February 18th, 2010
02:49 PM ET
5 years ago

Romney's verdict: Obama has failed

Mitt Romney spoke Thursday at CPAC.
Mitt Romney spoke Thursday at CPAC.

Washington (CNN) – The current president has been in the Oval Office for just over a year, but former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has already issued his verdict: Obama has failed.

"President Obama fails to understand America," Romney told the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington during a detailed speech that listed the myriad ways the new administration has made the country worse.

Romney mentioned the recent political difficulties of the Republican party, but he said "2009 was the president's turn to suffer losses, and not just at the ballot box, but also in bill after bill in Congress, and most importantly, in his failure to reignite the economy."

He said Obama has come up short at nearly every turn during his brief time in office: Senate Democrats stood in the way of his agenda, the unemployment rate grew, and Scott Brown gave Republicans the crucial final vote to block his attempt at health care reform.

The once and possibly future presidential candidate even called on Brown to introduce him to the CPAC crowd, a surprise appearance that brought wide-eyed conference-goers to their feet. One young woman was spotted later talking excitedly into her cell phone: "Scott Brown AND Dick Cheney showed up and we saw them both in person!"

Brown claimed to have driven his now famous pick-up truck to the event, held at a Washington hotel, and praised Romney for encouraging him to keep fighting for his beliefs in the traditionally Democratic state of Massachusetts.

He said Romney was "the first guy to push me along to encourage me to make a difference."

Romney, perhaps making a nod to his sometimes troubled relationship with the party's conservative wing, acknowledged that he and his fellow Massachusetts Republicans have "been understandably regarded somewhat suspiciously in gatherings like this" but celebrated Brown's special election victory along with the audience.

Though Romney did not shy away from standing up for President Bush during his own campaign in 2008 - particularly on national security matters – he offered some of his warmest words yet for the 43rd president.

"I am convinced that history will judge President Bush far more kindly" than President Obama, Romney said. "He pulled us from a deepening recession following the attack of 9-11, he overcame teachers unions to test school children and evaluate schools, he took down the Taliban, waged a war against the jihadists, and was not afraid to call it what it is, a war, and he kept us safe."

Romney added that he respects "the loyalty and indefatigable defense of truth that comes from our 'I don't give a damn' Vice President Dick Cheney."

Updated 6:30 p.m. : Brad Woodhouse, Communications Director for the Democratic National Committee, issued a statement in response to Romney's remarks Thursday:

"Mitt Romney's address to CPAC today – and the overwhelming greeting that attendees gave to Dick Cheney – makes one thing perfectly clear: the Republican Party still pines for the very leadership that bankrupted this country financially, with their reckless economic policies, and ethically, with their allegiance to special interests over the American people. And that's what real failure looks like."


Filed under: CPAC • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (212 Responses)
  1. Pat in Omaha

    WOW!!! What a "prophet"! After one year?
    Amazing!! What a wonderful example of Christian charity.

    February 18, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  2. Brandon

    Even IF he Romney becomes President, the country will be so polarized and divided by the time he becomes President that we are doomed to fail. Even IF Pres. Obama remains president in 2012, Faux News and neo-con right will have divided this country so, that we are doomed to fail. Either way, I am buying a home in another country. America does not work together anymore. Why stay on a sinking ship

    February 18, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  3. Bob in Pa

    Obama hasn't been trying to solve our economic woes, he has just been trying to pay back all his cronies and remake America into a semi-communist state.

    February 18, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. Debby

    I don't agree with Romney yet till after this summer. More jobs in the summer so lets see if unemployment will go down.

    February 18, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    Someone must have slipped some transdermal hallucinogens into his Rogaine.

    February 18, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  6. Tram

    Hey, dude, BUSH failed to understand America. Bush put us into a deepening recession, turned us straight into a depression that President Obama has managed to keep us out of. The Taliban is still here - Bush didn't take them down, and in case you forgot, he wouldn't even say we were at war with anyone! He wouldn't call captured soldiers prisoners of "war." Bush was the worst president we ever had. Where in the world did you get your information? Bizarro world?

    February 18, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. FAYE MOGHTADER

    where was mr. romney when for 8 yrs the buch-chaney adm.bogged the country into a war of choice,where was his verdict then,this president had been in the office only for a year and all the verdicts are after him.give me brake,does he really think if maccain was elected,we were better off?

    February 18, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. Eleanor

    America's verdict on Romney: You're a loser! Go home.

    February 18, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. File under "Sarcasm"

    I can't wait to read all the Ticker stories when the Democrats give speeches at the Liberal Political Action Conference or whatever the equivalent is called.

    February 18, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  10. Laverne

    and let me guess, You are the man with the plan. I think not, listen Mitt Romney the short of it is even if President Obama does not get a second term and I believe he will, YOU will never be president of the US. And please don't think because you call yourself a conservative now that when it is time to run your buddies will embrace your mormonism, it won't happen. You will find out just how prejudice this country can be and I hope you do get a chance to experience that and it won't even matter that you are WHITE!

    February 18, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. Beuschman

    Perhaps Romney should clarify - has Obama failed according to his new conservative beliefs or according to the polar opposite beliefs he held while Massachusetts Governor? Either way, Romney doesn't have a lot of credibility.

    February 18, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. Repubs look to Dems for miracles when not in power

    " and Scott Brown gave Republicans the crucial final vote to block his attempt at health care reform."

    This statement pretty much says it all. It doesn't matter that health care reform is needed, or that there were some good elements in this bill, or the fact that it would have reduced the deficit.

    The only thing that matters is that they prevent it. So to Republicans, if they can prevent anything Obama does, regardless if it's good for America, then they have done their job.

    Fail

    February 18, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. Citizen Voter

    Citizen's verdict: The party of "NO" are wrong now, and are wrong for the saftey and security of our country's future!

    Romney is just using typical doublespeak.

    February 18, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  14. anotherGDlefty

    Yay!
    All the CPACers have proclaimed Obama a failure...........
    To a person, they all hate Obama.

    Hooray for America ?

    Real America spoke in November 2008.
    Deal with it.

    February 18, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. Russ

    Amazing, after 8 years of Bush failures which you still haven't acknowledged, you can analyze Obama as a failure after one year.

    February 18, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. Ben in Texas

    So Romney, a failed presidential candidate, fails to mention 8 years of failure under Bush/Cheney and instead brags about his "No" party's roadblocks to American success.

    Well, Mittens, I wish you as much success as you have wished for America this past year. That is, none.

    February 18, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  17. Shara

    Yeah, a real bunch of losers (Brown, Cheney, Romney & Co.)

    February 18, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. guest

    Obama fails to understand right-wing America. So do I.

    February 18, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  19. Jeff

    What recession did Bush get us out of. We had a butget surplus and were not in a recession when he took office. When he left office we had a huge deficit and the biggest recession since the great depression. And we are still fighting a war that he claimed victory on. Please tell what one good thing Bush did. He did give huge tax cuts to the rich, so I guess that is good for a few people. Romney, please share the facts that are behind what you say.

    February 18, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  20. Teresa L

    Really Romney Bush pulled us from a recession!!! More like he suspended all regulations and drove our economy straight into the Shi**er-He also took down the Taliban..When? And whats so wrong with Teacher unions?? Is it that they are made up of hard working middle class Americans and not rich corporate DB!!! I think you need a little history lesson yourself!! Republicans in power=0,because they never get anything done-except for getting us into WARS we don't belong in and taking surpluses and squandering them!!!!

    February 18, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. Papasan

    Jockey'n for 2012...

    "I am convinced that history will judge President Bush ( Worst President in US history ) far more kindly" than President Obama, Romney said. "He pulled ( Bush Created the Recession ) us from a deepening recession following the attack of 9-11, he overcame teachers ( All Children Left Behind ) unions to test school children and evaluate schools, he took down the Taliban ( US still fighting that War ), waged a war against the jihadists, and was not afraid to call it what it is, a war, and he kept us safe ( While his cronies lined there pockets with US CASH! )."

    Romney really pulls all the stops out by hailing Bush as the All Mighty!
    Romney has left little to the imagination as to what type of President he would be, another BUSH!

    February 18, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. RICO

    I like how a guys that FAILED to be President, can critizise the REAL Presidnet. Also I lost all of respect for Romney, he seriously thinks Bush will be remembered as a great President, come on. These Repubs are just saying things to try to get votes, they will get elected and do absolutly nothing for us.

    February 18, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  23. JA/TN

    the GOP has failed, despite the roadblocks set by the GOP, Obama has two years plus left in term

    February 18, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. Pragmatic

    Easier to complain than to govern. How's your Massachusetts health care working for you, Mitt?

    February 18, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  25. John in Arizona

    Romney is just another misguided republican Obama basher. He, like so many other republicans know only to criticize and complain. President Obama and his associates are doing a remarkably good job considering the terrible mess that Bush/Cheney and the republicans created. President Obama deserves our praise and support.

    February 18, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
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