According to right-wing talk radio host and frequent Fox News guest Neal Boortz, America's poor are “toenail fungus.”
ROMNEY: I'm in this race because I care about Americans. I'm not concerned 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 just concerned about the very heart of America, the 90, 95 percent of Americans right now who are struggling, and I'll continue to take that message across the nation.
Talking Points Memo reported that several conservative commentators chastised Romney for the statement:
“Facepalm,” Michelle Malkin wrote of the incident, which she said “could easily have been a Saturday Night Live parody”
Over at the National Review, Jonah Goldberg said the quote raised concerns that Romney is “simply not a good enough politician” to beat Obama.
“There are plenty of things one could say to defend Romney on the merits of what he says here,” he wrote. “But great politicians on the morning after a big win, don't force their supporters to go around defending the candidate from the charge that he doesn't care about the poor. They just don't.”
“Romney's 'I'm not concerned with the very poor' line may be the most idiotic thing a politician has ever said,” The Weekly Standard's John McCormack tweeted.
RedState, whose bloggers have traditionally not been Romney fans, added their voices to the pile. According to co-founder Erick Erickson, Romney “played straight into the liberal caricature that Republicans don't have hearts.” He added that “The issue here is not that Romney is right or wrong, but that he is handing choice sound bites to the Democrats to make him as unlikeable as he made Newt Gingrich.”
It's unsurprising that Boortz would up the ante while defending Romney's statement. Boortz once said that “single mothers receiving public assistance” are “welfare broodmares.” Boortz also called the people of New Orleans displaced by Hurricane Katrina “garbage” and “worthless parasites,” who could not “get out of the way of the water when that levee broke.” He opined: “When these Katrina so-called refugees were scattered about the country, it was just a glorified episode of putting out the garbage.” He earlier referred to Katrina refugees as “debris,” saying:
I love talking to you about these Katrina refugees. I mean, so many of them have turned out to be complete bums, just debris. Debris that Hurricane Katrina washed across the country.