The GOP presidential frontrunner stepped into a landmine earlier in the week when he said those words to CNN's Soledad O'Brien, arguing that poor people have a "safety net" and that he wants to focus on the middle class.
On Thursday and Friday, Romney told a pair of interviewers that he had misspoken and mangled the point he was trying to make. O'Brien herself seemed skeptical about this line of defense, and Maddow was downright incredulous.
"Misspeaking is a real thing," she said, before playing a series of verbal gaffes by everyone from news anchors to John McCain. Romney's statement, she said, was not so much a misplaced set of words as it was a real statement of beliefs that people took issue with.
"You can tell what's a legitimate mistake and what is a slip of the tongue," she said. Maddow also wondered what Romney meant to say, if he had simply fumbled his words.
"I just bobbled it!" she cried mockingly. "I meant to say 'sore people,' not 'poor people!'"