Romney: All economy, all the time
February 29th, 2012
01:25 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney: All economy, all the time

Toledo, Ohio (CNN) – Crediting his economic know-how with helping sway voters in Michigan and Arizona, Mitt Romney targeted his stump speech Wednesday to Ohio voters by focusing solely on jobs and the economy.

Romney told the audience he was pleased by his pair of Tuesday night primary wins, which he said came in part from voters worried about the economy.

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"Interestingly, the people who said that the economy and jobs were their number one issue, they voted for me overwhelmingly," he said. "And that's one of the reasons I'm running."

His first appearance following a blockbuster night was hardly a celebratory victory lap, however: an audience of roughly 125 people gave a muted response to the speech, held on a factory floor on a chilly, rainy morning.

During a tour of the steel post factory, the owners of American Posts asked Romney to push a button and start a stamping machine used to make highway signs.

"I've got to press a button," Romney quipped. "Which will be my heavy lift in terms of manufacturing today."

He continued on an economic tack during his speech, expanding on his criticism of China's trade policies and congratulating the event site owners for managing to compete successfully.

"My guess is you sell products outside the United States as well. It's a good thing to be able sell products like from right here around the world," Romney said. "But now and then people we compete with cheat, and they send products in here. That's not fair."

In the audience was a figure from presidential campaigns past: Joe the Plumber, a.k.a. Sam Wurzlebacher, who campaigned with Sen. John McCain in 2008 but said he would not endorse before Ohio's primary March 6.

Asked by a reporter whether he had any advice for Romney, Wurzlebacher said no, then added one thought.

"The guy's made it most everywhere he's ever tried, I don't think he needs my advice," Wurzlebacher said. "Maybe hang out with some steelworkers, hang out with some plumbers and carpenters, you know, see what it's like, these blue collar guys who do it every day in and out."

He then clarified that advice applied to all the candidates, and not Mitt Romney specifically.

Also see:

DNC: Romney out of touch

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Citing partisanship, Snowe stuns with departure news


Filed under: 2012 • Economy • Mitt Romney • Ohio
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    What economic know how is Mitt Romney talking about? The only facts are his own talking points. He has yet to back up his own claim that he created 100,000 jobs while *at* Bain because he cannot back it up. The only facts we have is that he is a very wealthy man.

    Mitt Romney, show me the jobs.

    February 29, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  2. Dude

    FINALLY!!!!

    As a voter, I could give a rat's arse about ANY social issue.
    [Abortion – private matter. Birth Control – private matter. Gay Marriage – private matter. Prayer Wherever – Just bow your head and pray – private matter.]

    Tell us how you (Mitt Romney) as a candidate are going to get inside the business decision cycle and provide incentives for American business to hire American citizens in America.

    February 29, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  3. Justine

    He has yet to talk about even one of his 59 points-plan and he has no vision. His only talent is to bash the President 24/7. He was supposed to be happy and optimistic last night but his speech only showed how angry and desperate he really feels. Even his audience is never excited about him, their clapping is so anemic.

    February 29, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  4. GonzoinHouston

    All economy, huh? Meanwhile, his pet super-PAC is all negative, all-dishonest, all of the time. Like Newt promising to take the high road, Romney will be all about Obama and the economy until one of the challengers gets close again.

    And if he wants to talk about the economy, he should talk about how he will help the middle class, who are the consumers that drive most of the economy in the first place.

    February 29, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  5. Namejkane fl

    He has no economic exsperience except as a corp. Raider and excepting goverment handouts for the games . Vote for him at your own risk.

    February 29, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    During a tour of the steel post factory,
    ------------------------
    Who in their right mind would give Romney a tour of ANY factory/company?
    Do they NOT know about this vulture capitalist?
    It is no wonder he received a "muted response" from the factory workers. They were probably freaking out thinking that when he loses in November he'd come back in a rage to dismantle, sell, and ship their jobs overseas!!!
    And that joke he cracked sucked, by the way.
    Obama 2012.

    February 29, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Rudy NYC – What economic know how is Mitt Romney talking about?
    ==================================================
    You know... the economic know how that comes from actually having a job in the economy and knowing how it works and what companies need to succeed. Ask all the people at Staples that owe him their jobs!

    What economic experience did Obama have before he got elected? ZILCH! And we have been paying for it ever since with record high unemployment and endless attacks on business. His prior experience consisted of shaking down government and businesses for money.

    February 29, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  8. Namejkane fl

    Romney never had a real job in his life except sitting behind a desk.

    February 29, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. Harry

    All he could get were those five so un-enthusiastic guys to follow him around? Not one of them even makes an effort to look happy to see him, given he's got the undiscussed answers to their ecomonic woes. LOL he's nothing more than the best-dressed clown in that GOP circus.

    February 29, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. Four and The Door

    As a CEO of Bain ( and validated by their success ), Mitt Romney had one of the best 'in-the-trenches of the economy' positions to understand how the economy works...what drives businesses to hire workers, make and deliver products and be successful. You don't become successful in this job as some people on this board speculate " just by firing people and moving jobs overseas". That solves very few problems and usually creates more than it is worth. That is not how Bain worked. But if you are hell bent on depriving Romney the advantage of this valuable experience because Obama is your man and you hate to see him go down as a one-termer, this may be all you have any hope of using because Mitt Romney is better and better the closer you look.

    As last night's results show, he is well on his way. Romney 2012.

    February 29, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "I've got to press a button," Romney quipped. "Which will be my heavy lift in terms of manufacturing today."
    ------------------------
    (crickets chirping)
    Hey! Robocop! Nobody got that. N-O-B-O-D-Y.

    February 29, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. cali girl

    Rmoney will be all good to send everything oversees, then he can take credit for his friends getting rich for nothing. Truth, why don't you ask all the people at KB Toys how it is going. Oh, wait, that's right, they are no more thanks to the Business Guy Romney. How many more companys are no more thanks to him?
    Still waiting to hear Rmoneys ecomonic plan, he did scrap that yesterday.

    February 29, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  13. gr8usa

    "I've got to press a button which will be my heavy lift in terms of manufacturing today." This guy has not done a day of heavy lifting in his life. As someone who has a long family history in manufacturing, I am insulted. You would think by now one of his advisers would have told Romney not to try to make off the cuff jokes or comments. I like to fire people, Ann drives a couple Cadillacs, I don't really follow the sport but I have friends who are Nascar team owners, etc...

    February 29, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. westward

    If Romney stays on the economy issue, how many times will he continue to flip-flop on his economic plan between now and November? Remember, he already has several times, including this week alone. There are 245 days until election day – I'll go with 240. Anything above that might raise an eyebrow in a few Republicans.

    February 29, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. Chris

    It's Deaj Vu all over again! In 2010 the Republcian ran their campgain on the promise of "Jobs, jobs, jobs!" and that they would focus like a laser on the economy. But, of course, as soon as they were in office it all became about abortions, gay marriage, and tax cuts for the rich. In two years they have not put forth a single jobs bill. (And no, conservatives, bills that allow corporations to pollute as much as they want or give even further tax breaks to the rich are NOT jobs bills!")

    February 29, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  16. Namejkane fl

    Romney never had a real job in his life except sitting behind a desk sending jobs to China , get real CNN, Obama landslide coming!!!

    February 29, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. Maximus

    I don't understand Repblicans, you have a strong candidate, with strong credentials. Yet, all you do is discount his victories, every one of them. Who is your alternative to Romney? Santorum? Gingrich? please go ahead. As a democrat, I would love to have any of them run against Obama. As a political junkie, I would like to have a real battle for the presidential nomination.

    February 29, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. Paul

    The worker standing on the far right looks anything but happy to see Willard. Did the rest of the workers escape to coffee break?

    February 29, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  19. vic , nashville ,tn

    Romney didn’t create staples a job, the credits goes to Leo Kahn and Thomas Stemberg

    February 29, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. Maximus

    @Namejkane fl if you think management consulting is not a real job, you need to educate yourself. I suppose the only real job is to have a blue collar job?? right??

    February 29, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. Four and The Door

    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    During a tour of the steel post factory,
    --------
    Who in their right mind would give Romney a tour of ANY factory/company?
    Do they NOT know about this vulture capitalist?
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________
    I would. These guys are experts in making companies healthy. Although they do have a venture capital group ( which is how many of America's best companies started ), they do private equity and other forms of investment and management as well. Bain Capital is one of the companies that makes America great. We need more like them. There just aren't many people who are really good at this difficult work. More have tried and failed than have been successful. The successful ones should be proud of their achievements. They do help companies and in turn their employees and communities.

    February 29, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  22. Lolo

    He is wrong. They picked him because Santorium scared them. Remember this is how the republicans roll.Romney does not know anything about creating jobs or the American people. He is a spoiled rich kid (I say kid because he talks and acts like one) that thinks that if he ask for it he will receive it because of his money with no questions asked. It is pitiful how he is kissing up for the republicans to like and vote for him when in actuality they can't stand him. What a lesson to teach your kids. I know that they are embarrased, but hey like father like son, because you can tell that they do not get their hands dirty either. Can you believe that this man has sons that do not lift a finger, just live off daddy?

    February 29, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  23. Jilli

    Romney isn't any more prepared than any other joe off the street to improve our economy. His business experience has no bearing on any silver bullet to turn the economy around. Remember, GW Bush was also a businessman and a governor – did his experience help him as president? Quite the contrary – the MBA president presided over the near collapse of our economy and the massive increases in our debt and deficit. I don't see anything on Romney's resume that make him exceptionally qualified to be president. Our current president has a pretty good handle on the situation, and a good vision for the future – which is way more than I can say about Romney. When will romney present the case FOR his election? Haven't heard any constructive plans, just bad mouthing of his opponents and the president. All empty rhetoric.

    February 29, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. Fair is Fair

    Truth – What economic experience did Obama have before he got elected? ZILCH! And we have been paying for it ever since with record high unemployment and endless attacks on business. His prior experience consisted of shaking down government and businesses for money.
    --------–
    Spot on, Truth... spot on.

    February 29, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Truth wrote:

    You know... the economic know how that comes from actually having a job in the economy and knowing how it works and what companies need to succeed. Ask all the people at Staples that owe him their jobs!

    What economic experience did Obama have before he got elected? ZILCH!
    ---------------
    You know....the only thing we know about Romney's experiences is that it made him very wealthy. Staples achieved most of its' success *after* Romney left Bain, and *after* Bain left Staples. The later success of Staples has absolutely nothing to do with Bain or Romney. The people at Staples owe their jobs to Staples management, not Bain or Romney.

    Did Pres. Obama campaign on business experience? No, but Romney has. Obama campaigned on bringing change and compromise to DC politics, ending the Iraq War and the Bush Tax Cuts, etc. So, what on earth are you talking about?

    February 29, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
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