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Romney's 'middle class' statement draws attention



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SALT LAKE CITY -- A remark by Mitt Romney at a town hall meeting is raising eyebrows.

Romney is in Florida ahead of Thursday's GOP debate in Orlando. At a town hall Wednesday night in Miami, he began by saying Americans want straight talk.

"They want to hear the truth," he told the crowd, "and they can tell when people are being phony and are pandering to an audience."

Later Romney proposed Americans earning $200,000 a year and less should not pay taxes on interest, dividends or capital gains. He said America needs to help the people hurt most in the weakened economy.

"That's the middle class," he said. "It's not those in the low end. It's certainly not those in the very high end. It's for the great middle class, the 80 to 90 percent of us in this country."

On KSL Newsradio Thursday morning, Kirk Jowers of the Hinckley Institute of Politics called speculation over Romney's comment "much ado about nothing." Others say Romney was referring to "us" as the collective American people and was not implying he is part of the middle class.

Disclosure forms filed Friday reveal Romney and his wife have personal financial assets worth as much as $264 million.

E-mail: aadams@ksl.com

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Andrew Adams

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