Romney is “not concerned about the very poor…”

It’s hard for me to like Mitt Romney. I used to have some respect for him as a moderate Republican, but he’s slowly making his way down towards the top of my Politicians I’d Like To Disappear list. In an interview with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, the likely GOP presidential nominee said he’s not concerned about the “very poor” as they have a safety net and the “very rich” as they are doing “just fine.”

Romney said he’s concerned about the average Americans who have been battling a terrible economy since President Barack Obama took office. Here’s the exact exchange:

“I’m not concerned about the very poor,” he said. “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%, 95% of Americans right now who are struggling, and I’ll continue to take that message across the nation.”

When pressed by CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien about his remark about the very poor, Romney cited food stamps, Medicaid and housing vouchers.

“You can choose where to focus,” he said. “You can focus on the rich; that’s not my focus. You can focus on the very poor; that’s not my focus. My focus is on middle-income Americans.”

Because, you know, only middle-income Americans have been the only ones hurt by the Great Recession…

How can one not be concerned about the very poor, yet advocate fixing the safety net “if it needs repair?”

The Republican crop of presidential candidates have been on this kick of not necessarily scapegoating the poor and the struggling, but of dismissing their plight as unimportant or not distinct enough to garner their attention. What do you make of Romney’s comments? A simple gaffe or a reflection of the type of campaign he will run?