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. Mike

    No matter who is president in the first year, it was a big mess to clean up, whether it's Republican or a Democrat as our Nation's President. President Obama is just getting started it will be at least two years to decide what type of direction this country is going in. I feel he has done significant progress in his first term, the country is on an upswing, despite job loss, Americans have regained confidence, now Obama has a chance to create jobs to help America. I believe he can do it.

    February 18, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  2. maf

    "President Obama fails to understand America." This coming from Mitt Romney???? The GOP and certainly Romney are the ones who are failing America and Americans. The party of NO are truly the ones who are not understanding America. Get Real Mitt!

    February 18, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  3. Mike in MN

    I've got to hand it to Romney. When he's right, he's right. Obama, one term failure. He will line up just in front of or just behind Jimmy Carter.

    February 18, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  4. zzmook

    Yep – Romney, you say Obama failed in one year – when he's preoccupied with recovering from 8 years of the worst failure this country has ever seen – which is the platform you are espousing we should bring back.

    Dick Cheney, same thing plus when you say he doesn't believe in "American Exceptionalism" and is dead set on apologizing to the rest of the world – he's apologizing for your ineptitude and bravado. You are an abject failure, Mr. Cheney, and it is absolutely shocking that you don't realize that. Obama may not rule from the center, but he's miles closer than you ever were.

    February 18, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  5. Ruth

    I will never understand why the losers always make stupid statements about Obama. Romney has joined the ranks of McCain on making remarks about our new president. Mitt I thought you had more class than that.

    February 18, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  6. A keen observer

    And I suppose Romney has succeeded. He came in as an also ran in his bid for the Republican nomination for President in the last election cycle.

    Who is Romney to call President Obama a failure? He is just another Republican who cannot stand to see a black man as President of the United States. It seems that racism is alive and well among Tea Party "Conservatives" and Republicans.

    February 18, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  7. thanks mr president

    I think Romney should first look at the voting "filibuster" record of the Republicans before he makes a blanket statement saying "Obama has failed." I'd like to see him try and do a better job. He or any other Repub.

    February 18, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  8. John

    Mr. Romney is too objective.

    February 18, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  9. Sam

    I expect most right thinking people to see this for what it is: a conservative running off at the mouth to a crowd of like-minded but equally unintelligent and out of touch people.

    Romney can say that history will remember George W. Bush more kindly than President Obama, but only an utter fool would believe such nonsense. That would account for most of the CPAC audience.

    February 18, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  10. Inutah

    One word about this man....Mormon.....

    Everyone needs to ask him about the doctrine of conservation in the Mormon church...How the 12 men in the white coats tell everyone the end days are coming and all the faithful are required to give everything they own to the Mormon church.

    Also, the prophet he believes is still the ultimate authority had at least 43 documented wives.

    Sounds like an unstable man to me...

    Do we want someone like this a president of the U.S.?

    February 18, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  11. Monster Zero

    America, accepts for its leader a mulatto with a sketchy muslim and radical based religious background and not much more than a shred of anything else about his past revealed, yet a Mormon is out of the question....

    February 18, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  12. alpha_nu_916

    didn't mitt use to say he was a moderate? this man clearly cares more about power than integrity.
    as for his critique about obama – wait until his term is done before labeling it a failure. don't put the cart before the horse (i.e., "mission accomplished." & "we'll be greeted as liberators." & "say YES to deregulation.")

    February 18, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  13. what a joke

    Haha. Well, Romney knows something about being a failure.

    February 18, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  14. noneofyourbusiness

    My Verdict: Romney could not even win the Republican Primary. He failed MUCH earlier!

    It's easy to condemn when you have not skin in the game. That's REAL failure.

    February 18, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  15. Victim of Republican Taliban

    Yes Romney...and I'm glad Obama has failed YOU. All you want to do is promote fear, hatred, dishonesty, war-mongering and more special tax perk for empty suit millionaires that hire illegal aliens to work on their chateaus.

    February 18, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  16. Debra from Georgia

    you are a failure too, quiter

    February 18, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  17. CBC

    Where's the guy on the plane when you need him?...

    February 18, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  18. Ben

    History, unlike many Americans, is not stupid. It will not, therefore, hold W in higher regard than Obama. That is absolutely ludicrous. It will remember him exactly as it should–as the dumbest man to hold the office of the President. Between Romney and Cheney, the GOP has a pighearted warmonger and a used car saleman. Neither of them care for the American people and would rather engage in political pandering than try to help our country. They sit and hope for terrorist attacks and any type of failure in the hopes that they can blame it on Obama and get one of their sleazy brethren back in the Oval Office. Remember Dick and Mitt, not all of us are stupid. Dick should go back to his cave and Mitt should either get himself on a soap opera where he's better suited or make an honest attempt at doing what he was elected to do–fight for the American people and the USA.

    February 18, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  19. Derrick from Ohio

    All of this from a man who didn't even come close to winning his party's nomination. WHAT A JOKE!

    February 18, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  20. Larry

    Relax Romney. No one cares what you think.

    February 18, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  21. eolufemi

    These people are not patriots. They are SELF PROCLAIMED secessionists, which is the antithesis of patriotism. We just were attacked by one of their ilk. Bar none they are our greatest threat because they have infiltrated society at the highest levels, and their apologists have a well developed propaganda machine that constantly deflects attention from their treasonous activities. Wake up!

    February 18, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  22. malia

    I'm with you Mr. Romney!

    Obama has FAILED...
    Obama has FAILED...
    Obama has FAILED...
    Obama has FAILED...
    Obama has FAILED...

    Sorry DNC but your statement means cr*p!!!

    February 18, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  23. jared

    Ridiculous. You can't oppose everything the Obama administration does, and shot down every good bill just because your party didn't come up with it, and then blame the person you're spear-heading. I'm a Mormon, and contrary to what many people think all Mormons will do, I will not vote for Mitt if he runs for President.

    February 18, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  24. robert

    mitt you cant hold obamas jock !!!!! Jealousy is a weak emotion you could not even beat mccain get a life

    February 18, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  25. thersa

    The hypocrisy burns.

    February 18, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9