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. K Parks of Golden

    Err... President Bush presided over the worst recessions since the great depression and caused the need for a bank bail-out. The Taliban is still alive and almost as strong as ever especially since Bush turned his attention away from Afghanistan to go after someone who didn’t have weapons of mass destruction. A year ago we were losing job at an alarming rate and would have continued to do so if someone had not stepped in and slowed that job lose rate. It was Bush/Cheney that failed to understand the average American people as did Mitt Romney did when ran for office and LOST.

    February 18, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. Grading Early

    What if you took a college course that lasted four months and your final grade was just based on the first month? Or, what if you worked for a company for four years, and your Supervisor based your total performance on just the first year. This is what Romney is doing to Prez Obama.

    February 18, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Justin

    Actually, Obama's succeeding in spite of the worst possible circumstances that his predecessors left him.

    February 18, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. republicans hate america

    oh yeah and its got to be true since it came out of your mouth Mitt

    February 18, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. Billy J..Texas..

    Romney sez.."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."

    OMG! We are living in opposite land. How can he lie like this with a straight face.

    February 18, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. John

    How can any reasonably intelligent person defend the record of George W. Bush? Answer: When all you care about is being the next Republican presidential candidate. Nuff said.

    February 18, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. gg

    Romney is correct. I wish the White house would debate him on the issues (economy, war on terror) instead of just attacking him personally. Even if they don't like Romney they need to listen to him because his opinion is shared by many moderate Republicans and moderate independents (and even a few Democrats). President Obama needs to start listening to us or he will be a 1 term president for real.

    February 18, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. Jason

    Typical Republican.

    February 18, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. Golden State Girl

    Keep talking until you're blue in the face, Romney. Guess what? In case you need a dose of insight, you will NEVER become President because your very affiliation (Republican) is unyieldingly trying to preserve a Christian dominance in the United States.

    May I remind you that you're Mormon and therefore, will never get elected by the very party that you represent!

    February 18, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. Chipster

    Romney? Is anyone surprised that he would not be happy with President Obama's policies? This is like saying that children think their parents failed because the kids didn't get everything they wanted.

    The President has tried to work with rigid Republicans and selfish Democrats. It's no surprise that he's had problems getting these spoiled brats in both Parties to play nice – just for the benefit of the country and future generations.

    I guess that's asking too much. This "my way or the highway" attitude needs to be given the boot.

    February 18, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. AncientRiver, New Mexico

    This, from a man, whose own party basically refused to run him because he was Mormon.

    February 18, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. HypocriCNN=B.S.

    Considering How Big A Failure Catches Mitt Romey Has Been Since Birth, I Would Tend To Believe That He Knows First Hand What The Characteristics Of A Failure Are. ...And Just For The Record Mitt Romney, I Only Wished That Passanger On Your Flight To L . A. Would Have Kicked Your Sorry Pitiful Ass!

    February 18, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. Perceptive

    "indefatigable defense of truth"

    Really, Cheney has never defended truth a day of his life. The truth is more that he doesn't even know what it is!

    The fact that Romney would even think to add such a blatantly ignorant statement is proof enough for me that he is not the kind of man I would like in office.

    February 18, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. yuri

    And he is gonna guarantee grand success, once the GOP grabs the gavel of the WH. Some nerve, he has, to utter this utter non-sense, unflinchingly. He needs a strong mouth wash, and so do the entire GOP gang of goons.

    February 18, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Barbara Independent in NY

    Every time this man opens his mouth I am more unlikely to vote for him.

    February 18, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. gpm

    What an ignorant nobody...

    February 18, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. PEACE ON EARTH

    Are you kidding me? My daughter STILL HAS a TEACHER......FLORIDA has roads being paved and infrastructure being rehabbed, so WHERE has PRESIDENT Obama failed?

    The Bilburger PUPPET, George Dubya FAILED. DICK Cheeeeney FAILED. Rumsfeld FAILED.

    And YOU Mr.. Mittens FAILED TO WIN an election. Actually, YOU didn't even get close.

    February 18, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. AnProf

    Brilliant and unapologetic patriotic conservatism on display.
    Contrast this with the world apology tour, the civilian trials for terrorists, the astronomical debts-pork-additional programs, the thinking that government spending can create long-term prosperity.... I truly miss having wise adults in charge.

    February 18, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. IndyVoter

    Excuse me Mr. Romney, but I disctinctly recall that we elect Presidents for 4 year terms. President Obama is just finishing his FIRST YEAR of a 4 YEAR Term. You and your buddies look like complete idiots by claiming failure after 1 year. In 2012 lets see where the economy is, lets see all the accomplishments that President Obama will have amassed by then and THEN we can determine if he has failed. In the meantime....sit down and quit blowing hot air up our backsides! YOU ARE TRANSPARENT!

    February 18, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. johnrj08

    Oh well, I guess Rush Limbaugh's happy.

    Idiots.

    February 18, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  21. Anthony

    Where is mitt romney living I thought he was good at economics. Considering Obama has economists working on our economy I guess your party makes you loose the things you learn in School.

    February 18, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  22. Socialism...keeping police/fire stations, roads, justice system and the military out of the hands of Capitalists

    Wait a minute, Obama's Presidency is up already? I thought he had another 3 years to go for his term. How can you claim him a failure before his time is up? When did you determine he was a failure, November 5, 2008?

    February 18, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  23. notfooledbydistractions

    What planet is Mittens living on? Oh, that's right, the planet of the wealthy, so this near depression hasn't impacted him one bit.

    Failure? The gdp rose 5.7%. Reported on the front page of the WSJ today, factories are beginning to recall their employees. I guess that's "failure" in the up is down, black is white world of republicans. Capture of two of the top terrorists in Pakistan. Failure? If you say so, I'll take this brand of "failure" over the romney touted success of the bush administration any day.

    February 18, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  24. RN

    GWB did too little too late and left us with a mess after 8 years of no leadership, no plan, no idea how to make things better.
    Now republicans act as though these were good years.
    Why do the republicans now complain that in only 12 months Obama has not turned things around? It took 8 years of bad leadership to get us into the mess – it will take more than 1 year to get us out.
    Republicans should be ashamed of themselves. They are little more than a bunch of 2 year olds: they want what they want and they want it now.

    February 18, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  25. Vivian McRae

    Yeah he failed after one year, because of his skin color, if black equals incompetence, how do you explain the fact that this country is in the toilet after being run by nothing but white men since they stole it from the indians, 200+ years ago,by the way my slave ancestors where brought over during the time of this invasion, dosen't that make it my country too?

    February 18, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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