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Did Mitt Romney just disrespect poor Americans?

Mitt Romney told CNN 'I'm not concerned about the very poor...' Will that come off sounding tone deaf? Or was it simply a quote taken out of context?

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, stands with his wife Ann as he celebrates his Florida primary election win in Tampa, Fla., Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012.

(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

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Mitt Romney crushed the Florida primary - and then stepped in a general election cowpie.

Romney, in a CNN interview, said these words: “I’m not concerned about the very poor.” Let’s look at the full quote, which you can see transcribed below.

"I’m in this race because I care about Americans. I’m not concerned about 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 America, the 90-05 percent of Americans that right now are struggling."

When you listen on, however, it’s clear is that Romney wasn’t being totally dismissive of poor people. In fact, this rings out more like his “I like to fire people” remark - absolutely tone deaf even if the point he’s making is far less controversial. Here’s how the interview continues.

Soledad O’Brian follows up on Romney’s remark on the poor.

"Finish the sentence, Soledad - I said I’m not concerned about the very poor that have a safety net but if there’s holes in it, I will repair them.

We will here from the Democrat party the plight of the poor. And there’s no question its not good being poor and we have a safety net to hep those that are very poor - but my campaign is focused on middle income americans.

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