The Democratic National Committee launched a new Web ad Wednesday mocking Mitt Romney's comment that he is "not concerned about the very poor" because they have a safety net.
The former Massachusetts governor made the comment Wednesday morning as part of general comments about wanting to focus his economic priorities on the middle class.
"I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs a repair, I’ll fix it," Romney said in an interview with CNN. "I’m concerned about the very heart of America, the 90 to 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling. I’ll continue to take that message across the nation."
While Romney maintained Wednesday that his comments were not incendiary within context, Democrats seized on the remarks in the Web ad.
"In a shallow attempt to show concern for the middle class, Mitt Romney told CNN today he’s not concerned about the very poor. But his policy proposals make clear that he also isn’t very concerned about the middle class — his tax plan provides a modest tax cut, about $167, for middle-class families but provides about $146,000 for families making more than $1 million," the DNC said in a statement.
It was that theme — that Romney's economic proposals would privilege the wealthiest Americans — that Democrats hammered in the commercial.
"It's clear Romney wouldn't fight for the middle class if he were president," onscreen text reads. "Mitt Romney: Not concerned about the poor … or the middle class."
The ad features clips of Romney defending his economic plan in interviews where he is asked about how it would affect the middle class.
The Romney campaign offered a blistering critique of President Obama's economic record in response to the controversy surrounding Romney's comments.
“President Obama has destroyed the middle class. His policies have given us a stagnant economy, high unemployment, declining wages, increase in poverty and record amounts of new debt," said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul. "President Obama is so detached from what is happening in the real world that he finds it hard to believe an unemployed engineer can’t find a job. President Obama calls the plight of the unemployed ‘interesting.’ Mitt Romney calls it ‘inexcusable.’ We look forward to debating President Obama on how his policies have failed the middle class.”