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. David

    I will not pretend to know how to fix this country, I will certainly not be as arrogant as both the Dems and Repubs and their supporters, but the possiblity that Mitt Romney could be in office is absolutely frightening. Thinking Dubya do good for this country shows he is nothing more than a fear monger...which is exactly what will win him the Presidency. Sad times...

    February 18, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. dennisk

    And please detail for me the many public service accomplishments of Mr. Romney. He is so clearly just positioning himself for another run at the White House. And what exactly would you expect him or any other potential candidate to say at a CPAC confab?
    CNN, you are not reporting news–you are just acting like a well-oiled piece of the machine. Why don't you start acting like journalists–or is that an outdated notion?

    February 18, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Sheryl

    Even if....It dam sure will not be you!!!! There will not be another Republican President in 2012 not yet we the American People have not forgotten, maybe the tea party agents have (that part of American) however there is a lot of us that are not sleep and so forgiving not this time!!!!!

    February 18, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. shooter

    CNN should stop the news coverage of this loser.

    February 18, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    Stop trying to re-write history for the war criminal mitt! You said bush took down the Taliban so I guess the Marines in Afgahnistan are fighting wax figures of them.

    February 18, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  6. T'SAH from Virginia

    "President Obama fails to understand America,"

    May Romney should get back on an airplane and get BEAT UP again!!!

    What PART of America does he not understand??

    "...Scott Brown gave Republicans the crucial final vote to block his attempt at health care reform..." The RepubliCAN'Ts had NO INTENTION on voting on this plan therefore, SCOTT BROWN stopped NOTHING!!! President Obama wanted a Bi-Partisan health plan but the RepubliCAN'TS said NO to everything!!!

    OMG – Romney is a SICK MAN praising BUSH for 'bringing down the Taliban???" The RepubliCAN'TS are going WILD!!! They think they have an UPPER HAND on things now....Oooo, I want to say so much here!!!!

    February 18, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. Steve, NY

    Romney is wel liked by the international community. He presents a great image as a leader and a family man. He's the one that Howard Dean was afraid off getting the Republican nomination instead of old phart McCain.
    If it wasn't that anonymous phone call, which was in my beleif a left wing conspiracy, that created the Mormon sexual abuse complaint in Texas compound. This story flooded the airwaves and attacked his religion, which had nothing to do with Romney or his religion. The press tried to destroy him and it did hurt him. The press never brought about the story of the left wing conspiracy. This of course to many is a far out theory but as soon as Romney quit the race you didn't hear anything about the Mormon compound. Strange??
    Anyway Romney is our man that can lead this country to greater heights that we all can be proud of, if only the press wasn't biased. Hillary made the right comment when she stated that the press needs to give Obama a pillow so he can be comfortable during the presidential debates.

    February 18, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. Bryan

    This guy hasn't been right yet. Would you buy a used car from him?

    February 18, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  9. Kathy

    If Obama comes up short it's because the Republicans are still sulking from losing the election; Obama takes one step forward and two steps back because the Republicans feel it's their way or no way. Pretty disgusting.

    February 18, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  10. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    And the GOP has such a great track record for themselves to be saying this? Kettle meet pot.
    Excuse me! What is the difference between these two parties? All I know is both have had a monopoly on my freedom for my entire lifetime (53YRS), and year after year I work and struggle and get no where. Every year the taxes and fees to feed the massive Government go up and the value of the Dollar goes down.
    How can you folks continue to vote for these people who refuse to represent you? How can you vote for these two parties who have done nothing to your right to individual Liberty?

    February 18, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. Randy in PA

    Oh yeah, Bush and Darth really took our country to new heights. We all should be so proud of them both. Matter of fact why don't we all have small icons of their faces branded into our foreheads. CPAC and it's crowd reminds me of Germany October 30, 1923.

    February 18, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. CJ in DC

    Mitt, The Taliban experienced a surge in power under President Bush.

    Do you just make up facts in your head?

    THIS IS WHY YOU WILL NOT EVER BE THE PRESIDENT of the USA.

    Hell, Old Man McCain wiped the floor with you already, and he himself was TROUNCED by Barack Obama.

    I'll see you on election night 2012 and watch you and Dodge the Draft Cheyney EAT those words.

    Apparently the Republicans have learned NOTHING from the 2008 campaign. They're now trying to blame everything on a man who's only been president for ONE YEAR.

    Sad and shameful.

    February 18, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  13. Mark

    Makes me wanna puke.

    February 18, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  14. Mike Chino Hills

    What a jerk. Obama has been in office for 1 yr!!! I'm a registered Republican, so I don't think that Obama has failed. Country is too divided, and Race is an issue. Too bad, I want the best for this nation. I hope Obama can make this country better, he's our PRESIDENT!!

    February 18, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  15. Kathleen

    One year and Obama failed? Does that sound fair to you? Oh,
    they don't play fair, that's right!

    February 18, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  16. ANGIE

    did you say that after 1 year when bush & cheney were in ofc? NO! you are in that group that want PRESIDENT OBAMA to fail.

    February 18, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. sleepy bear

    Bush kept us safe? He took down the Taliban? And you wonder why someone is throwing punches at your talking head?

    February 18, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. Sean

    If anyone understands failure, it'd be Romney. Which is why it's obvious to me that he's lying in this instance. Republicans must be getting pretty desperate if they're already having to try claiming Obama has "failed" only one year into a four year Presidency.

    February 18, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  19. stevegee

    It's good for America that Obama has failed. People were fooled into voting for him because of his "Change" mantra - which turned out to be a radical agenda to change our country into a socialist nightmare.

    His recent propaganda blitz shows that he just doesn't understand the values of the American people. We treasure our freedom and liberty; we reject tyranny. Those beliefs are clearly spelled out in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Perhaps Obama and his liberal minions should read them both.

    February 18, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  20. Gus

    Bush took down the Taliban??? Romney's delusional.

    February 18, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  21. Doug

    From a guy who doesn't know that people have the right to recline their seats on an airplane!

    February 18, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  22. josiah

    America's verdict – Romney has failed! – and Mormonism is a Cult – but then again so is Christianity – they're both of the evil and dark that's a part of everything.

    February 18, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  23. Cathy in AZ

    Mr Romney – It is you who do not understand America. Go back to Utah, retire and let others undo the damage your party has done!

    February 18, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  24. Louise

    Why oh Why arent you Presidnet now Mr Romney? Maybe this country could be on the road to a proper recovery and not the mounting debt along with failed far-left policies.

    February 18, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  25. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Obama fails to understand America? Is that how come he won the election over old man McCain and boob Palin?

    What Obama fails to understand is just how truly rotten and greedy Republicans are and how far they will go with their Obstructionism.

    February 18, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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