Romney touts business experience; says most of his rivals don't have it
August 15th, 2011
12:31 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney touts business experience; says most of his rivals don't have it

Litchfield, New Hampshire (CNN) - Mitt Romney said Monday his experience in business would help propel him over his opponents for the GOP presidential nomination, including the man who threatens to be his biggest rival, Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Facing reporters' questions, the former Massachusetts governor and private businessman took a dig at Perry, who drove media coverage this weekend with his splashy entrance into the presidential race, and most of the rest of the field of Republican White House hopefuls.

"I think understanding how the economy works by having worked in the real economy is finally essential in the White House and I hope people recognize that," said Romney.

"I respect the other people in this race but I think the only other person that has that kind of extensive private sector experience besides me in the Republican race is Herman Cain, and I respect Herman Cain but I also think it's helpful to have that government experience that I've had," Romney said.

Romney has repeatedly faulted President Barack Obama for failing to understand how private business works, and he pivoted to apply that criticism to the Texas governor. Perry has essentially been a career politician, serving 11 years in the Governor's mansion and as Lt. Governor to then-Gov. George W. Bush before that.

"I've learned how the economy works and I believe that skill is what the nation is looking for," Romney said, continuing his strategy of highlighting his business credentials in a race that will hinge on the economic slump.

Perry narrowly beat Romney as a write-in candidate at the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa this weekend - a competition both candidates bypassed - prompting questions about the stability of Romney's frontrunner status.

Perry, a tea party darling who is pursuing both social and fiscal conservatives in his bid for the White House, touted his jobs record in Texas at events over the weekend.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire • Rick Perry
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. needNewGov

    Let's see. Didn't Romney fire loads of people when he was so involved with business? What a background to run on. But then again, it does seem to be the GOP platform.

    August 15, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. It all sounds so nerdy...

    We were listening to Rick Perrys' annoucement on 8/13/11 "I'm running for President"...A Texan once more who seems to be made
    from the same cloth as George W...a bit nerdy!.....Give us a break this man..nor Romney or Bachmann exude really
    Leadership-confidence...no more than Pres Obama at this juncture...!

    August 15, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  3. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Let's see. Didn't Romney fire loads of people when he was so involved with business? What a background to run on. But then again, it does seem to be the GOP platform.
    =================================================================================================
    The standard spew from clueless libtards that have never run a business. In order for a business to survive there are times when you need to reduce expenses (unlike the government we can't print money to get by) and unfortunately that means letting people go as that is usally the biggest expense in a business. I suppose you would prefer the other alternative, which is to keep everybody and have the company go bankrupt so EVERYBODY could lose their jobs?

    August 15, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  4. thomas

    ENRON / PERRY 2012

    Mitt , 5 sons , no military service !

    Two of a kind !

    August 15, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. fayse

    Neither one of these men are for the common man or woman. Romney is all about himself and Perry is pandering to the right wing, radical, extremists in the Tea Party. The Tea party and the GOP are not the majority. Any person elected to the office of the Presidency must be for ALL of the people.

    August 15, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  6. PhilipJames

    Rick Perry is a Tea Party darling? Are you friggin nuts... is this the LSM meme now? Perry is NOT a Tea Party darling. Just wait and see about that one. Typical idiotic, ignorant comment by a liberal dolt.

    August 15, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  7. markfromdover

    Romney is GREAT for business...if your business is in China or Mexico.

    August 15, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    The last "businessman" we had for POTUS was a complete and utter disaster. The name of that President was George W. Bush, who ran in 2000 on his business record and executive experience. It was his business record that convinced people he might know what he was doing.

    We know how well that worked out. He enacted policies to help business and kicked the people to the curb, while destroying the economy in the process. How Bush was able to destroy the economy while making it possible for businesses to turn record profits is pure genius. Bush was an idiot savant.

    August 15, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. coy4one

    Romey is right about this. Perry only has been successful in Texas because he is riding on the oil and medical industries who have been booming for the past 10 years. It is not because Perry had to do anything with it. It is because of high oil prices and the Houston Medical Center of which leads the world in medical achievements. But Perry will use this. Keep in mind, Texas also leads the nation in outsourced jobs to foreign countries.

    August 15, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. Bill

    Romney will never be president. End of story.

    August 15, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  11. Mike

    Vote for Perry. This country needs more minimum wage jobs. But does this country really need another loser governor from Texas running this country?

    August 15, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  12. Too Bad

    @needNewGov: Bain Capital bought hundreeds of businesses during Romney's time. Yes, he did close down some which were losing money, but he also created ten's of thousands of jobs with those companies Bain did not close down. Make sure you get all the information straight and tell the whole story.

    August 15, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  13. dirtygopfleabaggers

    Romney is going to get his ass kicked by the Guy from Texas. The battle of two matinee stiffs, What a great country this is. Sorry mittens, but you're magic underwear will not help you make it to the general. If the dirty, lying Texan can't stop you.., good luck with in campaign mode Democrat.

    August 15, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  14. EatRunDive

    But Romney's business experience, firing workers, is the same as Perry's political experience, firing workers.

    August 15, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. Biggge

    Buffett to Congress: Don't 'coddle' me....... Again why are we giving tax breaks to the wealhy.. Yeah it seems President Obama was right on this issue.....He can't get any help fromn the GOP House of Rep...

    August 15, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  16. Joe Mair- Small business owner of 30 years who has always paid his bills

    -goverment does not need to be run like a business. it needs to be run like a family .just like you invest in your kids knowing you want get much back but that the next generation will be better

    August 15, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  17. eciam

    GOP, a garden party of hypocrites!
    OBAMA 2012

    August 15, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    I just don't think the American public is buying what Romney is selling. The guy was beaten by McCain for heaven's sake!

    August 15, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  19. Malty

    The top 6 republican candidates are all better than Obama. Obama has made a mess of the economy over the past 2 years. His policies are ideologically driven rather than US driven.

    Romney is correct, he has public experience (running a state: MA), private experience (running businesses) and even helped make the 2002 Olympics a success. We need a private sector candidate in the White House. Romney in 2012.

    Perry isn't bad. Romney is just better.

    August 15, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. Big Al

    Listen here all Americans, only Rick Perry can deliver us from evil!

    It is now time to put the "theory of evolution" in the closet. It is completely false. We came from Adam and Eve.

    August 15, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  21. willie

    Rick perry needs to be back in texas trying to save lignite coal mine which employs a large percentage of citizens of tx this new enviromental is going to create a loss in jobs in texas we are scared here texas wheres rick perry in another state pres.obama i have been a big supporter but this new epa law is going to destroy coal mining in texas please do something about it cause rick perry isnt

    August 15, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  22. wil

    Would LOVE to have someone in the media press candidate Romney on HIS "job creating experience"? When he was running Bain Capital, exactly how many jobs did he CREATE v DESTROY?

    August 15, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Oh that's right, Mitt ... What the country needs is decisive leader like you!! Somebody who knows how to create jobs (like you have in other countries) and is out front on the issues (like you were on the debt ceiling debate...) Well.. maybe not so much... But you sure can sit on the sidelines and criticize (without skin in the game...)
    And YOU'RE certainly not what this country needs!

    August 15, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Into whose pocket has all of these trillions of dollars gone over the past decade?

    August 15, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  25. ChiTownArkie

    Romney lecturing on business. Really? Isn't this the same man that had almost the entire workforce of Bain fired before he became CEO because he didn't want it on his watch? Isn't this the same man that as governor was 47th in the country for job creation? Romney lecturing on business. Really?

    August 15, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
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