Sen. Orrin Hatch has made this an issue before, arguing that since half of Americans don't pay into the income tax system, it's left to the middle class to prop up the government's bank account.
"American taxpayers are skeptical that the answer to our fiscal problems is for them to sacrifice more, when almost half of all households are not paying any income taxes," Hatch said last year.
Hatch, however, didn't say that those who don't pay income taxes are "victims" like Romney or that he doesn't care about them. That's the part that may irk voters the most.
It took less than two hours for Romney's campaign to issue a statement saying that he "wants to help all Americans struggling in the Obama economy." It took about the same amount of time for the pro-Obama Super PAC American Bridge to produce an advertisement highlighting the initial comment.
The election, like all that have come before, is full of problematic statements: You didn't build that. They're going to put you back in chains. And don't forget that people are corporations, too, my friend.
Like all political flare-ups, this too shall pass.
The most damaging thing about the comment, though, is the timing. Just as Obama's post-convention bounce appeared to be fading and Romney had a chance to climb back up, he again finds himself on the defense and off message.
Obama, meanwhile, had a previously scheduled engagement in New York City this afternoon: an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman.
49 days left to go.