Romney sticks to Obama criticism, despite naysayers
July 4th, 2011
03:07 PM ET
7 years ago

Romney sticks to Obama criticism, despite naysayers

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney repeated his campaign line that President Obama has made the economy worse in New Hampshire Monday, a sentiment that has received criticism from those on the left and independent fact-checkers.

"The recession is deeper because of our president, it's seen an anemic recovery because of our president," Romney said after a July 4th parade in Amherst.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party quickly jumped on the "debunked" claim that they said "has been central to his campaign message."

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, as pointed out by the Washington Post, the recession officially ended in June 2009.

Romney first made a similar comment at the CNN/WMUR/New Hampshire Union Leader presidential debate in June when he said the president "didn't create the recession, but he made it worse and longer," and again during a visit to New Hampshire last week.

When pressed on the statement Friday in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Romney said he "didn't say that things are worse."

"What I said was that economy hasn't turned around, that you've got 20 million Americans out of work, or seriously unemployed, housing value still going down. You have a crisis of foreclosures in this country," Romney said. "The economy, by the way, if you think the economy is great and going well, be my guest."

When asked about the governor's comments, Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul pointed to the current economic situation, including the unemployment rate, housing prices and national debt.

"It is an undeniable fact that Barack Obama has failed to create jobs and fix the economy. He is on track to be the only president to leave office with a net job loss," Saul said. "President Obama and the Democrats will spend the next 17 months trying to distract voters from their horrible record on the economy – and it’s not going to work."

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (166 Responses)
  1. Jeff

    The only time the republicans apologize for lying is when they tell the truth by accident.

    July 4, 2011 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  2. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    What is "controversial" here? Mitt is absolutely right. When Bush left office, unemployment was at 6%. Now, after two and a half years of Obama, it's over 9%. Call it a recession or whatever, things are worse. Obama took 800 billion dollars (that we didn't have) and flushed it down the sewer with absolutely no positive results whatsoever. When is the media going to stop trying to defend Obama and show him for the failure that he is?

    July 5, 2011 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  3. texasmike

    This is what happens when an ostensibly moderate Republican must espouse rightwing lies as fodder for the base. He winds up poisoning his chances for the general election, the majority of which are NOT rabid, mouthfoaming rednecks. He's just hoping most normal Americans will forget his primary tripe by the time Nov 2012 arrives.

    July 5, 2011 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  4. American77

    Let's look at what Romney said. He has repeatedly stated that President Obama didn't cause the recession, but he made it longer and made it worse. The natural follow up question is longer and worse than WHAT? Romney clearly does not mean Obama made the recession longer or worse than if the federal government had done nothing (e.g., no government spending at all), which is precisely how the silly "fact checkers" are interpreting Romney's comments. I believe what Romney means is that Obama made the recession longer and worse than it would have been if we had a president who responded to the Great Recession by trying to stimulate and grow the private sector, rather than merely growing government. President Obama himself recently joked that his "shovel-ready projects" turned out to be not-so-shovel-ready. If Romney's critics and the president's defenders want to argue that American taxpayers received a good return on their $787 billion investment, let them try. What we have is a recession that is LONGER and WORSE than it would have been if someone who actually understands how jobs come and go had been allowed to set the priorities of the government's response. This nonsense about Romney flip-flopping is just a distraction from the dismal economic situation that the president has prolonged. Go Mitt!

    July 5, 2011 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  5. Mark

    Ain't this something: the Republicans fight Obama every step of the way when he tries to implement measures to improve the economy, and then accuse him of making things worse!

    July 5, 2011 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  6. J.V.hodgson

    Obama took the Presidency in 2009 January and the recession = rising unemployment and negative real growth of the economy continued until mid 2009. Ever since then a global economic slump has led to almost internationally weak GDP growth an Attempt to increase that i.e. the recovery plan was vehemently opposed by Republicans ,nevertheless,independent evaluations say it saved many jobs as did the Auto bailout.
    Then Dear Mr. Romney the housing bubble bursting is all Obama fault? No siree it was stupid unregulated banks that lent money on stupid terms, Mr. Obama cannot make house prices rise again magically neither can you. In fact I venture to suggest they'll never get back try a c/f with Japan Spain Ireland.
    Anemic recovery it may be but at least jobs are being added not lost at 800,000 per month last time Republicans were governing and had a Republican President.
    Taxes well Look at the taxes when Clinton left and the Bush Tax cuts and add up what is and was the biggest element of the Debt increase = bush tax cuts, next is the Wars... ooops forgot Bush kept them out of the budget deficit considerations.
    From where I sit you are spewing the biggest load of BS ever, spinning the facts (politely,impolitely lying) and I have not heard a single comprehensive plan from you or Republicans generally that is accepted by the Majority. RYAN budget a disaster, spending cuts lots of shouts/threats and no ideas and for sure not a single idea on how to create jobs or bring about the huge recovery In a few months your words would try to make us believe.
    OH yeah I forgot more tax cuts and up goes the budget deficit and debt. By the way EBITDA Mr Romney and small business owners is one of the current all singing all dancing business success measures It is Earnings BEFORE Interest TAX Depreciation Amortisation etc.

    July 5, 2011 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  7. Oldboy

    If you want to have people who really care about this country to run the senate, house and the White House, let's just pass a bill that will make the salary of all lawmakers $35,000 a year and also anyone with a net worth of more than 1/4 of a million dollars cannot run for office. If we do this, only those who truly love this country will run for office.

    July 5, 2011 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  8. MikeH

    What's the big deal? It's just another lying Republican caught in his lies, statistical facts proving he's lying, and he stands by his lies. Seems like a normal Republican to me.

    And by the way, Luis Vazquez, that ain't your name, you aren't even hispanic. You're a fat uneducated white guy paid by the Republican Party to post lies on the ticker. And, for a paid-Repulican stooge you ain't doing a very good job

    July 5, 2011 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  9. NobodySpecial

    THIS coming from the guy that he said has no job to people who are unemployed while he is sitting on $25 MILLION dollars? Please. He really is a load of hot air. Obama 2012.

    July 5, 2011 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  10. Larry King

    Romney is turning into a huge disappointment. I thought he had more character than this. His recent behavior is very unpresidential.

    July 5, 2011 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  11. America Shrugged

    @ ken AZ, Actually, Presidential Candidates Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain have both said they would try and abolish the minimum wage law. @toosmart2blib, who are these Obama hand picked economists who are going to write a report on how the stimulus is actually doing the opposite? And for each job created costing 278,000.00 dollars? How do you figure that? That would mean how many jobs were created? CBO says 3 million jobs were created and several million went from part time to full time. And that was with only 1/3 of stimulus money...Remember now, 1/3 of the stimulus went to give us additional tax cuts and the other 1/3 went to states to keep them solvent.. I think you are full of bull hockey or you would have posted your sources.

    July 5, 2011 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  12. Jane

    To those who cry that Obama has made things worse....Three years is not enough time for anyone (whether repubs or democrats) to turn around the mess Bush left behind but at least we're no longer in free fall

    July 5, 2011 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  13. fsmgroupie

    romney can't possibly be wrong -- he's wearing the magical mormon underwear !!!

    July 5, 2011 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  14. polite centrist

    We need our own party.

    July 5, 2011 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  15. Mike

    By that reasoning Romney, you should blame the bad weather on Obama.

    This is what caused the runaway debt and our current economic troubles: the war in Afghanastan (necessary in my opinion), the war in Iraq (unnecessary by any reasonable person's opinion), trillion dollar tax breaks for the rich, and an enormous bailout that was needed after the near total collapse of our economy in 2008. The latter was voted in by both Republicans and Democrats because nearly everyone realized that to do nothing is to invite disaster. Romney, you must be an idiot for not realizing that every one of these issues originated in the Bush administration. Obama has done an amazing job cleaning up the mess, but we definitely need to give him another four years to completely reverse the utter calamity that Bush and the Republicans handed him.

    July 5, 2011 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  16. Peter Q Wolfe

    What I think is missing in the conversation about the deficit and or debt is compromise with both parties. We need to face reality not ignore reality for our own idealist or unrealistic aims. Fact one is that America is the 2nd most taxed corporate capitalist nation. Fact again is that health care in the past decade has doubled and making medicare and medicaid almost unaffordable to sustain. Fact again that the economy isn't getting any better except in the BRICK counteries. Fact again that the currency exchange rate and the trade deficit with asian nations must be comrehensively looked into and changed for our economy.

    Okay, then we can look in making the tax system much more easier for business owners cause look at that the tax code book and if you don't own a business this isn't your fight in my opinion. Again, I also want to point to Congress and reducing their pay cause it is a service not an obligation by the tax payers to pay six figures to politicians more like 50,000 in my opinion if that cause many are millionaire lawyers or business owners anyways. YOu also should reflect your constituants who slave away for you. Okay, I also think mandating health care is a personal responsible and sensible way of controling costs. However, I think tort reform in health care can help and also I think inporting doctors, signing more free trade agreements for generic drugs and equipment, and speeding along doctor school by eliminating the core curriculum can help with higher standards to list the enormous costs of doctoring school can help. Also, I hink addressing military spending at 900 billion or so annually with two wars should be knocked in half and streamlining tax codes and making it more transparent.

    July 5, 2011 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  17. Peter Q Wolfe

    2nd part continuing::::

    Fact is that we must also address entitlement programs for conservatives they have a point on this matter. I think making a ll entitlement programs to be means tested is a must for viability in the future and to cut Medicare and Medicaid by this could stream line it as well. Hell I'm on Medicaid and am chronically disabled with legal blindness and people quite frankly rob tax payers. Making welfare programs conditional by drug testing except for medical marijuana is a good idea. If yoiu are on the dime of others money this could deter crime, addiction, medical costs and instill good ethics of self-value. Okay, I also think green energy (e.g. solar, wind, geothermal, nuclear, hydroelectric, hydrogen,) are also essential for our futures national security and we should have learned from 1973 of the oil crtisis then. First to install this equipment on all government buildings to make government in the future cheaper to maintain.

    Secondly, I will finish this by sayig tht both parties are right and wrong. They have forgotten the middle and don't understand the key tennant of comprimise. I also think that Barack Obama didn't create the failure completely of the economy. Remember this is the worse recession since the "Great Depression" and is fluxuating like 1982 or 1957 or 1900 or whatever year you can tell. So, the shift from west to east is happening and dynamicsa in robotics are hurting employment and automation of technology enhanced in the past two decades eliminate many traditional jobs to compete internationally. I also think its a shame that WIC was cut cause they are one of the best programs cause of the simple regulation of it like food stamps should be like as well should mirror it. Anyways, then that is my opinio about that and for the guy saying the eliminate programs for the disabled or elderly f you.

    July 5, 2011 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  18. jwmay10

    talk about a guy who offered a lot of criticism but offered little improvment, how about obama?.....the guy gives good speeches, but he is weak on taking positive action.....he waffled on the health care legislation and now we have a heath care situation written by the insurance companies.....he is weak geopolitically and the economy is still in shambles.....

    if you think stats that show the economy no longer is in recession is a good thing for obama, i ask you how that is.....if this is out of the recession, then it seems we have leveled off at a place where it cannot be construed as good for only begs questions as to if this is the best he can do.....pumping up obama by purious slams on romney just makes your case look jobs were at half the level they were expected to be in this month's report announced today.....

    the question can fairlty be asked if obama is qualified.....the four years he was in senate he spent three of them running for president and had a very unspectacular senate career.....he had a bad attendance record and sponbsored very little legislation.....yes he gives a good speech, but damn.....he spent the first two years of his presidency pushing a social agenda when an economic agenda was what we needed.....and if you think he saved jobs, note that jobs have fallen under his administration.....

    you obamites won't acknowledge how weak a president he has been.....instead you resort assailing potential opponents.....a tactic you chide the repubs for doing.....and please, stop the suggestion, those of you out there who do this, that racism is driving the criticism of you really think he is above reproach?.....

    July 5, 2011 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  19. zip

    When is someone going to ask Mitt about the Mormon churches' belief that Jesus appeared in America??

    July 5, 2011 02:09 am at 2:09 am |

    I don't know what planet you live on if you don't think that the economy has gotten worse under Obama's watch.... Romney is right it isworse.... Much worse than it was even under "W" and that wasn't great.

    1)Unemployment is much higher (nearly 3% higher); 2) Foreclosures are higher than they have ever been under any President by a huge margin; 3) The price of Gas is double what it was when he took office; 4) Small Businesses are experiencing less sales than they did 3 and 4 years ago; 5) The investment climate for small business is the worst that it has been in years.....

    If you don't recognize these facts you have to be brain dead....

    And if you want to understand why Romney said what he said in Allentown, listen to the question.... Am Amoeba would have known that the discussion was about the stock market and the fact that it has not taken a dive yet.... But let me assure you, it is indeed coming....

    Like it or not Romney is the only one on either side of the aisle who is equipped with the skills to fix what Obama has either broken or been unable to fix.

    As a small Business owner, I will dance in the streets the day that Obama is beaten at the polls.... Already looking for the shoes.

    July 5, 2011 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  21. TampaMel

    As you all can see, even 'moderate' Republicans have no ability to speak truthfully. I am not a Democrat but, to me, voting for a Republican is the same as being against any recovery. To Republicans doing nothing is the road to economic recover, because, "Corporations and the Market will get us back just let them do what they want and success is assured". Listen to the Republicans then read some of the same statements from Hoover as the unemployment rate went to 25% in the 1930s. Put Obama back and give the Democrats the majority in both houses of Congress. That is the road to success, as with Franklin Roosevelt.

    July 5, 2011 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  22. downey

    Mitt's "special" Mormon underwear must be so tight that it is cutting off adequate circulation and depriving his brain of sufficient oxygen to remember that the recession ended in 2009 and that Obama has done nothing to make the economy "worse". If anything, Mitt and the Repugs WILL only make it far worse. Look what Mitt did previously in Massachusetts with the economy and look what the Repugs did to the over all USA economy during over 20 years of their "great leadership" and the mess that Obama "inherited" from them and Bush. Lighten up, Mitt! You're not thinking straight!

    July 5, 2011 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  23. Jez

    With Romney's racist religion, I can't believe a word he says.

    July 5, 2011 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  24. Joshua College Station Texas

    Romney should have to relinquish his temple recommend for not being honest in his dealings with his fellow men.

    July 5, 2011 04:28 am at 4:28 am |
  25. mike

    this is the same old crap the republicans have been selling the voters and look at what they have done cut the rights of the american worker and saying to big business we will give you slave labor just make us look good by giving us some low paying jobs just look at what the average worker makes today and compare that to what that made in the past

    July 5, 2011 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
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