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. ody

    My heart goes out to Mitt....what a big FOOL you are!!!!

    February 11, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. Mr. Moderate

    Here's an inconvenient truth for you Mitt. When the recession started in December 2007, there were 139 million jobs in America. By the time Bush left office, it had fallen to 131.5 million, a drop of 7.5 million. During his first term, employment fell by -64,000, making W the first president since Hoover to see employment fall during a term in office. (Boy and I thought cutting taxes grew the economy).

    Yes employment continued to fall during the Obama's first year and is about 3.5 million below when he took office, but January 2011 was up nearly 1 million over 2010. The fifth straight month of growth.

    Face it Mitt – YOU LIED!!!!

    February 11, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  3. Whatever

    I SHUDDER to think what shape the U.S. would be in right now if McCain/Palin had won back in 2008. ALL I WILL SAY IS THANK YOU GOD!!!! If seems some people think that back in 2008 the only reason that President Obama is in office is because people voted for him because he was Black. WRONG!! The majority of us forward thinking looked at the alternative and decided that the FUNDAMENTALS for the GOP team were ALL WRONG and NOT RIGHT for us!!! The economy would have completely tanked and we would probably be in war with Iran at this very moment.

    To those that call him "weak" why? Do you want him INTERFERING in how other countries are run? If you do, then realize that will be a two way street. You cannot expect someone to sit back and allow the U.S. to dictate how their country should be run without being given the same courtesy. I SHUDDER at the thought.

    I love all the rhetoric from the GOP – Oh America is in such bad shape? Really let's be honest. The economy is NOT bleeding jobs like it was prior to 2009. The auto companies are making money and hiring people again! The economy is growing again – the DOW is over 12,000 and retirement savings are growing again. Will there be job loss of course there will be no one can stop it completely.

    Stop trying to rewrite history!!!! If they truly loved God they would be quiet. IF YOU LOVE AMERICA SHOW IT BY CONTRIBUTING TO THE SOLUTION OR SHUT YOUR MOUTHS!!!! Stop all the whining and complaining! Geeezzzz

    I'd like to say something again about the Koch Brothers – if they destroy the segment of population that buys their products (consumers), how will they continue to make their billions. Those two must have been the prototypes for the two brothers in the movie – "Trading Places". The characters in the movie look like them and even do shady things like they are doing. Koch brothers are trying to manipulate and put their own puppets in Congress so that they can continue to kill the environment and make tons of $$$ from their other businesses. In the movie the brothers attempted to manipulate the stock market to make a ton of $$$$$$. Hmmmmm life imitating art or vice versa??

    February 11, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  4. JohnCup

    Romney and Palin go away!

    February 11, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  5. Tisha

    Mitt you put on quite a show and really had me going but now it's time to go. To criticize the valliant actions of our President and offer no real solution is completely unacceptable!! You are not the man I want to see in the white house. You are such a bully and I have zero tolerance for bullies or the likes of you.

    February 11, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. Roscoe

    Maybe one of Romney's sons can stop serving the country by working on the Romney campaign long enough to serve America by marrying Bristol (or Willow) Palin. Then, Palin and Romney could run on the same family values ticket in 2012.

    February 11, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    Weak leader and not waking up to the jobs crisis? President Obama has signed more legislation in two years than most of our past presidents.

    Addressing health care with meaningful reform in the long run will help our economy by bringing health care's out-of-control costs down. (News flash: It is very similar to what you pass in MA when you were governor there.)

    Passing tax cuts for 95% of Americans helps our economy, too, not to mention having policies that kept our country from going in the deep depression it was headed as a result of failed, tinkle-down Republican economic policies.

    BTW, Mitts, do you have any ideas or are you just another talking head who can only criticize? And speaking of jobs, why is it your party ran on that but now that you control the House, you've abandoned it and are focussing on divisive social issues?

    Hmmmmm?

    February 11, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. marie

    I wonder when Mitt will tell us about his Mormon faith that believes in space travel and planet Kolob? All mormons strive for the celestial kingdom so they can have their own planet. I guess all religions have their kookiness factor.:)

    February 11, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    This guy is so DESPERATE that he is sickening! Mitt you will NEVER be president of the US and you can take that to the bank!

    February 11, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  10. R U KIDDING!!!

    @ Joe from CT, not Lieberman You are too funny!!! I bet that brain was from Sarah Palin

    February 11, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  11. Terise

    President Obama just removed dictator with words not with War. Mitt is so desperate to become president. Bush invaded two countries where was Mitt people are still suffering . What is the history of Mormons, it's a cult. What are solutions ? it’s easy to wake up and think of what you can criticize president obama when that’s all Mitt has to do. Unlike the rest of us who have to work, Mitt & the rest of GOP have been wondering around our country cricitizing without real solutions while the president continues run the country.

    February 11, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. Roscoe

    If Romney loves America, why isn't it good enough for him, or any of his sons, to serve it in the military? Don't get me wrong, I don't think anyone should have to serve in the military but the country doesn't need another tough talking chickenhawk. Or, a guy who compares his sons working on his campaign to them serving in the military.

    February 11, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  13. CHUCK

    Same old crap from Mitt and the GOP. When will we begin to hear some real solutions from you and the Grand Ole Party? Maybe you are waiting to elected first. You may has well bring all your ideas (if you have any) out into the open, especially since you will never get elected anyway. Why wait? Spill your guts.

    February 11, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  14. they call me "tater salad"

    Mitt is a mega-wealthy corporate elitist whose hell bent on having a one world government..........He'd have no problem with sending YOUR kids off to fight a war with Iran, North Korea, Russia and any other country that doesn't want to fall in line with American policy and do EVERYTHING IN HIS POWER to make sure that NONE of HIS 5 sons ever had to carry a rifle into battle. Do some research on this guy's privileged history and see for yourself what a spineless, silver spoon, elitist coward he is! You think Dick Cheney is a chickenhawk? He couldn't tie Mitts shoes in that dept.

    February 11, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. S. In California

    Well, where do I start?

    First, although I despise this man THIS IS POLITICS. Fair is fair. Obama criticized Bush now it's his turn. Having said that – President Obama is off to a GOOD start as far as foreign relations go. I guess Rum-knee and his followers don't listen or pay attention to the news Mubarak RESIGNED. As far as the economy goes we were LOSING 750,000 jobs a MONTH in 2008 BEFORE our president took over. Wars: Rom-knee is the LAST person to talk about wars considering he has FIVE SONS WHO NEVER ENLISTED JUST LIKE THEIR FATHER. They were ALL missing in action when others sacrified and lost their lives. He is a LOSER and will always be a LOSER. He will NEVER occupy the WH even if the tea racists throw ALL their support his way. People DON'T like him. Period. He comes off as cocky, condescending and arrogant. Qualities people don't want right now. It helped Bush win the WH but it won't help him. Right now America is looking for solutions not speeches. Obama is charismatic, intelligent, and like able. Mr. Rom-knee possesses NONE of these skills. Keep dreaming about your place in the WH. Meanwhile most of LIKE the change we voted for and will vote again for our current president BARAK OBAMA.

    February 11, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. willie floyd

    A weak Pres.???? Now I'm sure what I thought of you has been right all along-NOTHING!! Stay in Utah where you belong.

    February 11, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  17. Alistair

    Hey Mitt the President just saved democracy in from a corrupt dictator in Egypt without firing a weapon. If you were in office you would be supporting Mubarek.

    February 11, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  18. MF

    The poor job growth is a strategy played by the rebulicans as most business men are republicans. They didnt hire and layed off people to just prove and blame Obama. The republicans think we are dumb and blind. Obama has done a lot for the republican business community but it is just a strategy of dont create jobs the people will get fedup and eventually the republicans think they will win the white house. I admire the way obama has handled his foreign policy with diplomacy. PRESIDEN OBAMA IS ONE OF A KIND EVEN REGAN WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO COMPETE WITH HIM. The best thing is Palin should become president and satisfy the cheap ccrowd.

    February 11, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  19. Matt

    If he can create jobs in two years, where has he been since 2008? Thanks for holding the secret until 2012 Mitt while we are all struggling. I'll take Obama thanks, at least he has fought in our trenches.

    February 11, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  20. peace

    mit go to hell and take your party of gop n dope smoking tea bag with you.

    February 11, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. Ted

    Romney you are an idiot, just like Bachmann, Palin and others. YOU talk big, YOU criticize Big. But you have no ideas on how to reverse course. People will see through your worthless rhetoric and your empty promises. All you want to do is to start wars, give tax breaks to the rich and screw the middle class.

    February 11, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. Jaywing

    Mitt personifies why I will never vote for a conservative. Narrow-mindedness. Hatred. Bigotry. White-power elite. Immoral. Unethical. Irrational. Selective-memory. Fear-mongering. More for the rich - less for the poor. Supoorting a corrupt corporate America.

    February 11, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  23. Grundoon

    I'm still waiting for all the great jobs building, deficit reducing bills to be introduced by the right. About all I've seen is job killing this-or-that bull sh!t. Are they practicing some ill concieved legislative alchemy? They are just calling whatever they bring up "job killing" like it's going to create jobs. All they want to do it pull eveything off hte table before people have the opportunity to say, "maybe this isn't bad." People LIKE being able to have their recently adult children on their health insurance. People LIKE not being denied coverage by their insurance carrier for every reason under the sun. Goddess help us all if Mittens, or any conservative, gets in the white house, or their numbers expand in Congress!

    February 11, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  24. Mom Concerned for the Future

    Oh Romney, the ultimate flip-flopper. Just tell him what he needs to say to get conservatives to vote for him and he will say it. President Obama is a much better leader than Romney will ever be. Romney is not even strong enough to stand up for his signature accomplishment as governor - a healthcare law almost identical to what President Obama got passed. Romney will not win the presidency. I bet he doesn't even win the GOP nomination.

    February 11, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. Amazing

    All the self description of the liberals on here is simply amazing.

    February 11, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
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