Romney hits Obama's economic record despite improving jobs numbers
January 6th, 2012
09:33 AM ET
6 years ago

Romney hits Obama's economic record despite improving jobs numbers

Conway, South Carolina (CNN) - Friday's announcement that the unemployment rate had dropped to 8.5% did little to deter Mitt Romney from savaging President Barack Obama's handling of the economy.

"This president doesn't understand how the economy works," Romney announced at a campaign rally in South Carolina, just after the new numbers were released. "It's time to get a president who does."

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The economy added 200,000 jobs in the month, the Labor Department reported Friday, doubling the number of jobs added in November.

The 8.5% unemployment rate is now the lowest it's been since February 2009.

Romney made no mention of the new jobs numbers, but said Obama has failed to live up to the promises he made during the early days of his administration.

"He has failed to put American back to work," Romney said. "Remember it was early in his administration, he said, 'Look if you let me borrow $787 billion, why I will be able to keep unemployment from going above 8%. Well, it went past 8%, and it hasn't been back since, three years later."

Romney, taking a break from the New Hampshire primary race, was appearing at the second of two rallies in South Carolina with Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. John McCain, both of whom endorsed Romney.

The trio also campaigned in Charleston on Thursday.

As he eyes a win in the Jan. 21 primary, Romney is focusing much of his efforts on the South Carolina coast, where social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage are less important to Republicans than fiscal and military ones.

McCain, who won the South Carolina primary in 2008 on his way to the GOP nomination, predicted that Romney will win New Hampshire and then lock up the nomination here.

"He's going to win in New Hampshire and it's going to come down, my friends, as it always does, to South Carolina," McCain said. "If Mitt Romney wins here, he will be the next President of the United States."

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama • South Carolina
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Jules

    I hope the president will run ads with GW Bush and what he did to boost the economy alongside what the GOP is proposing. Then Americans can see that what the GOP is proposing is more of the same. Santorum spoke the GOP truth when he said there should be income inequality. He is not nuanced enough to see what the true inequaility is doing to this country. It is not a matter of some people earning more money than others – of course that is the way it should be and is going to be, however income equality deals with the growing numbers between the haves and the have nots. When those numbers reach the boiling point, there will be riots on the streets. We are forewarned so things need to be done to help build the middle class and that includes the very wealthy paying more in taxes for the opportunities they have had in this country.

    January 6, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  2. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    wonder why Mitt made NO mention of the new job numbers as he tried to hammer Obama on the economy? Is it possible he wanted to keep people in the dark that things might slowly be starting to get better? I would be willing to bet 10 grand though had the numbers been terrible he would have mentioned them.

    January 6, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  3. Myth Romney Million$$$ and his Super PACs Thug Could ONLY Buy him 8 extra Votes

    Ok Myth, the "corporations are people too, my friend!" guy, I'll see what you & your SUPER PACs attack dogs will say to president Obama when the unemployment number goes below 8%!

    BTW, Americans are still waiting to hear anything...I mean, can we hear something on Myth Romney's releasing his tax returns or economic plan, other than attacking the president and giving Tax Cuts to his Wall Street buddies and starting a new war with Iran!!!

    What is Myth Romney's economic plan...anyone?......I hear crickets!

    January 6, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  4. Four and The Door

    'Look if you let me borrow $787 billion, why I will be able to keep unemployment from going above 8%. Well, it went past 8%, and it hasn't been back since, three years later."
    Even worse has been the Democratic controlled Washington's impact on debt. For the 3 years Obama has been in office, America's national debt has increased from $9 trillion to over $ 16 trillion. This is an increase of about 80%. Prior to that, the last debt increase of 80% took 13 years. The trajectory of debt increase over the past 3 years has been ridiculous. This is the result of irresponsible out-of-control spending.

    January 6, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  5. A Repulbican

    Just like you thought you were going to be and Palin was going to be our next vice president! Please! We don't need nor want your predictions.

    January 6, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  6. mctampa

    Of course Romney made no mention of the improving job numbers or improving economy. Much better to lie! Release your income taxes willard so we can see how much you are paying in taxes, how much you want to bet not his fair share. Being able to afford the best lawyers and accountants sure go a long way to fraud!

    January 6, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  7. ruth

    romney is the biggest liar, arrogant, a flipflopper and a a crony capitalist and more. he is not to be trusted, he just wants to be president and will do or say anything that his republican establishment will tell him to do or say even though the truth is starring right in front of his eyes. he is such a low person who cannot see the good that obama has done., i hate him.

    January 6, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  8. indyreader

    The Republicans are treacherous enough to know that Obama will be unbeatable if the unemployment rate falls steadily between now and November, and power-crazed enough to not care about hurting the American public in general by doing something about it – that's why they've been balking and resisting, "recessing" and filibustering, and doing their damnedest to not let Obama get ANYthing done.
    What was Bush's approval rating in late 2004 when he narrowly prevailed over Kerry? (I don't say "beat" 'cos that sounds like too fair-and-square a victory, and that election may not have been,...)
    What's Obama's approval rating now? I think it's higher than Bush's was back then.
    Have the Republicans come up with anyone better than – no, even approaching the mediocre level of goodness of – Kerry? Not even close.

    January 6, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  9. kakaraka

    Really? The GOP promised jobs at last elections? Where are the jobs? Instead of helping this president create jobs, they fillibuster and kill all jobs bills proposed by the president. Now, they crying again about jobs. Mitten, ask your fellow retublican senators, where are the jobs they promised? They obstructed all the economic and jobs creation measures proposed by the President. In spite of all these, the economy is growing again slowly but surely. Obama2012

    January 6, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  10. Stop the Charade

    Mitt, please explain how the economy works and how a President can get anything done when the minority party in Congress obstructs every initiative on the basis of winning the next election rather than doing the job that they were lected for – to do the best for the nation, not themselves.

    January 6, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  11. billy

    Blah blah blah, nothing Romney says means anything because he will say anything.

    January 6, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  12. LegendRx

    Romney is an idiot who continue to ignore the facts as he continue his campaign stomping on lies. What does this say about the character of his supporters? Clearly he is not a man of integrity and honor. What happened to the republican party?

    January 6, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  13. Sandy

    Romney keeps touting that he's been in the private sector, but he's never run a business so how does this private sector job help him any more than someone working in the public sector? It doesn't!

    January 6, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. Debra from Georgia

    Apparently he understands how the economy works, 200000 jobs creation. Thank you Mr President for your services.

    January 6, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  15. Just make it up

    Don't aske Mitt to change his script... he has been practicing it for 3 years now, without his script he is lost. I am looking forward to Obama questioning Mitt about where he gets his facts... because Mitt will look lost, give a dumb smile and look forward and ignore the question.

    January 6, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  16. Georgia Joe

    I truly believe Mitt Romney is the one who doesn't understand how the economy works. His experience is operating in a world of leveraged buyouts and finance. He has never run a business or actually held a job that produces something. He's a money changer who invested other people's money to make more money, if they actually produced a product or created a job that was OK too, but that was not the motivation.

    January 6, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  17. Keyser Soze

    Willard, so sorry that the American people do not want a plutocracy. That along with your stunning propensity to flip-flop and be completely ignorant of the 99% will be reasons why you will never be POTUS.

    January 6, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  18. bc runner

    He is beginning to sound like a parrot. Does not matter that the employment numbers are gettint better. Has not offered one idea to add jobs.

    January 6, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  19. ThinkAgain

    "This president doesn't understand how the economy works," Romney announced at a campaign rally in South Carolina, just after the new numbers were released. "It's time to get a president who does."

    Well, do duh! C'mon folks, let's all embrace Romney-nomics:

    1. Make millions breaking up American companies, laying off American workers and outsourcing American jobs.

    2. Give more tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires so they can continue using the extra cash to create jobs overseas where labor is cheap and environmental regulations don't exist.

    3. Let the foreclosure crisis play itself out, so folks can lose their biggest investment, "deserving" investors can buy up their houses cheap and then rent them back to the original owners.

    4. De-regulate the financial industry, knowing that the market always "corrects" itself.

    5. Don't invest in infrastructure, education or renewable energy; instead, give that money to the rich in terms of further tax cuts (see above as to what happens to that extra cash).

    6. Start a war with Iran, because we all know that a healthy bottom line for the military industrial complex is all that really matters.

    January 6, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  20. GI Joe

    Romney did create job - in India and China.

    January 6, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  21. Gop party of NO

    RNC and Romney wouldn't give Pres. Obama credit if unemployment went to zero! They will deceive, distort, twist the facts to try to bring down the president. In the past that would have been treason. Repubs wouldn't know the truth if it slapped them. I still have faith in the american people to pick the best person to lead this country--Pres. Obama.

    January 6, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  22. Donkey Party

    How can the right-wingers utter such garbage, when they have obstructed every single effort the President has made to help the economy? Also, in 2010, the GOP-baggers ran on a "jobs, jobs, jobs" platform, yet they haven't introduced a single bill to create jobs. The GOP-baggers have willfully and knowingly done everything they could to stagnate the economy in hopes of making the President a one-termer. The GOP-baggers should be shot for contempt and treason against the USA.

    January 6, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. exoffender

    Yeah Romney, because if you become president, there will suddenly be 5 million more jobs on Feb 1, 2013, right??

    January 6, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  24. American

    The look on Romney's face says it all..."Huh?"

    Employment numbers are improving for Americans, and Romney still complains about it. Ridiculous double-speak from a typical politician...

    January 6, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  25. SiriusVH

    During Bush’s eight years in office – January 2001 to January 2009, the nation gained a net 1.09 million jobs (because there were gains in government jobs, the private sector actually lost 653,000 jobs during that period, mostly due to outsourcing to China and India). For comparison, from January 1993 to January 2001, under Clinton, the nation gained 22.7 million total jobs.

    From August 2003 to January 2008, employment grew by 6.3%, this was the weakest expansion since WWII (in contrast, from the end of WWII to February 2001, the average employment expansion had been a gain of 17.8%).
    Source: Bureau of Labor statistics, Monthly Labor Review, April 2011, vol. 134, no 4

    The low rate of job creation during the years 2003-2008 is significant in one particular aspect: these are the years right after the enactment of the Bush tax cuts. What the data shows is that the tax cuts did not really create many jobs.

    Of course, we all know that in July 2005, new home sales peaked. By January 2006, housing starts had begun to decline. The economy (officially) entered a recession in December 2007. From October 2008 through March 2009, the economy lost 712,000 jobs each month, on average. This was the most severe 6-month period of job losses since 1945, when the war was ending. By February 2010, employment had declined by 8.75 million jobs, relative to its pre-recession peak (January 2008). The previous record of job losses was 4.3 million from November 1944 to September 1945.
    Source: Bureau of Labor statistics, Monthly Labor Review, April 2011, vol. 134, no 4

    The BLS data shows that 4.4 million jobs were lost in Bush's last year in office, and 4.3 million more jobs were lost during Obama's first 13 months. However, it is important to note that, during that period (i.e., from January 2009 to February 2010), although jobs were still being lost, there was a deceleration in the RATE at which jobs were being lost, a sign that the administration had managed to stop the free fall that had started under Bush.

    This is just commonsense (something GOPsters are known to have a problem with). If the rate of job loss had not been reduced, the rate of unemployment would not be where it is now. It could be well beyond the 10.8% rate of unemployment reached under Reagan in December 1982!

    January 6, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
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