February 18th, 2010
02:49 PM ET
4 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. Kathleen

    On Bush and Cheney, what a lying crock of .....! Lying bunch at CPAC!
    They really "believe each others lies!

    February 18, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. J.Crobuzon

    America's verdict: Romney has failed and has bad hair.

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

    He and Cheney are about as smart as Mccain and Palin. HAAHAHA

    February 18, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. Lisa - VA

    Mitt Romey is a JOKE...just like the rest of the republicans.

    February 18, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. RCasson

    Watch that "failure" kick your behind and be re-elected Romney.

    February 18, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. Jim

    and what else should we expect to hear from a republican? the party that stood by the sidelines and offered only "no". the party that voted against bills that they themselves introduced?

    pathetic.

    why would I ever vote for such obstructionism?

    February 18, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. Diane Portland OR

    You don't suppose republicans blocking every bill might have something to do why they didn't succeed do you?

    February 18, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  8. Tacuache

    There is absolutely no civility or respect among the Republicans any more, and I've lost all respect for them thanks to Joe Wilson, "Fakebake" Boehner, and McConnell, who looks like he's been sucking lemons.

    February 18, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. Liberalism is a Mental Disorder

    Romney right on target once again....

    February 18, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. Jared

    The only thing Obama has failed to do is the fix the gargantuan mess that his predecessor had managed to create over an eight year period and with the help of his radical, incompetent friends. It will take many presidencies beyond Mr. Obama's to get the United States on the right track...and after seeing the ridiculous reaction from the GOP and "normal" Americans over Obama's health care proposal, most of the world is beginning to doubt if the US will ever get on the right track again. Every great Empire rises and falls...thanks to Mitt, Sarah, Newt, and their ilk, the US is beginning its long slide.

    February 18, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  11. mario ca.

    Mr. Wax please shut up idiot

    February 18, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. Ron

    Romney is delusional. His words will haunt him in a future bid for the presidency.

    February 18, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. Mike

    Dog torturer say what?

    February 18, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. Aviate

    Said Romney, "I'd also like to congratulate the Indianapolis Colts on their recent Super Bowl victory. I only watched the first quarter, but that was enough for me to know that Indy won it in a rout. I just hope the Saints have recovered from the whupping Peyton and Co. laid on 'em."

    February 18, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  15. Reny

    Republicans FAILED America for the last 8 years so he has his nerve. He FAILED to get the nomination and the Repubs will FAIL to help this country if they win back power. The only people who will win will be rich people!

    February 18, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. Adam

    "Bush kept us safe".. yeah, except for that one day. Give me a break.

    February 18, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  17. Tylerkad

    So what is the definition of failure by Republicans:
    In just over one year we have had an exceptional economic rebound that 99% of people would be thrilled with from a year ago.
    Afghanistan seems to be promising
    Iraq is resolving
    We are now trying to make banks and institutions more accountable and lastly we are trying to pass Health Care reform that is struggling not due to Obama but due to the special interests of the GOP.
    HMMM... what would they call the GOP's last run in the White House if Obama is deemed a failure?

    February 18, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. America First

    Romney and the rest of the GOPers spend a lot of time criticizing our President, but little to no time giving their solutions to our current problems (besides "tax cuts" which is their one-size-fits-all answer to everything). All Romney and the GOP can do is complain, complain, complain. Maybe they should devote more time to thinking up some news ideas to help our country because they sure aren't helping us with their constant stream of complaints. They won't even meet with our President for a televised meeting on healthcare because they are scared that their complete lack of ideas will be exposed.

    February 18, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  19. The Voice of Reason

    And what would have happened if the conservatives retained power?
    Massive unemployment of 25% of more, and only 50 million people
    without health insurnance would instead be 100 million people without insurance. (If 45,000 people now die each year because they don't have insurance, would this be closer to 100,000 now a year??) The conservative movement is not the movement of "no" - it is the movement of "me." They have demonstrated too well over the last 8 years and before that that they are the party of big business–and what's in it for them!! (As in "me.")
    Americans deserve better!

    February 18, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  20. kt shops

    These idiots just do NOT get it..I'm so glad we have this guys verdict. Can anyone imagine if Mccain and Baribou Barbie would have gotten in?? For pete's sake..Obama took over the WORSE possible climate probably ever & we were saved from a deeper recession..Maybe Mitt will pick Carribou to run and we'll have Barbie & Ken!!!!

    February 18, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  21. Vet. Vet

    I guess Rommey put his blinders on again, The President didn't fail, the Repugs and a few scared democratic Senators failed. In case he forgot, The president can't get anything done for the benefit of all americans without the assistance of our current disfunctional congress. Even a blind or dumb person can figure that out.

    February 18, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  22. Danny

    Well Romney would know all about failure.

    February 18, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  23. Jon Skillings

    In 2012 it will be President Romney and Obama will be doing book tours with that other loser Democratic one-termer Carter.

    February 18, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. travisl

    these guys have no concious.they r a plague to the rest of us!

    February 18, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  25. samsohn

    these guys are on planet mars...
    Bush "took down the Taliban"????
    Get the lying outta here please!!!

    February 18, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
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