April 19th, 2010
05:51 PM ET
4 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. townna brown

    flip flop they dont know what they would have done i just hate how they make like everything this president does is so bad

    April 19, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  2. Brandon from WI

    Waffling, and being on bothe sides of an issue. Gotta love Romney, no matter what side your on he's on your side.

    April 19, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  3. Ron

    I understand what Romney meant, CNN is just trying to damage a good Republican.

    April 19, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  4. Tired Ant

    Romney is yet another in a long line of east coast liberal RINOS who pander and pretend to be conservative at election time.

    April 19, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  5. orionsway

    A politician through and through. Nuff said.

    April 19, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  6. WHAT???????????

    Of course he would have taken every penny he could get his hands on, then denied it....just like all the other repubs...

    April 19, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  7. Papasan in Az

    Romney is upset because the Stimulus did not put $$$ in his pocket.
    This bone head pops out of the wood work whenever he smells a profit.
    Romney is an Elitist Politician grabbing at the cash box, he doesn't care about Americans or America.

    April 19, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  8. Pragmatic

    2020 hindsight from Mr. Flip-Flop himself! Yes, and the dog loved being tied on the top of the care for a three day trip! Not even the good manners to welcome the President of the United States! That's not patriotic, that's a republican! But, Mitt – ya know the evangelicals will never vote for you ... give it up ... and rational people don't believe your statement that Palin is smarter than a 5th grader ... say good-bye Mitt!

    April 19, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  9. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    As most of us, football fans know it is easy to be a "Monday morning" quarterback! Romney is not president, he has not had to face the Economic Disaster we have been in. So its easy to ....... criticize, to demonize, when YOU are not in charge!

    Last week's (Bloomberg) Business Week had a wonderful cover story, the photo on the cover was of our president, Barack Obama, shooting a basketball and the title was " THE HOT HAND: OBAMANOMICS, IS WORKING BETTER THAT YOU THINK. WHO SAYS? WALL STREET."

    Another quote from Business Week, p. 29: " Polls say the economy is heading in the wrong direction. Markets say ITS BACK on track. This time the markets are right."

    I challenge all the Obama haters to buy Business Week and read the very good article about our economy! You may learn something interesting.

    PS. I am willing to bet that as the economy improves the TP/GOP will start to seem....... irrelevant.

    April 19, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  10. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Romney wants to be President so bad until he'll say anything to get Republicans approval and he never will. Poor guy.

    April 19, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  11. Rich

    It Depends....

    ....if McCain was prez, he would have carted the money in with a gold wheelbarrow, and would have had to run over Palin in the process while she was stuffing her own pockets.

    April 19, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  12. bob

    what a hack! he is a flip-flopper who cannot answer straight questions. cannot make up his own mind. these are not trademarks of good leaders.

    April 19, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  13. Robert

    that's the problem with the phony conservative right. they set their standards too high–even for themselves. and fall so short of it when push comes to shove.

    April 19, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  14. jd

    If it is passed you are a moron for not taking. It's money your tax base is now obligated to pay. It's whether or not you would have passed the burden to begin with.

    April 19, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  15. FRANK, LAS VEGAS

    What a bunch of double speak, right down the GOP talking points which are not, how should I say it , truthful. As far as Romney and Rubio, they can both be described with two words each, You Lie!

    April 19, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  16. once upon a horse

    to paraphrase a statement made by the late great Gov Richards, "Ol' Mitty was born with a silver FOOT in his mouth!" This guy changes whichever way the wind blows yet he wins all the GOP straw polls. He can't answer if he would have taken stimulus money if he was offered it? WHY NOT?? It's a yes or no question. I hope in fact either he or Palin win the GOP nomination in 2012 or maybe BOTH on a ticket. That might be what it takes to wake these confused teabaggers up to see what is really going on with the GOP.

    April 19, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  17. NYC REPUB

    Real non partisan economist, from Moody's and the like, say that bottom line the stimulus bill helped the economy.
    Gov. Romney.......you lie.
    And yes the stimulus saved state jobs (police, fireman, teachers), and gave way for shovel ready projects......many of which i'm beginning to see in my neck of the woods.......
    The stimulus bill was a emergency measure!!!!!!!

    April 19, 2010 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  18. Barbara

    "it depends on what the money was?...... exactly... (establishes the intent.... now price? -'nuff said)!

    April 19, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  19. You Lie Romney!

    Republicans love to say they would not take the money but then they are at ribbon cutting cerimonies funded by the Stimulus. Please someone needs to call them out on that.

    April 19, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  20. The Calabash Kid

    Romney believes in Romney. All of this mumbo-jumbo about policy and what would you do in this situation or that situation causes his eyes to glaze over.

    He's a CEO type. He knows how to manage. You get some smart folks together who will tell you what you want to hear. Then you tell them to do it.

    Making a speech about what you intend to do if elected is just advertising to him. You tell the hayseeds whatever will make them buy the product. If they buy it, that proves you were telling the truth. If they don't buy it, you fire your speech writer.

    He's a resume candidate, like George Bush the Good One. A capable man who believes that people with his background and family deserve to be president.

    April 19, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  21. Future expat

    What the hell is the point of having TWO Harvard degrees if you're just going to go along with whatever the dumbest people around you are doing.

    April 19, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  22. Allen Hussein

    Of course "it depends" Mittens. You are the ultimate weather vane politician!

    April 19, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  23. Brice

    Don't you say that Stimulus you got credits?

    April 19, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  24. Stay

    Can you say flip-flopper!

    April 19, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  25. big mouth

    This loser should learn how to keep his big mouth shut.

    April 19, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
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