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

    Romney is adding a full tank of hot air to keep his ego company.

    Romney's "business" experience is the reason why he should not get the WH. He keeps bringing his business experience up as a positive–can't wait until the questions are non stop about his corprate raiding. Perry is Bush in lone star cufflinks–and it's going to be hard to separate himself from the religious foolishness that is a replica of Bush–no brains, but a religious man who thinks praying is the answer–NOT. Michelle Bachmann is just a plain fool, and Ed Rollins is also a fool for getting into bed with her. What a load–as I said somewhere before, it's not the leader that we need to change–it's congress.

    August 15, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. vet in texas

    the hatred the right has created for Obama the 44 th president is allowing them to nominate 3 complete frauds based on their records, and previous actions.........all 3 should be unelectable in the eyes of the tea party but they can't seem to see this.

    Romney is a mandater (Romneycare) and is against your liberties so he should be out
    Perry is a mandater (teenage HPV vaccine) and a land taker, which is against liberty so he should be out also
    Bachmann has taken hundreds of thousands of tax payer monies for her own private enterprises as well as requested millions in stimulus and pork so she isn't fiscally conservative, just says she is, so she should be out
    Paul just advocated Iran should have nuclear weapons so he should be out.

    Who is the legitimate candidate left based on your REAL values, or did your REAL values actually exist, all of your last presidents didn't show them. they either spent trillions, raised taxes, weakened defense, or all of the above, when are people going to wake up from this dream and face reality?

    August 15, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  3. edpeters101

    "Weird" and the "Evangelist", How to choose between the two. One creates minimum jobs (and cripples education) and the other breaks apart companies (after getting rid of the workers). Tough choice, happily there is the "Minnesota cuckoo bird" to make sure women are submissive and dictate how everybody else should live. Choices, choices, choices! Oh yeah and they all think the US should default on paying for the bills congress has passed. Is this a screw-ed up country or what...

    August 15, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. Shirley In California

    I wouldn't vote for either one of these jerks but I'm glad Perry is in the race to expose Romney for the lying fraud he is.

    August 15, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. GOP hates Middle Class

    Willard, king of the pink slip - profits before people Romney taking Dick indentured servitude jobs Perry to task.

    August 15, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. Indy

    Romney as Governor had one of the worst job creation records out there and he could not even find a job for himself let alone anyone else. He is not even smart enough to understand that tax loopholes need to be closed and revenue needs to be increased to help solve the deficit.

    August 15, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  7. don

    Quick. Somebody tell me when the last time Mitt had a real job?

    August 15, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. Fair is Fair

    "Give us a break this man..nor Romney or Bachmann exude really more than Pres Obama at this juncture...!"
    Are you kidding? Really???

    Obama has shown zero – I repeat ZERO – in the leadership category. Zippedy-doo-dah ZILCH.

    August 15, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. Liz the First

    When are people going to learn that experience in business doesn't mean squat when it comes to being a good president or congressman? business people are used to giving orders and having them followed. that works in business. it doesn't work in government, unless you're running for dictator. oh, wait, that's what the repubs are running for.

    August 15, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  10. Publius Novus

    1. There are two economies. The micro-economy and the macro-economy. The principles of one do not necessarily apply to the other. Mr. Mittens knows, or should know this.

    2. Mr. Mittens has some familiarity with the micro-economy. Mr. Mittens successfully increased Bain Capital's bottom line by slashing jobs. Elimination of labor costs by job cutting goes directly to the bottom line in the micro-economy of a business and it is the easiest and most efficient way of bumping up a company's bottom line.

    3. The U.S. economy, like all national economies, is a macro-economy. Slashing jobs does nothing to increase the "bottom line" of a macro-economy. In fact, slashing jobs makes a macro-economy worse.

    4. Most people familiar with economics understand the foregoing principles as one aspect of the "Paradox of Thrift." Simply put, saving money in too many micro-economies will adversely impact the macro-economy composed of the micro-economies.

    5. Is Mr. Mittens familiar with the Paradox of Thrift and the difference between the two types of economies? If he is, then he is a deceptive and prevaricating politician who speaks with a forked tongue. If he doesn't, then he is not sufficiently versed in economics to be president.

    August 15, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. patNY

    When he was gov of MA, that state was 47th in job growth.

    August 15, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  12. s

    Romney has expierence making millions for corporations at the expense of common people beause he is a yellow belly investment banker. He has no idea how to run a country and cannot be trusted cuz he is a flip flop phony.

    August 15, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. Jilli

    Romney's better at destroying jobs than his republican counterparts? He made his money dismantling companies and killing jobs. That's something he wants respect for? In this economic environment? HA!!

    August 15, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    True...most of his rivals only have experience killing American jobs by selling conservative ideological nonsense while in Congress or other gov't positions. Romney killed jobs from the private sector and that's something TRULY special.

    August 15, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  15. Anonymous


    Romney invested, or provided money to run business, to neraly 100 businesses when he was at Bain Capital. Some of the ventures didn't work, some did. Sounds to me like he helped sustain more jobs that way.

    August 15, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. Choose wisely

    Disappointment in President Obama's job performance may cause voters to consider other options. Voters should choose wisely. As a native Texan, choosing Rick Perry over President Obama is like swapping the witch for the devil.

    August 15, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  17. Doc

    The only thing I see separating the two is that Mitt, although proud of his religion, is not having pray-a-thons on the taxpayers dime for the evangelical Christians. Perry better embrace separation of church and state if he even wants to come close to me voting for him.

    August 15, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. Tillie in Texas

    Here's the problem with believing leading America is like running a business – when you run a business, profit is the bottom line. Always.
    When you lead America, it's all about We The People.

    Presidents must face geopolitical issues, poverty, long term affects of natural disasters, infrastructure, national security, global economics, hell, even PIRATES for cryin' out loud.

    All this takes a type of person who can multi-task and handle pressure. The abilty to know what questions to ask, who to ask, and most importantly, to ask "what do I not know about this that I should?" is paramount. EGO need not apply. It takes a special person to deal with life and death choices everyday, but any idiot can lay off workers and sell off a company to make max profits. See Mitt Romney, Jack Welch, etc...

    Taxes are the price we pay for living in a civil and 1st world society. The Tea People (who are NOT in the top 400 wealthiest families in the US) have some nerve complaining that, after all the deductions, the wealthy may have to pay another $40.00 per $1000.000 over the $250,000.00.

    Gimme a break. We are in tough economic times. Everyone needs to sacrifice, not just the poor & working class Americans. Our Corporate Owned Congress allows large corporations to maintain a PO Box offshore to avoid paying taxes. Loopholes abound for the wealthy, but those of use who make less than $75K or $25K, get hit daily by increasing gas, food, clothing, etc...prices. That's basically additional taxes on necessary living expenses on those who can least afford it. A new Rolls for the wealthy is not a necessary living expense .

    If tax cuts created jobs, we'd be at 95% employment since 2003. Instead, 2 wars, an additional medicare plan, and all those Bush tax cuts were put on the credit card. I was screaming about not paying for it all then, and was called an un-American traitor. Where were the Tea People? Sitting at home, collecting their SS & medicare bennies, and some, spending like there would be no tomorrow. Guess what, folks... tommorrow came. It's here and we got problems that idealogical arguing won't resolve.

    There's a saying: Money doesn't solve your money problem – It's what you DO with the money that will solve the problem. This country needs to spend a ton of cash on rebuilding our infrastucture – electric, water, gas line etc... add solar and you have an entire country dedicated to decent paying jobs that cannot be outsourced by greedy CEOs. Not to mention it's a MAJOR national security issue.

    Corporate TeaPub sponsers (Koch Bros) hate the idea – no direct cash in their pockets. Americans will be able to save for retirement – which helps the SS situation, go to/send their kids to college – which benefits our society in every way, buy health insurance – which helps the medicaid situation, and adds to the tax base. Not to mention bring back the middle class and raise the poor up out of poverty too.

    THAT'S what America is all about – fairness in applying our laws to give ALL Americans the chance to live their American dream. The poor and working class Americans should not be treated as the enemy by professional lifelong politicians like Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, or people who have lived off the taxpayers like Michele & Marcus Bachmann most of their lives.

    It's really time to stop assuming that America can be run as a business. It can't.

    August 15, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  19. Tex71

    Romney has more experience than the other candidates in shipping jobs overseas, exploiting American workers, and generally sticking it to the little guy.
    With those credentials, the Tea Party might even forgive him for his hitherto unpardonable offense of providing basic needs like health care to the underprivileged rather than just throw the money at wealthy executives and investors.

    August 15, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  20. ted

    romney's business experience consists of closing businesses and laying off people, which Cisco and Merck are doing right now for about 20,000. Did Romney ever invent something and then build a business around it? Doubtful. He is a typical corporate type – gets paid a lot of money and bonuses and stock options while laying people off. He is way out of touch with normal Americans.
    Obama/Biden 2012

    August 15, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  21. Tex71

    That said, Romney seems basically sane, which is more than one can say for Perry or Bachmann; another point against Romney in winning the Tea Party vote.

    August 15, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  22. MiddleOfTheRoad

    "I've learned how the economy works and I believe that skill is what the nation is looking for," Romney said.

    Help me out, here. You mean the nation is looking to its government to help the economy?? I thought that was as simple as cutting taxes and spending, deregulating, and letting the free market do it's magic.

    August 15, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  23. Scott

    I would like for those of us who support President Obama, to not be riled by those wishing to insult our intelligence by speaking against the efforts of our president. It does us no good to get into the mud with pigs. They're already dirty and they like it there. You're the only one that stands to "get dirty".

    Yes. The polls will say that he's losing favor, but when was the last time you were counted in a poll?

    Please let your vote do your speaking. Let there be a strange silence until voting day when our movement will crack the skies as we pour into the polls to secure his second term. Don't pay attention to the negative rhetoric. Of course they're angry. He's not continuing the idiocy that THEY benefit from. Keep pressing toward the mark, and don't be distracted or provoked.

    August 15, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. Liberal Elite = Anyone with an education...

    Mitt – raiding companies and sending jobs overseas does not private sector business experience make. We don't need someone to send more American jobs overseas, thanks.

    August 15, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  25. Marie MD

    What business experience are you talking about romneycare? The business experience of buying US companies, firing American workers and sending those same American jobs out of the country? Just because your grandaddy left the US to wed four wives and fathered 30 illegitimate children doesn't mean you have to screw the American workers also!
    Why don't you go count your $100 bills!

    August 15, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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