Why I Agree With Mitt Romney About "The Very Poor"

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Editor's note: In a CNN interview last Wednesday, Mitt Romney told Soledad O'Brien, "I'm not concerned about the very poor." The soundbite, as the New York Times put it, quickly "richocheted" through the media, and was used in an ad made by the Democratic National Committee within a day of the interview. Last Friday, Romney told interviewer Jon Ralston, "I misspoke. Plain and simple."

LaShaun Williams thinks "the firestorm surrounding Romney's comments were very telling of American culture and politics." She notes that Romney was referring to only the "very poor, who qualify for welfare assistance unavailable to those struggling just above the poverty line." Here, some more from her post. -- Julie

Additionally, the very poor only account for approximately 15.1 percent of the total population. Together the super-rich and super-poor are less than one-third of the American people. Logically, it only makes sense for Romney to focus on the majority of people living somewhere in the middle. They may not be the "99 percent," but they are a solid 84.9 percent. As the GOP front-runner likely to capture the Republican bid, Romney's quest for the White House is in the hands of the majority. And, the majority is the family of four eating one meal a day to get by.

If we stepped away from our obsession with political drama and fought the urge to jump into one of the many weekly I'm-so-offended mass hissy fits, many would agree Romney's candidness was spot on.

Read more from Welfare, Food Stamps—What More of a ‘Safety Net’ Do the Very Poor Expect? at LaShaun Williams

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