April 19th, 2010
05:51 PM ET
5 years ago

Would Romney have taken stimulus cash? 'It depends'

Mitt Romney was asked Monday whether he would have accepted stimulus funds last year if he were governor of Florida.
Mitt Romney was asked Monday whether he would have accepted stimulus funds last year if he were governor of Florida.

(CNN) – Mitt Romney was not shy Monday about bashing President Obama's stimulus package, but he would not say whether he would have accepted the federal funds had he been governor when the money was doled out to the states.

Romney appeared in Florida to campaign for Senate candidate Marco Rubio, and did a round of interviews with local television networks following a joint rally with the candidate in Tampa.

In a sit-down with CNN affiliate WTSP, the once and possibly future presidential candidate was asked if he would have accepted stimulus money last year if he were governor of Florida. Gov. Charlie Crist, trailing Rubio in the Republican Senate primary, endorsed the stimulus plan and accepted the funds last year.

"What I would not have done would have been to welcome President Obama and say, 'This stimulus is one I support,'" the former Massachusetts governor said. "The Obama stimulus was a mistake for the country. It was a mistake for Florida. It did not create any new net jobs in the private sector. The only place it created jobs was in government."

Pressed again on whether he would have taken stimulus cash, Romney said: "It depends on what the money was."

"I haven't looked at each piece of it," he said. "I know some governors took some pieces. Others they said it would have required them to pay state money over some period of years."

"I can tell you I have not supported the Obama stimulus plan," he continued. "I think it was an enormous mistake."

Romney was also asked if he would consider Sarah Palin as a running mate in 2012 if he runs for president. Romney demurred, saying that his focus is on the 2010 elections.

"Sarah Palin, she's a terrific person with great energy and passion," he said. "She has brought a lot of strength to our party and I salute what she's been able to accomplish."


Filed under: Mitt Romney • Stimulus
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. MikeH

    What an absolutely stupid, evasive, cowardly, moroni answer.

    Romney is such a huge steaming pile of scat.

    April 19, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  2. billincalif

    CNN, YOURE 'GOTCHA' QUESTION DOESN'T WORK. As Governor Mr. Romney's duties and responsibilities include working within the framework of state government and dealing with the tripe that comes out of Washington, D.C. He can certainly oppose the so called Stimulus Package on a professional and intellectual level. But at the same time as broker for the state accept monies tossed about even if he has to hold his nose.

    April 19, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  3. diane

    So let me get this straight... the stimulus was a mistake for Florida and a mistake for the country, but he has to think about whether or not he would be standing in line with his hand out ready to take advantage of it?

    Does he not realize how stupid he sounds? Not to mention hypocritical. Typical backwards right wing logic.

    April 19, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  4. hobart

    No, Mitt. Republican policies were what bankrupted the country, and the stimulus is precisely why the economy has recovered as far as it has. The markets are at 18-month highs, and are up 40-50% from this time one year ago. Thanks to the two stimulus packages, Bush's and Obama's, complete economic disaster was averted. As much as you Republicans with is weren't so, it is. Your lies to the contrary reveal just how stupid you think we are. And when your lies on the economy don't work, then you invoke the "commie phobia" of your base with loathsome accusations of socialism and communism.

    Your lies and hypocrisy are so transparent, whenever you open your mouth and tell us that something that Obama did is evil, but when you or another Republican did the exact same thing, why then it was good.

    Why can't you Republicans stop lying and tell the truth? Why do you Republicans hate America>

    April 19, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    Romney is such a joke! He'll suck up to anyone he wants to:

    – implementing universal health care in Massachusetts, then being against it when President Obama implements the exact same thing

    - being pro-choice when governor of MA, but now he's not since that doesn't fly with the GOP's "base"

    - praising Palin when we all know he thinks she's a ditz who just got lucky

    - backing the likes of Rubio, only because he's ahead in the polls

    Romney is a flip-flopper and an opportunist. He's also in denial if he thinks the GOP would ever give him the presidential nomination. He's Mormon and the GOP "base" thinks that church is a cult (if you don't believe me, just do a quick Internet search on "evangelical Mormon).

    He needs to wake up to the fact that the GOP is using him – just like they use everyone to get their votes – and then abandon them and everyone else for the benefit of the wealthy and the corporations.

    April 19, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  6. brian from boston

    Not unless he was going to compensate the state with money from his own bank account. Spare me, please. Of course he would have taken it. Mitt's common denominator is his own self interest. He's proven countless times that he'll say WHATEVER is politically convenient even at a given moment even if it contradicts what he's said before. It's all about MItt and his popularity contest.

    April 19, 2010 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  7. Coherent1

    Translation1: ehem...Hell yeah I would have taken the money. I ain't that stupid. I wouldn't have agreed with the president stimulous plan, but to let go millions would be down right idiotic...shoot! That money would help us tremendously. But I wouldn't have said it out loud. Translation2: Hell naw I wouldn't select the dingo Palin as my running mate. I mean really? She's hot though, isn't she? Boy I would luv to tap that.....

    April 19, 2010 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  8. Florida Dude

    How can you say you don't support or like the bill if you haven't read it. Typical political double-speak

    April 19, 2010 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  9. Robin in Tampa, FL

    This is why you will never be President Mitt. Crist got raked over the coals not for what he SAID, but for what he DID. Actions speak louder than words. At least Crist has the integrity to accept the consequences of accepting the stimulus ... unlike YOU who is constantly trying to weasel his way out imposing Romneycare on the citizens of Massachusetts.

    April 19, 2010 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  10. johnmccain

    Flip flop flip flop flip flop. Oh one more time, flip flop...
    Slimy caracter, Romney. Why don't you just do something else than appearing on my screen all the time and ... flip flop???

    April 19, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  11. Canadian Wondering

    Can someone from your country explain on why Mitt can't answer this softball?

    April 19, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  12. lovable liberal

    Are you kidding me? This guy would've asked for more.

    Romney is amazinginly insincere even for a Republican politician.

    April 19, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  13. Four and The Door

    Being kind, the Stimulus Bill was based on Fairy Tale Economics and they didn't know what they were doing. Probably more true is that they didn't care. The Democrats were so caught up in celebrating their historic victory, who cares, right? The problem is, Americans will demand accountability. The heck with Goldman Sachs...where are those 4 million jobs?!?! Our kids will be paying this off for decades. How about some accountability?

    April 19, 2010 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  14. Ruty

    Of course he would have accepted it. Who does he thinks he is fooling? Americans are not THAT dumb.

    April 19, 2010 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  15. JP

    Romney.... Romeny ... Romney... hypocrite Republican. Of course you will accept it. Admit it.

    April 19, 2010 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
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