Criticizing Obama, Romney vows a different approach if he runs for president
February 11th, 2011
11:58 AM ET
4 years ago

Criticizing Obama, Romney vows a different approach if he runs for president

Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney accused President Obama Friday of being a "weak" leader and specifically questioned Obama's handling of the economic crisis and foreign affairs.

"An uncertain world has been made more dangerous by the lack of clear direction from a weak President," Romney said in a speech before the annual Conservative Political Action Conference meeting here in the nation's capital.

Romney is one of a dozen presidential candidates speaking at the three day gathering that drew about 11,000 conservatives from around the country. A former Massachusetts governor and successful businessman, Romney focused the majority of his remarks on the economy, which is likely to be his greatest strength in what will be a competitive contest for the Republican nomination.

"Let me make this very clear," Romney said, "If I decide to run for president, it won't take me two years to wake up to the job crisis threatening America. And I won't be asking Tim Geithner how the economy works or Larry Summers how to start a business."

Considered to be the frontrunner in the race for the GOP nomination, Romney's comments on a potential White House bid drew applause from some audience members. After his speech, Romney moved from the stage onto the floor and was immediately surrounded by well wishers and people hoping to get a glimpse of the governor.

Romney, who failed in his first run for the Republican nomination in 2008, is beginning to reactivate a political operation to once again run for president. Recently, Romney held meetings in New Hampshire, where he also owns a home, and has been talking to donors.

The economy is expected to be a major issue in the 2012 presidential race and Romney said the president's efforts to turn the economy around have failed.

"President Barack Obama has stood watch over the greatest job loss in modern American history," Romney said. "And that, my friends, is one inconvenient truth that will haunt this president throughout history."

On the issue of foreign policy, Romney peppered Obama with criticism for his handling of Iran, North Korea, Russia and the war in Afghanistan.

"I surely hope that at some point in the near future, the president will finally be able to construct a foreign policy, any foreign policy," Romney said.

Romney chose to steer clear of any criticism of the Obama administration's handling of Egypt. Moments after Romney closed his speech, President Hosni Mubarak stepped down.

CPAC will close tomorrow with the results of an unscientific presidential straw poll of attendees. The results will amount to nothing more than bragging rights in a battle for the GOP nomination that will be waged in neighborhoods and living rooms across the country beginning in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.


Filed under: 2012 • CPAC 2011 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Real Patriots Do MORE than Salute the flag, They educate themselves

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Flip flop, Mittens you are so predictable

    February 11, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  2. Gregory

    First off, Obama is NOT a weak President. Please note. Egypt is becoming a democracy with few casualties unlike Iraq which became a tenuous democracy with hundreds of thousands of deaths and an invasion and occupying force. So, Cheney/Bush were strong? Which road to democracy would we rather choose? An internal, roots based, non-violent uprising? Or an invading army deposing a dictator?

    February 11, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. Bessy

    " On the issue of foreign policy, Romney peppered Obama with criticism for his handling of Iran, North Korea, Russia and the war in Afghanistan. "
    Oh please, all these Republican thugs know is how to threaten the rest of the world. They would have us in a constant war telling the rest of the world how they should run their countries. They are doing nothing for the country and this guy would be a very wrong choice to be president.

    February 11, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. Video Guy

    Did Sarah write his speech?

    February 11, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. Sgt Schultz

    Slick Mitt's GOP chances are slim to none. The Mormons Romney and Glenn Beck are considered a Cult by the majority of the evangelicals. Why do they always walk around in pairs with white shirts and black ties going door to door?

    February 11, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    Romney is an also-ran from the past. Not who we need now.

    February 11, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. RICO

    "President Barack Obama has stood watch over the greatest job loss in modern American history," Romney said. "And that, my friends, is one inconvenient truth that will haunt this president throughout history."

    Really cause I'm pretty sure it was under another President when the jobs started going and the economy tanking. I guess Mitt was watching another show when that was going on.

    February 11, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. bontragerfam

    Way to go Romney!!

    February 11, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. This Dufus Romney is Spouting gibberish with NO Solutions again

    I hear ya pretty boy but what are your solutions Romney boy!

    none, nada, zero, zilch...just spout the same old worn-out tired rhetorics...and think America is STUPID enough to buy that crap of hot doodoo!!!

    February 11, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. james Miller

    A DIFFERENT APPROACH ?????-- hahahahahahahahahahahahaha- He`ll say or do anything to get to be the Prez--What a guy.

    February 11, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. lizinStLouis

    Romney Romney...US is more respected now because of the President's foreign policy which includes respecting other nations and using diplomacy instead of 'bullying'. I wonder what he means by saying that the world is uncertain..he is the one who is uncertain because he is just blabbering. Why did he not comment about Egypt!!! Go away Romney...Pres Obama is not weak..he is just brilliant!!!

    February 11, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. Cranky Yankee

    Blah, Blah, Blah. They said the same thing about Roosevelt. Romney has a serious case of selective amnesia with his statement "President Barack Obama has stood watch over the greatest job loss in modern American history." Guess this genius was out of the country when Bush sat on his hands watching the economy tank. The resultant job losses going into 2010 were a result of the failed Reagan/BushI/BushII economic policies. If Romney doesn't have the stones to admit that, then he isn't qualified to be president of Jiffy Lube let alone the USA.

    February 11, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. ART

    The only thing that is uncertain is your faux religion

    February 11, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. B

    Obama just saved the country from running off the cliff because of eight years of runaway spending and zero oversight by anyone!
    Romney represents the classic mega rich, white, partisan controlled, zealot like Hatch that really have no concern for average Americans whatsoever!

    February 11, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. vic nashville tn

    Mr.Romney
    Economy is better than 2008 December

    Hosni Mubarak is gone Obama is on right side Egyptians are Happy his foreign policy is working. Remove the dictators in the hands of their Citizens. Not like what Bush did in Iraq
    Obama’s Health care is better than yours

    Get over it ,Obama approval 100% today

    February 11, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. BCrepublican

    Just because he doesnt like invading other countries like the rethuglicans do! What would you do romney eliminate taxes altogether for the rich? How would you fund all the extra wars you would start! The only job you want to create is your own. I bet you use all the foreign money from the chamber of commerce to run your adds too. Not wanting to kill everyone that doesnt look like you, is not a sign of weakness. Go Away!

    February 11, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. hilroy

    Shut to ....up Mitt. Where were you when the last administration was messing up in Iraq etc etc. 1trillion $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. All you ..... repubs hipocrites ewant to do is criticize this president and some of know of us know why. It is going to be a scary and nasty election with racial tensions.

    February 11, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. Photo Caption (Romney explains how polygamy works)

    And no one threw a pie in this clowns face?

    February 11, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  19. CC

    This begins to be exhausting, critcise the President and not offer any real solutions. As far as bashing his foreign policy, I guess the fact that Mubarack stepped down and Obama was constant with regard to his impute on that situation has no relevance. And jobs are doing better than they were, and Obama stepped into a land mine when he took office–and I can go on and on I point a finger at you for stirring up half truths and untruths, you point a finger at Obama–but by doing so we get no where. I think Obama is trying to do all that he can to improve the conditions in this country. As much as he can within his ability to balance the war waged by the GOP, maybe if we worked together as Americans and supported each other in ways that would rebuild this country instead of tearing each other down your voice would have some merit. But just saying all he did wrong when you are riddled with untruths makes you not the man I want to see in office Mr. Romney. A great man would offer solutions to our current leader if you had any that had merit, and the people would see that and regard you as a leader, not just a politician...which means very little at this point to the American people.

    February 11, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. Jilli

    Well, if anyone knew "weak", it'd be Mitt Romney. The man has no spine, no principles and no true convictions – it's evident in the frequency in which he changes his positions in relation to the direction of the political wind on the issues – and in his inability to be accountable for Romneycare. Mitt is weak, so he's a real expert on the subject. No worry though, he couldn't buy the nomination the last time around, and he won't be able to do it for 2012 either. He's an also-ran, a loser.

    Why don't the republicans just hold a reality tv show to select their nominee, they'd probably have a much better candidate than the neaderthals and also-rans they keep propping up election after election.

    February 11, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  21. USA401

    Its amazing how the Republican party created the massive job loss and recession and they are mad because someone else couldn’t fix the very problem they created in two years. Everybody said from the beginning of the recession it would take 10-15 years to recover. So this is just more hot air from overzealous conservative critics making dumb comments from the side lines.

    February 11, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  22. Al-NY,NY

    Did Mittens mention Health Care in his rant to the sheep? I doubt it since he instituted the same type of plan in MA that Obama did for the country.

    February 11, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  23. The Real Tom Paine

    Weak handling? This from the man who can't decide what he is or what he stands for? President Obama has made the tough calls, you have not. By the way, will you buy a home in every state to claim residency?

    February 11, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  24. shoegazer

    "the greatest job loss"was set in motion by his Republican predecessor.No doubt about it.Give it a rest flip-flopper.

    February 11, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  25. TM

    Take a REAL look at those job numbers "Willard". When President Obama came into office the jobless numbers were RISING. Now they are FALLING. In other words, things are slowly getting better. They would probably get better faster if you and your party of "NO!" would get off your overpaid butts and work on legislation that would help create jobs, instead of the raft of NONSENSE that the Republican controlled House has been bringing to the floor.

    February 11, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
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