During a town hall event in Reno, Nevada Wednesday afternoon, Newt Gingrich lashed out at Mitt Romney for suggesting that helping the poor is not a priority. Gingrich quoted Romney’s remarks from CNN and explained, “it gives you a perfect distinction of our two approaches”:
GINGRICH: I’m fed up with politicians in either party dividing Americans against each other…the Founding Fathers wrote that we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, among with are life and the pursuit of happiness. The Founding Fathers meant all of us. Let me shock the Wall Street crowd. The Founding Fathers meant the 1 percent, who they called Americans. The Founding Fathers meant the very poor, who they called Americans. My goal is to find steps for every American to have a job, every American to work, every American to buy a house. I believe America was founded on a dream that we are in fact created equal and we have a chance to go out and have a chance to pursue happiness and that nobody of any background should be denied.
Other Republicans are nudging Romney to reconsider his comments. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) — who endorsed Romney in 2008 — advised the former Massachusetts governor to “backtrack” and reframe his argument. “He needs to address it,” DeMint told Roll Call. “I think he needs to turn that around because — the middle class is key, and we have to focus on that. And, really, the problem with the middle class is not successful people, it’s politicians — but the key to making our country successful it to get everyone on that economic ladder.”
Still, despite all their new-found concern for the middle class and the poor, all three Republicans — Romney, Gingrich, and DeMint — support policies that would substantially undermine safety net programs and result in massive giveaways to upper-income earners and investors, while doing almost nothing for middle- and low-income Americans.