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. Tom

    He is going to be the nominee. The only other candidate with the money to keep up is Perry, and he is nothing more than a hot-headed, contentious child, and he stands no chance in a heads-up race with Romney. Those of you who say Romney has no chance are, for lack of a better term, completely ignorant of the current political state. Not only is he the all-but-inevitable GOP nominee, but he will be a very tough challenge for Obama. That has to be conceded as objective fact, whether you like Romney or not. With Obama's high disapproval rating, and Romney's centrist appeal, it will be a very tight race.

    October 21, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  2. Russ in Md

    @GI Joe / Dominican mama : Don't forget to give 50% of your winnings to the federal government and another 30% to your state government and also lets not forget the local City and County taxes so all those union teachers can get paid. That’ll be about 15%. That will leave you about 5 percent of you lottery left. Maybe you can by a beer and a song in the jut box. Remember, Tax the rich, they can afford it.

    October 21, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  3. John

    And there a good chance you won't. You Republican and a lot of American People are for getting that you the Republican are the reason that America Is In the trouble that It In Now, and now you the Republican won't even try and help the President get America out of trouble. All you keep saying Is No and getting pay for It. And Keep saying It there job to make sure the President Is only a one term President , But why they are doing this they are letting America and the American people down. You Republican ran on JOBS In 2010 and won Control of the House , well what happen to the JOBS. You people are Blaming the wrong person for they are no JOBS.

    October 21, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. Steven Bannister

    The Left is utterly clueless, they simply do not understand that Obama is controlled by the same strings that control the Republicans. Obama is 100% Wall Street all the way.

    October 21, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  5. Lynn

    Romney supports cut, cap and balance. He wants more money allocated for defense. He supports Ryan's voucher plan for Medicare. He is in the Republican camp of never raising taxes. Just exactly how do you propose to support infrastructure, for example, without the funding? Once the media starts to do its job and actually reveal some of Romney's policies, we'll see where he stands with voters.

    October 21, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  6. Ted van Tol

    Police man and woman, fire-fighters and teachers know how to vote the next time, evenso the ones who got healthcare and certainly the seniors of this country. All combined Barack will do a very good job to be elected for his second term.
    Meanwhile most Republican congress an senate man and woman will lose there chairs. After that we can see America's economy grow again, will two wars come to an end America continues her restored moral standard in this world.

    btw: I am very sure the Arabic spring began after Obama's adress to the Arabic world. The youth felt his support and took action. He deserve the credit for that one alsoo!

    Yes, I am a diehard Obamafan since I heard his first speech at the DNC in 2004.

    Ted van Tol The Netherlands

    October 21, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  7. Katy

    While the Republicans are arguing about who used illegal aliens to mow their lawns, our great President Obama is doing presidential things. Like getting bin Laden. Like creating a new way of handling issues like Libya. Like trying to help the middle class. Anyone who would vote to put back into office the party that trashed this country for 8 years needs a check up from the neck up.

    October 21, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. Republican for Obama

    Yes Mitt, you are running for office! No illegals!

    Blow the smoke

    October 21, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. FactCheck

    Don't worry... he's such a flip-flopper that tomorrow he'll say that he has no shot at becoming President.

    October 21, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  10. Dan

    The liberal media love Romney, for now. They figure of all the candidates Romney is the most liberal. Guess they figure when Obama is out in 2012 they want a RINO in in the White House so the liberal media will give Romney a pass for now, but when it comes down to the wire they'll tear him apart.

    October 21, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  11. Woman In California

    Not if I have anything to do with it.

    October 21, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. CharloEllis

    Yeah, and I have some lottery tickets from two weeks ago I would like to sell you.

    October 21, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  13. Dennis

    Romney has a grasp of economic issues that Obama simply doesn't have. This election will be about the economy. If Romney can win the nomination, I think he has an excellent chance of being elected.

    October 21, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  14. Widobberman

    Ironically, infrastructure is a very small part of Obama's 2nd stimulus plan- nowhere near a 'central' component. Ironically, this reporter could not even get that simple fact straight. Ironically, if we rely on a single news source for our information. this country will be doomed to another 4 years of Obama Hope and Change. Come on Shannon, do your job.

    October 21, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    @Dan:

    The liberal media does'nt need to tear him apart, his own party is doing a good enough job of that right now. As long as he keeps making these arrogant statements that show he's already measuring the drapes in the Oval Office, he's fair game. Also, considering his government experience is even more limited than Sarah Palin's, it begs the question as to how he can even retain the 25% support ( give or take a few points) he consistently shows. He does not have a clue as to how real people live, and telling unemploed people that "..corporations are people" will not win him additional support. Do you want a president by default?

    October 21, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  16. Eddy

    Most of these people who are making fun of Romney, do it because they're either ignorant about issues or simply because they dislike anything that has to do with Republicans. Although I dislike Republicans and Democrats alike, I try to find something good in the person that would make me want to support such individual. I vote for the person, not the party, and although I supported Obama for certain proposals that involved regulatory changes to the banking system, the Frank/Dodd bill put into law is a disaster. How do we put in charge of such important regulatory committee two of the biggest idiots and cheats we have in congress? That's just pathetic. Now, we criticize Romney because he seems to be saying similar things as Obama, but he's not. He's saying, yes let's fix the infrastructure, but let's not get in debt to do it. Let's have the sound financial habit to budget for it or to involve the private sector to help us out. Don't just be partisan just because. Stop the bickering and let's try to agree on something that works. How did Americans become so stupid like the Europeans? When in the world did that happen?

    October 21, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  17. Aviate

    Let me get this straight. Romney was for the individual mandate and said Romneycare could be the model for America, until Obama passed the ACA. Then he even changed the paperback version of his book to rewrite the past. He says he's for rebuilding our infrastructure, but then attacks the President's jobs bill which is about, among other things, improving our infrastructure. He's a hard-liner on immigration policy, but the only reason he doesn't employ illegal aliens is because "I'm running for office for pete's sake." He was staunchly pro-choice and pro gay rights, until the moment when he became passionately opposed to them both. Other than defending the inalienable rights of corporations and protecting the wealth of multi-millionaires like himself, does Romney actually have any beliefs or principles? The answer seems to be no.

    October 21, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  18. CharloEllis

    Mitt just can't find the love. Although up their in the polls we find major news sources backing off support because it is so trendy. He isn't even Tea Party so how in the world will he get elected and the Mormon issue is always a thorn in his side which he doesn't find defending. I think it is easier for Mitt to flip flop than defend anything. Maybe he could make some really wild campaign promises just to win votes. It worked for the Bush family.

    October 21, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  19. TEAliban/TEAhadists

    The Left is utterly clueless, they simply do not understand that Obama is controlled by the same strings that control the Republicans. Obama is 100% Wall Street all the way.
    -----------------------------------------------–
    True! Money needs to stay out of politics. But until that changes, I'm sticking with the lesser of the two evils. God forbid if Willard get's into the White House. He'll let Wall St. run amuck.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012
    E. WARREN 2012

    October 21, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  20. Matt

    Won't happen. If the GOP is foolish enough to nominate a guy who can't get above 25% in his own party, he will lose the general election, just like McCain. Don't say I didn't warn you.

    October 21, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Russ in Md

    @GI Joe / Dominican mama : Don't forget to give 50% of your winnings to the federal government and another 30% to your state government and also lets not forget the local City and County taxes so all those union teachers can get paid. That’ll be about 15%. That will leave you about 5 percent of you lottery left. Maybe you can by a beer and a song in the jut box. Remember, Tax the rich, they can afford it.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Okay.
    So.....what's your point?

    October 21, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  22. Kathleen Farrell

    I'm sick of these clowns saying the stimulous didn't work. Imagine what would have happened if GM and Chrysler – and all the support industries – collapsed. With them would have gone all the businesses that workers patronize. The domino effect would have been catastrophic.

    October 21, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  23. Wordsworth

    Wishful

    That's just wishful thinking Romney. You wish you had the chance to impose Romneycare on ALL Americans, like you did in Massachusetts.

    A flipflopper like you can never be elected as president. Give up trying!

    October 21, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  24. closetiguana

    A better shot than the rest of the field. I think the Republican party will eventually look past his "socialized healthcare". Godforbid Americans would want to fix America's sad state of healthcare.

    October 21, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. mark

    "Ironically, that is one central component of the president’s jobs bill." So much for unbiased reporting.

    October 21, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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