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. phoenix86

    Obama's failure is evident to everyone except those in denial about a poor decision they made in the last election.

    February 18, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  2. Ethan

    Mittster, put down the crack pipe buddy.

    Mitt HEARTS gwb:

    "I am convinced that history will judge President Bush far more kindly–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 said.

    LAUGHABLY PATHETIC! HAHAHA!

    Just another Republican Liar. There they go again.

    February 18, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. bob

    so the republicans say no to every initiative, have no plan of their own, then declare Obama a failure after 1 year. meanwhile, Americans suffer as they do nothing. yet they wonder why we voted them out.

    February 18, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  4. Mary

    Mitt said what????
    Bush took down the Taliban???
    Kept us safe? Wasn't Bush president when 9/11 occurred?
    Waged a war against what juhadists? The middle class?

    What a joke!

    February 18, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Romney is out of his mind. Bush will be looked back upon as an awful president and will serve as an example of what happens when the concerns of the country take a back seat to the concerns of one family and their close business friends. Bush took down the Taliban??? Are you kidding me??? Who are we fighting with right now??? He didn't get the OSAMA BIN LADEN!!!! Romney must be delusional. BTW. We all knew that unemployment was going to grow and he never said it wouldn't. He has stopped the bleeding of the republican lead near destruction of our economy and has stabilized it.

    February 18, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. Brian J

    I find it interesting that Mitt Romney talks about a liberal neo-monarchy that he wants to fight a revolution against. Besides residing in the fevered imagination of his speechwriter, where does this neo-monarchy reside? It's refreshing for conservatives to oppose a monarchy, since they were loyalists during the American Revolution. I think Mr. Romney's speech writers have been drinking too much of the John Birch Society's kool aid.

    February 18, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    More hateful rhetoric from the far-right! I'd like to see Romney come up with some concrete ideas on how to solve the Bush Disaster. Its easy to criticize.

    And really, ya think history will "judge President Bush far more kindly"?

    So, torture is now an American value? Lies are A-okay? Bush "took down the Taliban"????? Who are we fighting then, IF Bush "took down the Taliban"???

    "No Child Left Behind" was a success??? Really?

    WHAT PLANET IS ROMNEY LIVING ON?

    February 18, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  8. If I was crazy, I'd be a conservative too

    Maybe Mittens is not aware that the near depression is over and the economic growth for the last two quarters is up 5.7% I am convinced that true Americans will never embrace torture, tax cuts for the wealthiest, or unnecessary wars.

    February 18, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  9. Jerry

    From the king of flip-flops. To bad the guy in the plane missed.

    February 18, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  10. Lyn

    Everyone wants to get on the Get President Obama bandwagon. Where were all these people when the Bush administration was slowly killing our economy?

    February 18, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  11. Mr. Man

    You guys done spewing venom yet? CPAC including Romney and Cheney are out of touch with America, not speaking for America.

    February 18, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  12. seebofubar

    Not only failed but failed in every aspect. F minus

    February 18, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  13. mark from brooklyn

    Big rich looser.

    February 18, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  14. ConsiderThis-FL

    Romney can't even run a successful campaign. Who's he to judge that PRESIDENT Obama has failed? Did George W. Bush fail? Did Dick Cheney fail? Did Sarah Palin fail? Did Mike Hucabee fail? Did John McCain fail? THESE ARE FAILURES! It must be nice to be rich and board – looking for something to do. Romney needs to get a life.

    February 18, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  15. fielding mellish

    Mitt Romney doesn't have a clue about the past, present, and future of this country. He's all talk, with nothing of substance to contribute.

    February 18, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Romney needs to get punched in face again. Just as the Iraqis praised the shoe thrower, i'm praising the guy who swung on Mitt.

    February 18, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  17. If I was crazy, I'd be a conservative too

    Mittens is such a kidder. Who writes his material, Sarah Palin?

    February 18, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  18. ttbala

    Mitt,

    If you know so much why did you not open your fowl mouth when Cheney and Bush were taking us down the distruction road ha, now you have a president just one year in office after 8 years of distruction, and you know enough to say that he failed, shut up man and go and enjoy your millions with your coward kids who non of them served their country.

    February 18, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  19. hongli

    It took Eight Years for the Bush 's Administration to screw up the Country and the Republican Party and it will take more than one year and PATIENCE by the American people to repair the mess that was caused by Bush and Cheney. That's why these two bastards should be put behind bars for eight tough years of communist rule in the greatest country on the planet 2000 - 2008.

    February 18, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  20. unshrub

    Where exactly has Obama failed? Most financial experts NOT associated with a political party claim the stimulus bill has helped the economy significantly and the war in Afghanistan is making a major turnaround, including Pakistan’s cooperation with the US. They have captured higher-ranking Taliban officials than Bush did in seven years. The only thing Obama has not be able to do, is fix all of the problems created by Bush and republicans fast enough.

    February 18, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  21. Ready for 2012

    You got it exactly right, Mr. Romney!!! The "Obama experiment" has failed.

    Hopefully the people who voted for Obama won't make that mistake again.

    Can't wait until 2012 when we can vote the failed Obama out and put him in the unemployment line.

    February 18, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. Blah, Blah, Blah ...

    Oh that Romney, throwing yummy red meat to the mixed-breed mongrels of CPAC. But seeing as how he would have oh-so reluctantly come to this same conclusion January 21st, 2009, how seriously should we really take these kinds of statements — especially from a would-be 2012 contender?

    This is the Monday-morning quarterbacking most Americans are growing bored of, and the Republicans will be surprised in the price they themselves pay this fall because of it.

    February 18, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  23. Jayden,FL

    Romney = EPIC FAIL

    February 18, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  24. Vera Waitress

    Of course he says that. He's a Republican who is wooed by the war companies.

    February 18, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  25. Melissa

    One year in and the Rethugs wont allow anything to be done without fearmongering, and Obama has failed? Lol. Its not Obama thats failed, Romney, its the Republicans who aren't willing to work together on ANYTHING.

    February 18, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
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