsequent news accounts as being one of the reasons behind the former Massachusetts governor’s improved debate performances, Romney campaign officials grew uneasy.
O’Donnell received phone calls late last week from two Romney advisers — campaign manager Matt Rhoades and informal adviser Charlie Black — where it was made clear that there was severe discomfort about how his role was being portrayed in the media and that he ought to tread lightly.
Then on Saturday, when The New York Times posted a Sunday story online detailing how Romney’s campaign targeted Newt Gingrich in Florida that again mentioned O’Donnell’s role with the debates, chief Romney strategist Stuart Stevens called O’Donnell. Stevens asked the adviser to contact Jim Rutenberg, one of the Times reporters who wrote the piece, and request that the reporter change the depiction of O’Donnell’s role in what would become a front-page article, according to Republican sources.
The Times altered some of the language relating to O’Donnell in the final story — he was mentioned briefly as only a “debate adviser” — but O’Donnell’s name was not removed. O’Donnell was not quoted in the story.
Reached on the phone by POLITICO Friday, O’Donnell declined to comment.
Stevens would only say: “I have a great deal of respect for Brett and would welcome the opportunity to work together again down on the road.”
But, according to the Romney campaign last week, O’Donnell was already part of the team.