Romney hits Obama, Santorum in Illinois
March 18th, 2012
02:10 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney hits Obama, Santorum in Illinois

Moline, Illinois (CNN) - Mitt Romney made a pitch to struggling Illinois voters this weekend that he was the "economic heavyweight" who could turn around the economy if elected president in November.

The former Massachusetts governor also ramped up his criticism of President Barack Obama's handling of gas prices, using personal terms to tell an American Legion pancake breakfast in Moline that he knew how high fuel costs affected a family's bottom line.

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"You've got moms that are driving their kids to school and practice after school and other appointments and wonder how they can afford putting gasoline in the car, at the same time putting food on the table night after night," Romney said. "The American people are struggling."

Romney accused Obama of learning about the economy "probably by debating it in subcommittees here in Illinois and subcommittees back in Washington, D.C." and again called for the ouster of three top Obama officials for failing to hold down gas prices.

In previous speeches in his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Romney has said expanding domestic oil production could help lower prices in the long-term.

Repeatedly referring to himself as "an economic heavyweight," Romney said his rivals – including Obama as well as fellow Republican contender Rick Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator – just couldn't stack up.

"Sen. Santorum has the same economic lightweight background that the president has," Romney said, painting himself as the best candidate to take on Obama. "We've got to get an economic heavyweight to replace the economic lightweight."

Romney criticized Santorum as the race for Illinois' delegates shifted into high gear. Voters in the Land of Lincoln head to the polls on Tuesday in the latest battle between the leading Republican contenders.

Over the next two days, Romney will criss-cross the state, with events in Rockford, Vernon Hills, Springfield, Chicago and Peoria.

Also see:

Rush Limbaugh joins Twitter

New DNC video pits Romney against women

With or without Adelson, Gingrich aims for Tampa


Filed under: 2012 • Illinois • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Rick Santorum
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Larry L

    Romney is the perfect choice if your goal is to elect a President who is trained to aggressively work the business environment in order to make a select few wealthy people even richer. Those are his credentials. Make no mistake – like the other Republicans he will work toward elimination of Social Security and Medicare. Why? Because rich people don't need those programs.

    March 18, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  2. Donkey Party

    Lie, lie as he may, Willard Romney will never be President (and neither will the rest of the fatally flawed GOP "candidates").

    March 18, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Republicans may be buying his snake oil, but I would not buy a car from this money launderer.

    March 18, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  4. mikle

    Go, Romney, GO. You are the good for USA.

    March 18, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  5. S. B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem is that Romney doesn't really understand what the middle class really needs. He focuses on the bottom line and not what is good for the country when he was at Bain Capital. He needs a story that shows he was able to get more businesses in the US that weren't retail. I don't think that he can understand that. This is not saying that Romney isn't patriotic, he is. I just don't think that he was when he was running Bain Capital.

    March 18, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. DrCole

    Santorum even talks about how he can't win enough delegates before the Republican National Convention...but he still is in so that he can possibly win a brokered convention...how crazy is that. That's identical to saying, "I want to destroy the party and the nomination process so that I can put it back together in several months and then put it together well enough that I can possibly win the eventual Presidential Election."

    March 18, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. Logic N LA

    Are there any of the intelligent Republicans out there buying any of the crap being dished out by these candidates? I know there are those that never read, never get real facts. But I also know there are those that understand business and government and therefore know that gas prices are not the Presidents fault- that we can't cut governement and still have the government employ more people- that lower corporate taxes do not spur private hiring because businesses ony hire when they need employees; not because of tax breaks. For all thosse Republicans that say they are part of that inteligent group- one question- Why vote Republican?

    March 18, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. Marry

    Just say it loud and clear “vulture capitalism”! Yes, that is where Mitt is a heavy weight and what he stands for! That qualifies for President?? Give me a break!

    March 18, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. Just Say No to Flipper

    And of course he was wearing his "I'm just a regular guy" mom jeans when he said all that.

    March 18, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  10. Dave

    Romney is by far the best candidate for the GOP. He has leadership and management skills, as well as a record of success in business, the Olympics and as governor.

    March 18, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. Thomas

    " Romney said. "The American people are struggling."
    The Romneys have struggled more then most .. ?

    Did any Veterans at the American Legion ask Mitt way none of his five sons volunteered for military service ?

    March 18, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  12. DaveSEMass

    Robmey's economic background : Ship someone else's job off to China while he cashes in the big paycheck. No thanks. Can't believe this guy is still in the race.

    March 18, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. george of the jungle

    apparently the repos don't understand the world market or what drives gas prices. As the president said "does anyone think I want high gas prices during an election. ?" Repos have no sense and the people that believe this crap are the same ones that don't believe global warming or evalution. Narrow minded . Romney is no heavy weight unless you mean in killing jobs. Hatchet man for Baine. As for the olympics big deal he went to the federal government and asked for money. I guess the government only needs to help with the important stuff like the oytmpics. The hell with the auto industry. Obama 2012 or you will be stuck listening to mitt stutter and stammer.

    March 18, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  14. diridi

    This flip-flopper is now talking. His idea is to ban your Social Security and Medicare. Ship jobs to China for CHEAP LABOR. watch him on youtube type when mitt romney came to town. enjoy. Folks, I don't think any of the GOP idiots talk any sense. o.k, GeoPolitical and Speculators attribute to Gas hike, we need to Nab them....true. true. GOP bickering do not solve the problem, they are for Rich. This election is all about Rich v/s Middle Class America. Obama2012.

    March 18, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. PJ/TX

    So his only solution is the same song, "drill baby drill". They are drilling like crazy now. Why doesn't he mention
    the Wall Street speculators? Never mentions OPEC or the world market pricing. I don't think he knows anything
    about the oil business, and obviously doesn't bother to learn. He will not step on the toes of his big oil "friends".
    He has no viable answers.

    March 18, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Just Say No to Flipper

    "Romney is by far the best candidate for the GOP. He has leadership and management skills, as well as a record of success in business, the Olympics and as governor."

    Ah, the usual crazy LSD groupie talking points. Being a "successful" vampire capitalist is about as useful for the presidency as being a "successful" serial killer. Try again with some real points.

    March 18, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  17. normajean @ verizon ,com

    The really sad part about this whole political scene at this moment is that none of these Republicans is a "shoo in "and none is really qualified to be president.Romney has been a "flipper" from day one...Santorum wants to turn the whole country into puppets for HIS religion, Gingrich has a past that he can't shake and as for Paul...I don't get just what he does stand for.!!.......I can't help wondering what could have been accomplished if the Repubs had been willing to work with the Democrats and MCConnell and his boys had"nt been so determined to get rid of our president after one term!!! Didn't the Democrats work with Republican Bush when he was in office? I seem to remember that they did!!!!!!After all....this is a two party system, is it not????As to the current situation.....it is indeed a "circusand doesn't show signs of abating!!!!!!Whatt a mess!!!!!!

    March 18, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |