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. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Of course Obama has failed! But that doesn't mean that a bunch of bible-thumping neo-cons will do any better.

    What the country needs is to do this November is toss every incumbent out of office and start all over again–and that doesn't mean just replacing one batch of spendthrift Liberals with another, or one batch of self-righteous neo-cons for another!

    February 18, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. Kitchen Police

    I'm going to believe this idiot? Obama has been in office just a little over a year and he has failed? Look at the mess he inherited. I'm sure Romney would already have it fixed.

    February 18, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Tony in Maine

    The man is speaking to a group that thinks Glenn Beck is rational.

    Would you expect him to say that Obama has been blocked by the Party of No? Or perhaps that a black man has a great vision for America and deserves our respect? Maybe he could just say, "We were wrong about Barack Obama and should join him in working for the people.

    Anything remotely resembling the any of the above would cause heads to explode and Mitt Romney to demonstrate that he is more than a knee jerk jerk.

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

    President Obama has not failed - Congress has failed!!
    The GOP has become the party of "NO"

    February 18, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. JFK Democrat

    So are you saying that America Failed? Dont bet against America, just as president Clinton stated that everyone who as bet against America Failed. The Republicans are using President Ronald Reagan's name in vain: Though I did not vote for Reagan, He made you feel Proud of your country: Remember 'Peace through Strength!' GOP You have lost your way, in bed with the 'Tea Party', I bet 80 percent of the Tea Party dont even know the history of the name they have taken on, and as for Marco Rubio, he must not have been at the convention in Nashville because He wouldnt be allowed to be a member of the 'Tea Party' because of his ethnicity.

    February 18, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. Total BS

    yeah in one year...you people are jerks !!!!

    February 18, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. Florida Joe

    If you want to talk failure......Look no further than Romney's mess that he left in Massachusetts

    February 18, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  8. ricky atlanta

    Wait... Who stood in his way? please repeat that!!!

    February 18, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  9. cmoore

    Right Now.... A democrat is trying to think of ways to take more money from YOU!

    February 18, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  10. John

    Romney's verdict: Obama has failed

    Republicans: They know about failure.

    February 18, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  11. AZ Steve

    What planet is this fool from?

    February 18, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  12. Robert

    The famous flip flopper making a fool of himself...

    People, this guy is dangerous. It is sickening how often he changes his statements depending on the audience. The man who said he would be better for gay rights than Ted Kennedy now addressing these ultra conservatives and bashing President Obama. A president who is doing a good job despite what the Republicans handed him.

    Worse, if you don't want the Mormon Prophet having a say in national policy then don't vote for this guy. He is a 'temple' Mormon, which means he has taken a vow to 'obey' the prophet in all things. The same cult that teaches (albeit secretly) that their founder Joseph Smith was the Holy Ghost incarnate.

    I think I'd rather see Palin as the nominee than Romney..

    February 18, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  13. Robert

    ""Scott Brown AND Dick Cheney showed up and we saw them both in person!"

    LOLFROF... Gee.... THAT had to been a rush..

    The rest of us are really missing out... LOL..

    February 18, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  14. Milton

    Stop speaking for me and stop speaking for my generation, Mitt Romney. Most 18-35 year olds do not agree with your views, so stop making these statements like "President Obama fails to understand America." WE are America, too! In fact, we are the future of America.

    Stop railing against spending on Social Security and healthcare because you will soon need those well-functioning systems in your future!

    Young people gave President Obama a chance. Why can't you?

    February 18, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  15. Texas Jack

    He has failed miserably but then did anyone expect different out of a foreigner and especially one with no experience of even running a major company must less even a small one. This is ridiculous what has happened to America. I guess it will be protocol no for every President TO PUT HIS FEET UP AND REST THEM ON THE DESK IN THE OVAL OFFICE AS HE SPEAKS TO HIS MORON STAFF.

    February 18, 2010 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  16. Bev

    Can't wait to see this doorknob's face 3 years from now when this country is going to boom with jobs and another 4 years later when the president is going to hand over the leadership with a big surplus just as Clinton did. As usuall republicans put this country in a mess for 8 long years and leave it for democtats to clear up their mess while they stand by the sidelines shouting how it needs to be done. I hope people are not dense enough to put these idiots back in power.

    February 18, 2010 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  17. IVOTE

    Romney was not well liked in MA.

    February 18, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  18. Len (Colorado)

    The Republican party is a joke. They are all conservative white who are all racists and have said from day one, we will work hard to make thsi Administration fail. They should all be voted out of office. The Party of NO, HATE, and FEAR.

    February 18, 2010 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  19. Mickey

    ...pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...

    February 18, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  20. GI Joe

    We know it's true because not a hair on his head is out of place, and god told him and all his wives.

    February 18, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  21. rosey petals

    This is the party for the future. Happy to see Old shoot em up Cheyney and pretty boy Scott., and where was quirky Palin. Come on boys don't shut out the star. This is going to be great! What a meal ticket. Don't you wish all three could come on Meet the Press. Leave the old guy at home, he's too too tricky.

    February 18, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  22. Susie

    Nice sound bites, Mitt, but untrue Congressional Quarterly calls Obama's first year of legislation an "unprecedented success." Bush "took down the Taliban?" Seriously? And what has Obama done...gosh, captured several major players in the idiotic war on terror, gotten viable info from a captured would be bomber, and stopped more things already than Bush did...9-11 was Bush's responsibility, remember? You all want to make him out like some hero, but he was responsible for missing the signs in 2001. Bush...not Obama. How safe were those 3500 people, plus the 5000 soldiers killed since in a war he lied us into? Bush will not be judged 'kindly' but he will be judged...for the war criminal he is. Where was the outcry about the Constitution under Bush, who did more to grow government and undermine our rights than anyone ever.
    Please, someone stop the Republican lies before they all start growing 24 inch noses.

    February 18, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  23. Justin - NC

    Didn't Romney fail at getting the 2008 Presidential Republican Nomination. Didn't Obama win getting elected President. Case closed, end of story.

    February 18, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  24. Tom

    hes an idiot
    the no party u can thank for his credit
    the country problems if reb where in control 25 million unemployed all banks fail
    all companies fail
    and the biggest idea give them bigger tax breaks to the greedy rich companies

    February 18, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  25. key

    Are you kidding me how can CPAC allow Cheney are Romney to speak at a conservative convention

    February 18, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
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