Criticizing Obama, Romney vows a different approach if he runs for president
February 11th, 2011
11:58 AM ET
9 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. billy

    this guy is dangerous believe me..dont EVER trust him..EVER

    February 11, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  2. Sasha

    Good luck getting past the inevitable "I was for a mandate-based universal healthcare system before I was against it" paradox, Romney.

    February 11, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  3. Bill

    You will never be president Mr. Romney – it is that simple.

    February 11, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. Living in America

    Wow first we dealth with SunTan Bob as the Speaker of the House. Now we got Hair Mouse Romney for President.

    February 11, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. Murray

    I love Romney's selective memory. Did he forget the"inconvenient truth" of what administration orchestrated the economic mess that prevails and the job losses it created?
    How do you construct a foreign policy from the ashes left by the Bush administration? It's like expecting Campbell's to come out with a new soup after the first batch killed everybody.
    Enough of the rhetoric Romney. Let's hear your version of America's new foreign policy.

    February 11, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. Lorna

    An out and out lie..."President Obama has stood watch over the greatest job loss in modern American history..." That is a, sir, are NOT entitled to your own facts and for you to suggest this fallacy to the American people insults our intelligence beyond the pale. How dare you?

    February 11, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. ja

    rommey yada, yada, it always seem easy while looking in, on domestic maters republicans has vowed to try blocking all of president Obama's policy, at any cost, legislators had susidized healthcare while most are wealthy, that picture is out of focus, it is patriotic and Godly to help those in need, we give welfare to corporate, in the name of creating jobs

    February 11, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. Protect and Defend Freedom of Speech in the USA

    Obama a "weak leader"??!! Mitt you give him WAY TOO MUCH CREDIT!!! He's an EMPTY SUIT!!! ZERO LEADERSHIP SKILLS. He's Mr. I_VOTE _PRESENT because I don't know what to vote for.

    February 11, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. Rob R

    Well, in all fairness, what else is he supposed to say to all those right wing nut jobs? Obama's re-election campaign should be very very simple. All they need to do is run a 30 second commercial where the screen displays the monthly chart showing jobs created. You've all seen it. The one that shows deep negative numbers during the last year of Bush and slowly gets back into the positive under Obama. Just plaster that thing on the screen for 30 seconds. That's all you need to know about which party should control the White House.

    February 11, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. Reggie from LA

    I won't steer clear of Egypt. What I would like to know is, "before all this upheaval, who was calling upon the President to undo Mubarak? Who was trying to leverage change thru the administration? Nobody that's who!!" Most folks didn't even know his reputation or who he was unitl the riots and the opporunistic Right Wingers started trying to unseat Prez Obama again. What a bunch-o' clowns. Now we want the President of the US to topple the leader of Egypt for the sake of our politics. "President Obama, you've wisely said all you need to say. Opposition to Obama, STFU.

    February 11, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. ReFascistican

    You will never be President Mitt-hew because your like those cheap sandals from Wal-Mart, you're a flip-flopper.

    February 11, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  12. Margie

    A different approach..will he put people he disagrees with in a box and tie them to the top of his RV.

    February 11, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  13. Cosmo

    "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."

    Only the truly deluded faithful at the "Carnival of Fascism" would toelerate such a misrepresntation of facts and history.
    Beware the man who will do and say anything for power and money.

    February 11, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    Hey, Mitty. I could spend every day for the next two years criticizing you as well. Still wouldn't make me any more presidential than you. Fact of the matter is you worry me with your inability to explain WHAT you would have done differently, and why. After all, you HAVE been running for president for the past 6 years now, and as yet, have NOT ONCE articulated a platform of Romeny policies. Your party spent the past two years criticizing this president ad nauseum. Now that they have the power to initiate programs which would benefit Americans, they are thrashing about with no real goal in sight. I suspect your administration would be an exact duplicate of GOPer talky-talk nonsense photo ops.

    February 11, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. FM

    Does Romney think that attacking will sway anyone especially independents??? No way . This is the old way which worked those times. Without staying positive and laying down what he will do different from the current leader, I am afraid he will not even be nominated!

    February 11, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. TB

    So Mitt...what's YOUR plan for America? Outlaw labor unions? Deregulate everything? Let CEOs make more money for themselves by exploiting their workforce? Support right-wing foreign dictators? Replace healthcare reform with Romneycare? Let healthcare executives make more money for themselves by screwing over the American people? Invade and occupy foreign countries whose ideology you disagree with? Impose "American-style democracy" on foreign countries who don't want it? Tell the rest of the world that the US is in charge and they had better do what you tell them to...or else? Is THIS your concept of a "strong" leader?

    February 11, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  17. sonny chapman

    Mitt forgot to mention that the President doesn't kiss his kids good night in the proper manner. Only true, God fearing, Patriotic Americans like CPAC can do it right.

    February 11, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    OH, come on, folks. The reason Mittens didn't offer any solutions is so he doesn't have to flip-flop on them when he gets challenged by Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin, Newt, or the rest of the 457 undeclared Republican Candidates for President. Remember, it was when Mittens was Governor that Massachusetts attempted to lower the required grade for teacher competency examinations because of the high failure rate. Maybe he hopes people forget this fiasco, too! Of course, as Republicans would love to do what the British Tories attempted in the 1820s (i.e. close the schools and libraries because they gave the people too many ideas), the thought of incompetent teachers could only produce unthinking people who willingly become Republicans!

    A guy goes into a Doctor's office to find out about getting a brain transplant. The doctor tells him he can have a brain from a former Democratic Congressman who is a graduate of Harvard and has a PhD from Yale. The cost for that one is $200,000. Or he can have the brain from a former Republican Congressman for $7,000,000. The guy says he can understand the cost for the Democratic brain as that guy was obviously really smart, but why was the Republican brain so much more expensive? The doctor replied, "It's never been used."

    February 11, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. PalmReader

    Kinda hard for Romney to press his business credentials when he can't even understand that jobs were dropping like leaves from a frost bitten tree way back in 2007 . . . or who was President.

    February 11, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  20. blah blah

    what a IDIOT!!!!!!

    February 11, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  21. Jim

    Mr. Romney, let's trade places for awhile. You Mr. Romney can walk in my shoes or better yet walk in someone's shoes who's lost their job, healthcare, home etc. You sir were born with a sliver spoon in your mouth. You sir have a golden pot to piss in not like the rest of us even though we work hard everyday. All you do is blab your mouth off with no ideas whatsoever to better our country. In fact sir all your Republican buddies mouth the same thing all the time which is nothing. If you truly loved this country and wanted to help American rebuild then you would get off your high horse and help the President out with good ideas etc. If your such a foriegn policy expert then why didn't you serve your country by wearing one of our armed forces uniforms? Is it because you don't have a set of stones? Are you afraid Mr. Romney? I bet you would be quick to send someone else's child. Why don't one of your son's enlist? I don't like Sarah Palin but at least her oldest son has the balls to serve his country. Mr. Romney do our country a favor and leave and while your at it take the rest of your coward Republican party with you. Buy an island somewhere where you can be President of that island because you'll never be president of our great nation you loser!

    February 11, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  22. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I guess Romney is the new "boogy man" of the GOP.

    February 11, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. GL

    "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.

    Is this all he got because we hard all this from the Rethugs for the pass three years. He is the weak one becasue he is all talk. WE HEARD ALL THIS FOR THE LAST TRHEE YEARS. Do you have any new talking point because we a sick of the same old attacks on the President.

    February 11, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. Irma in North Carolina

    Looks like this Mitt has the same speech writer as Sarah. Just all lies and hates like Sarah does all the time.

    February 11, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  25. KatR

    I was gonna post something but CC took the message right out of my fingers!

    February 11, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
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