Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: 10 Questions for Mitt Romney on Poverty and Opportunity in America
Press Release

RELEASE: 10 Questions for Mitt Romney on Poverty and Opportunity in America

Washington, D.C. — As Mitt Romney doubles down on his false welfare attack, the Center for American Progress Action Fund released "10 Questions for Mitt Romney on Poverty and Opportunity in America," a resource that investigates the real impact Gov. Romney’s policies would have on the most vulnerable Americans. The analysis demonstrates how Mitt Romney’s rhetoric stacks up against the facts of his plans for the poor and provides a framework for pressuring the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to have an honest conversation about how his policy proposals would affect Americans striving to join the middle class.

Gov. Romney made headlines earlier this year when he stated, “I’m not concerned about the very poor.” While he’s tried to walk back that rhetoric, he’s been close-lipped about his actual plans to help struggling Americans and repair the safety net. And based on his support for the Ryan budget, and what can be inferred from his budget and tax plans, his policies for the very poor match his rhetoric of indifference. By endorsing the Ryan budget, Gov. Romney has aligned himself with an agenda that will:

  • Cause 31 million people—predominantly children, seniors, people with disabilities, and the working poor—to lose access to health insurance through Medicaid cuts over the next 10 years
  • Kick 8 million to 10 million people off of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; set nutrition aid (currently averaging $1.50 per person per meal) below what the Department of Agriculture considers minimally adequate; or some combination of these two outcomes over the next 10 years
  • Kick 191,000 children off of Head Start—a federally funded child development program for children in low-income families—in the next two years

In addition to spelling out what we already know about Gov. Romney’s plan for the poor, the brief’s author, Melissa Boteach, suggests 10 questions that Mitt Romney hasn’t answered that would help clarify his positions on families struggling to get into the middle class:

  • Does he support tax fairness?
  • Does he want to cut Head Start?
  • Gov. Romney has come out in favor of greater flexibility for states when it comes to block-granting and cutting programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Medicaid, but does he support a proposal put forth by members of his own party that would eliminate the categorical eligibility policy of allowing states greater flexibility in administering their supplemental nutrition assistance—a proposal that would strip state governments of their ability to coordinate nutrition assitance with other programs?
  • Should children, seniors, or people with disabilities be cut from Medicaid?
  • Does he want to cut programs for kids?
  • Does he favor raising the minimum wage?
  • Does he support work-family balance policies?
  • Does he want workers to have paid sick days?
  • Does he support subsidized employment to help low-income Americans access jobs?
  • Does he support extending unemployment insurance?

Read "10 Questions for Mitt Romney on Poverty and Opportunity in America."

This resource is part of Romney University, a series of events and paper releases aimed at arming policy and opinion makers with all they need to know about Gov. Romney’s policy proposals.

Related resources:

Learn more about Romney U:

To speak to CAP Action experts, please contact Madeline Meth at 202.741.6277 or