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. Obama the Liar

    i need mo' obama money.

    April 19, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  2. will

    Wow!! Mitt you never cease to amaze me.

    April 19, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  3. Bill

    Mittens, you just can't answer a question, can you. You are a big 'ol flip flopper on EVERYTHING.

    April 19, 2010 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  4. key

    Of course he would have its for the people not himself. Bush said congress went on a drunken spending bing for what. Where were these GOP conservatives then.

    April 19, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  5. Liberal4Obama

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

    Seriously when will Mitt Romney stop speaking out of both sides of his mouth, it's a yes or no question Mitt not multiple choice and Yes and No is not a valid answer.

    April 19, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  6. Dan

    Romney is a RINO!

    April 19, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  7. gary

    It would depend on which way the wind was blowing and what the polling data said.

    April 19, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  8. Dee

    The Depression era jobs were government jobs. (CCC, TVA, WPA, ETC) I have never heard anyone who took part in them say anything negative about their learning experience. Rather they felt they provided them with the tools to obtain a job in the private sector. My Grandfather, my Father, my Father-in-Law all worked for these programs. They ALL went on to gainful employment that carried them to their retirement years. They had nothing but appreciation for the government that gave them an opportunity to work and earn their living. I seriously doubt a multigenerational millionaire can understand this feeling and appreciate that without these government jobs there would have been no food on the table the next week.

    April 19, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  9. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    ...but the TARP money was okay?

    Yeah. I'm going to listen to the advice of a man defeated by McCain. Not!

    April 19, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  10. Livin' the good life

    DUH! Of COURSE he would! He is just stating that because he does not want to appear honest! Beau Colby

    April 19, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  11. Livin' the good life

    Just wait until Rubio goes independent and see how fast the wolves devour their former "own"! Beau Colby.

    April 19, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  12. Voice of Reason

    Wow you really cant get this guy to answer a straight question...

    Q: Would you have accepted stimulus money?
    A: Well, it all depends...

    Q: Would you consider Sarah Palin as a running mate in 2012?
    A: She's a terrific person, isnt she?

    Q: Would you know a socialist if they came up and bit you on the butt?
    A: It's time to take America back from those Libs? Nazis? Commies? Which side are we again?...

    Q: Would you accept a nomination for the president of your local chapter of Deluded Fruitcakes Anonymous?
    A: You know Global Warming is all a pack of lies...

    Q: What color is the current President?
    A: I'll take "Gimme my 2nd Amendment Rights" for $200, Alex..

    Q: What state is the White House located in?
    A: Does anyone have Glenn Beck's home phone number – I seem to be out of talking points...

    Does this guy just seem confused or what? He doesnt seem to know what those darned left-wingers are up to this time, but by golly, he's against it!

    Go home Mitt – Confusion isnt becoming for you. Leave it up to the Tea-baggers to clear everything up.

    April 19, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  13. Chris

    Typical Republican. He would take the money, claim credit for all the new projects it funded, all the while trashing Obama.

    April 19, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  14. Voice of Reason

    Let me get this right: His health care plan was identical to the President's, AND he would've taken the Stimulus money if it was lucrative enough for his state?

    And YET – he's vehemently opposed to everything this administration does.

    Huh? Is it any wonder this guy comes off as confused? Does he know what he's saying? He's slicker than GWB or Sarah Palin, but certainly not any smarter.

    April 19, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  15. george

    Hyprocisy, thy name is Romney.

    April 19, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  16. Real American

    Could we please have a little syrup on that waffle?

    April 19, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  17. CBR

    Mr. Romney did such a good job promoting a health care program which is costing MA millions of dollars. He left the state before the costs could be tallied – though not in his favor. Mr. Romney has a habit of leaving office and then not supporting those he left behind. Just ask his Lt. Governor. He sometimes speaks with a forked tongue – just ask Jane Swift.

    The health program id interesting. As a retiree I cannot get certain drugs because MA Blue Cross and Blue 'shield will not authorize them. The fact that the drugs are remarkably better than the allowed drugs means nothing. I would bet that Mr. Romney and his family do not have this health care.

    April 19, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  18. kd

    if the report here is accurate, how can anybody take Romney seriously?? He is CONSTANTLY playing both sides of the fence.

    And I'd like to see Romney challenged on his claim that the stimulus only created government jobs.

    April 19, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  19. CBR

    Mitt Romney has not met one single Conservative Cause that he disagrees with. He changes his stand as often as he gets a hair cut. He would have taken stimulus money because he know that his constituents not let him do anything else.

    He left MA as a moderate and moved to Michigan as a Conservative. Guess something happened in between.

    April 19, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  20. Adalbert

    It is amazing how short the right winger memory is. Romney is a lier. Everything that went wrong in this country was under the direction of war criminal bush and company. So, by now it should be clear to anyone with any brain that the right wing in this country under the leadership of people like Romney and Palin are practicing political terrorism.

    April 19, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  21. ed fl

    He probably doesn't have any room any more moneyafter the reported amounts that Romneyand Hatch ripped off in the winter olympicsheld in Utah. Between that and Massachusettshis banks must be full, of course if he runs for the GOP Presidency it would open the doors again and now he has an accomplish rom Dade county Florida, this guy Rubio and Romney have open wallets full of Credit Cards paid for by the working citizens.

    April 19, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  22. Richard in California

    As someone who thinks Mitt Romney is a two-faced hypocrite, I must say, I think this is an unfair question. If he were still governor, would he have taken stimulus cash? Of course he would have. You would be an idiot not to.

    I might feel that we as patriotic Americans pay more in taxes to support our schools, our troops, our crumbling roadway infrastructure, enhance our energy infrastructure, etc., but if everyone else isn't going to pay more, my lone increase in taxes wouldn't pay for more teachers, or repair a crumbling bridge. Don't tell me "Hey, if you feel that way, why don't YOU pay more. I'm fine paying less."

    Any governor refusing stimulus funds for their state is only hurting their state. Even hiking Gov. Mark Sanford needs those funds to stimulate his states economy. Like I said, you'd have to be an idiot to refuse. Even Sanford and Jindal have taken the funds. Of course, they took all the credit during the distribution of those funds – big gaudy checks and all.

    April 19, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  23. Arun

    Well we know he didn't like the healthcare bill because he implemented a very similar bill in Mass. when he was governor!! Again, this is the party of leaders that take government hand outs for their cities and states while at the same time bashing big government. If anyone know how to google, take a look at which presidents created the biggest deficits over the last 40 years. I can tell you one thing, it was a democrat!!

    The party of NO, is a party of hipocritical idiots!!!

    April 19, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  24. TonyInLargo

    I wonder what it would it would depend on. Would that depend on whether people could be hired to work with the stimulus money, or would it depend on your political career no mater if jobless Americans were to benefit from the stimulus?

    Th way I see it there's only one answer, but you, Romney, are a Republican and you have an image to maintain.

    I suggest that you, Romney, do what 113 Republican Congressmen did after they voted AGAINST the Stimulus, namely, they went home and had photo ops with constituents and BIG STIMULUS CHECKS they said that "brought home" to put people to work !!!!!?????

    Are they Hypocrites, Liars or Political Parasites? You take your pick. One thing is clear, they are not truthful and their word can not be trusted.

    April 19, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  25. Darron R. Brown, M.D.

    The stimulus was essential as per numerous prominent economists. It was needed to save a sinking economy, as Mr. Romney knows. However, any admission that the President did something right is unbearable for this and other Republicans.

    April 19, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
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