Romney: ‘There’s a good shot I might become the next president’
October 20th, 2011
10:01 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney: ‘There’s a good shot I might become the next president’

Treynor, Iowa (CNN) – Mitt Romney on Thursday said he has a "good shot" at becoming president.

At an economic roundtable of business leaders in Treynor, Iowa, the candidate began the question-and-answer session by saying: “Your topics are at your choosing. But there’s a good shot I might become the next president of the United States. It’s not a sure thing, but it’s a good shot.”

Romney continued: “And if I am, I will benefit by having heard from you, your thoughts about what we can do better to encourage your enterprise, or enterprise generally, both on a short-term basis and long term.”

His meeting with business leaders was his second stop of the day in Iowa. Earlier, he campaigned in Sioux City. And after the economic roundtable, Romney met with voters at the Chamber of Commerce in Council Bluffs.

Though Romney has done scant campaigning in the Hawkeye State during this political cycle – this was his first visit since August – polls for Iowa have shown him either leading or maintaining a strong showing.

During his appearances, the former Massachusetts governor waded into myriad issues.

For example, in Treynor, Romney sounded familiar criticism of the Obama administration. “I’m concerned that our current leadership in Washington doesn’t have a fundamental understanding of how our economy works,” he said.

The candidate also reiterated his opposition to the president’s $447 billion jobs bill.

“He’s promoting a stimulus bill,” Romney said. “Look, the first one he put in place three years ago didn’t work. I don’t know why we’d vote for another one. Or agree to another one.”

Though Romney blasted the president’s plan - he did speak glowingly about the need to improve the nation's deteriorating infrastructure. Ironically, that is one central component of the president’s jobs bill.

It happened after Romney received a question from a man in the audience who said he spent most of his work life in the highway contracting industry.

“The first stimulus bill, we built a lot of stimulus projects,” the man said. “As you know, they were a flash in the pan. Now we’re back to the way it was before. I guess one problem we have in our industry is not constant funding of that.”

The man then asked Romney: “I just want to know what your views were on infrastructure, maintenance and development?”

“One of the things you have to have for an economy to work is an ample infrastructure,” Romney responded. “And our infrastructure is antiquated."

Romney continued: “I know in my state of Massachusetts, when I came in they told me we had 550 structurally deficient bridges. I said, ‘You gotta be kidding me. Five hundred and fifty structurally deficient bridges?’ And so we doubled our budget to work on our bridges, from $100 million a year to $200 million a year. But we got a lot more to do in this country to bring our infrastructure up to speed. And I’m looking at a series of proposals, to find ways – whether through public/private partnerships, whether through a special series of revenue streams such as tolls and so forth, to be able to make the investment we’ve got to make in our infrastructure.”

The candidate added: “We’ve got to find a way to rebuild our bridges, to rebuild the roads that were built in the 1950s and 1960s under the Eisenhower interstate highway system, and we’re going to have to improve many of our infrastructure projects.”

That language is not far off from language the president has recently used to promote his jobs plan.

For example, on September 22, Obama visited an old bridge spanning Ohio and Kentucky to talk about the nation’s deteriorating infrastructure.

"There's no reason to stand in the way of more jobs," the president said. "Mr. [House Speaker John] Boehner, Mr. [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell, help us rebuild this bridge. Help us rebuild America. Help us put this country back to work. Pass this jobs bill right away."

At other times, the president also has pushed the need to rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

Follow Shannon Travis on twitter: @ShanTravisCNN


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Jobs • Mitt Romney
soundoff (254 Responses)
  1. a in austin

    Funny how he agrees with the man asking the question but not the president who is pushing the same jobs bill. Flip flop, flip flop....

    October 21, 2011 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  2. demogal

    Oh, great. Instead of taxes to keep up roads and bridges, he will charge us tolls! Again, stick it to the working people. Rich guy like Romney don't worry about getting to work; he won't have to pay the tolls.

    October 21, 2011 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  3. Jill-IN

    The only problem with the first stimulus bill is that it was too small. If Congress in 2009 had faced up to the true depth of the economic depression that the big banks and Wall Street had pushed us to, and if they had the interests of the American people and our country first at heart, then perhaps we would have heard the true story and perhaps they would have done the right thing then and passed an adequate stimulus bill. Many many young people in this country are cobbling together 2 or 3 jobs to try and make ends meet, feed their little children and hope and pray they can make it through this. It is unconscionable to me that the Senate would not pass the Jobs Bill or even a smaller version of it last night. Shame on them. Shame on Mitch McConnell, Eric Cantor, and John Boehner. And Romney, you are touting the same ideas our President is so what makes the ideas different if they come from you? You are an actor.

    October 21, 2011 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  4. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    I see nothing that Romney can do better than the current President.

    October 21, 2011 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  5. Angela A

    He has a possibility, yes, but then so did McCain. It is obvious Romney's party just in not that excited about him. Moreover, he is awkward and tends to come across as completely clueless about what is going on with everyday Americans. Obama is vulnerable, but still formidible. To win, Romney is going to have to overcome some major obstacles and I am not sure he can do that.

    October 21, 2011 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    “One of the things you have to have for an economy to work is an ample infrastructure,” Romney responded. “And our infrastructure is antiquated."
    ----------------–
    Gov. Romney, how would you have voted on the recent jobs bill that was up for vote before the Senate today? What about the upcoming Democratic jobs bill in the Senate for infrastructure?

    October 21, 2011 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  7. Scot

    I would votefor you Mitt but you have baggage ! The baggage you carry is those radical right wing folks in congress that want to dismantle any part of the federal government and you will be held hostage. So I will have to pass this time unless we get more folks that are moderate in the congress !

    October 21, 2011 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Yes, right after I win the Lotto Flip-Flop Mittens.

    October 21, 2011 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  9. Cumulonimbus

    Although Romney and Obama suggest similar interest in improving infrastructure, a key difference is how they suggest it should be funded. Romney suggests that users should pay some of the bill (i.e., tolls), or public/private partnerships (for example., a corporation could "sponsor" a bridge to reduce costs to the government). The president's plan would require increases in taxes on the wealthy. Both want similar outcomes for our infrastructure. Both clearly understand our Nation's infrastructure needs. As a moderate, I hope that some middle ground for the financing can be found (the best of both worlds), but I have little hope of such progress in today's political climate. I like BOTH Obama and Romney, and would be happy with either as president, as long as they show some flexibility to make things work for the future.

    October 21, 2011 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  10. michael

    i have a good shot is what he said. well that just fills me with confidence that he has a burning desire and the confidence to lead. usually one has a good shot at getting laid. i think romney is afraid to offend people and therefore he will LOSE because he only has a shot at it.

    October 21, 2011 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  11. once upon a horse

    OMG I really hope not. This guy can't make up his mind one way or another as a candidate.

    October 21, 2011 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  12. diridi

    Seems he is going to Astrology school...ha....Obama2012.

    October 21, 2011 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  13. Buster Bloodvessel

    There's also a measurable chance that I will become President of the United States instead of Mitt. In fact, we have about an equal chance.

    October 21, 2011 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  14. mcflorida

    What does he stand for again? oh yea, depends on the day and the crowd, my bad.

    October 21, 2011 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  15. Patty

    OK, candidate Romney and all you others...since you have the answers, why withhold them. You are all a bunch of whining children. Do-nothing candidates. At least we have a President who TRIES to do something only to be blocked by Republicans who just want to be back in power. Republicans are not for the people...they are for themselves.

    October 21, 2011 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  16. A. C.

    Like i said Romney goes where the poltical wind blows. Talks about the how bad the Jobs bill is but states we need to improve infrastructure. If I am not mistaken that is what the President is trying to do in his bill.

    October 21, 2011 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  17. Florida Joe

    So tired ot these Repub Robots repeating the same crap..."the first stimulus didn't work"
    How do they expect to be taken seriously if they just keep spreading the lie? Truth is if we didn't have obstructionist Repub Gov's like Scott in Florida refusing the funds for high speed rail and 2000 jobs only to make Obama look bad we'd be far better off. And this clown Romney thinks we should have foreclosed on everyone and let the investers buy the home and then RENT THEM to the people. That's the Repub vision of the future, let the rich prosper and to heck with the middle class...don't even think of owning your own home JUST BE A RENTER and be glad they are letting you live.......
    this from the party of deregulation that claused this financial mess!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 21, 2011 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  18. mattski

    Repubs PLEASE nominate someone I can vote for.

    October 21, 2011 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  19. Don

    Yeah when the rapture comes later today, he (and Huntsman) will be the only Republicans left on eatth.

    October 21, 2011 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  20. opbilly

    the only reason the furst stimulus didnt work is because the if right repeats it enough it becomes truth to their followers. ask the folks that it kept working and put to work and they'll tell u it worked. not all of it of course worked but it was the shot that had to be taken at that time. and if the right would have truly tried to help the working class, it would have had even better success. dont worry. we remember who tried to help and who didnt. thats why you are trying to downplay the occupy wall street as street mobs to try to believe that they are not valid. problem is, for you, is that these are actually people who pay attention and educate themselves and they are going to have a big say in the future. you have lived off the uneducated trailer parkers for too long.

    October 21, 2011 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  21. Captain Obvious

    Of course he has a shot, he's the only GOP candidate that's not bat-crap crazy. He's the only GOP candidate that might get a real portion of the independent voters.

    October 21, 2011 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  22. Lynda/Minnesota

    We begin with:

    "the candidate began the question-and-answer session by saying: “Your topics are at your choosing. But there’s a good shot I might become the next president of the United States. It’s not a sure thing, but it’s a good shot.”

    Hinting that all these Q & A sessions are a waste of the future "President" Romney's precious time, or simply a condescending arrogance that the future "President" Romney ought not to be required to answer questions at all, but in an effort to show HIS good will towards the little people, he will, indeed, stoop to their level of foolishness?

    And moving on to:

    “I’m concerned that our current leadership in Washington doesn't have a fundamental understanding of how our economy works,” he said."

    And then went on to discuss (gasp) the exact same concerns and plans President Obama has been discussing for 3 years now: crumbling infrastructure.

    How original of Romney to decry President Obama "infrastructure" as wasted stimulus ... while at the same time promoting Romney "infrastructure" as job creation.

    Quite the weasel, is Mitt Romney.

    October 21, 2011 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  23. Dave

    Wow. Talk about counting your chickens before they hatch!!!
    Do a research on Mitten's arrogant temper tantrum when he tried to convince a woman not to have an abortion because going to term would have killed her AND the baby. Then he later flipped his "deeply held" views on abortion when it was politically convenient and it would get him into office. This was back when he was a "bishop" in the mormon "church"

    October 21, 2011 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  24. Louis in Wisc.

    Which of the Right wing Tea Party nuts are going to throw their $ towards a "CULT" person in the election, my guess none there are none of the Republican canditates out there right now that can beat Obama...

    October 21, 2011 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  25. John

    not on your life, Mitt. You will NOT be the next president.

    October 21, 2011 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
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