POSTED: 06:48 a.m. HST, Mar 06, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 03:31 p.m. HST, Mar 06, 2012
WASHINGTON >> Mitt Romney's wife says she doesn't consider herself to be wealthy.
In an interview Monday on Fox News, the wife of the Republican presidential front-runner, Ann Romney, was asked about criticism that her husband can seem out of touch with average Americans. His worth has been estimated as high as $250 million.
Mrs. Romney said her struggle with multiple sclerosis has given her compassion for people who are suffering from multiple sclerosis, cancer or other diseases.
"We can be poor in spirit, and I don't even consider myself wealthy, which is an interesting thing," Mrs. Romney said. "It can be here today and gone tomorrow."
She added: "How I measure riches is by the friends I have and the loved ones I have and the people that I care about in my life, and that's where my values are and that's where my riches are."
A Romney spokeswoman said the full interview showed what Mrs. Romney meant by her remarks.
Mitt Romney has drawn criticism for offhand remarks that point to the wide economic divide separating him and nearly all other Americans. His 2010 tax returns show he earned about $21.7 million from his investments and, after charitable donations, paid about 14 percent in federal income taxes.
While campaigning in Michigan, Romney referred to his wife driving "a couple of Cadillacs" as he pointed to his longstanding support of American automakers. At other times during his campaign for the Republican nomination, Romney has referred to the $373,000 he earned in speaking fees over two years as "not very much" and once bet a Republican rival $10,000 to make a point.
Romney has also said he was "not concerned about the very poor" and, while referring to insurance companies, remarked, "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me."
Asked by reporters last week if such comments had hurt his campaign, he answered, "Yes."