May 4th, 2012
01:09 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney says no celebration until 4% unemployment rate

Pittsburgh (CNN) - Mitt Romney, slamming President Barack Obama for his performance creating jobs, said Friday any unemployment figure above 4% shouldn't be cause for celebration.

Romney's comments came hours after the Labor Department released figures showing hiring slowed in April, and workers dropped out of the labor force at an alarming rate. At the same time, the unemployment rate fell to 8.1%.

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"Just this morning there was some news that came across the wire that said that the unemployment rate has dropped to 8.1% and normally that would be cause for celebration, but, in fact, anything over 8%, anything near 8%, anything over 4% is not cause for celebration," Romney told a crowd while campaigning in Pittsburgh.

America's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was last below 4% in December 2000, when it stood at 3.9%. That was at the end of President Bill Clinton's second term in office. In October 2004, just before President George W. Bush won re-election, the unemployment rate was 5.5%.

Romney went on to point out the statistics on workers who have dropped out of the labor force, saying the rate of people in the workforce reflected a sad reality. At 63.6%, the portion of the working-age population participating in the job market is now at its lowest level since 1981.

"The unemployment rate is lower now because not so many people want to work," Romney said. "This is a sad time in America. When people who want work can't find jobs. College kids, kids coming out of college. Surveys said half of the kids coming out of college can't find work or can't find work that's consistent with their skills. This is a time when America wants to have someone who knows what it takes to create jobs and get people working again."

Repeating an oft-used campaign line, Romney told the crowd that in order to create jobs, "it helps to have had a job."

Romney discussed the plight of taxes on small businesses at the Sauereisen Concrete Company, which has been owned by the same family for three generations.

"Right now small business, the top rate they pay is the individual tax rate of 35% and 35% of what they make will go into the government income tax rolls. Then they have the state income tax rolls on top of that," he said.

"What's the state tax here in Pennsylvania?" Romney asked, to which a few people responded with 3.07, the state's flat rate income tax and considered low compared to other states. After he heard the number Romney joked, "That .07 gets you doesn't it?"

At one point during his campaign rally, Romney was interrupted by a veteran who, among other points, advocated turning a veterans' hospital slated to be shut down into a veterans' university.

After a minute of letting the man make his points, Romney interjected, asking if he could finish his stump speech. The candidate eventually allowed the attendee to finish his point.

Also see:

Romney adviser left after being silenced, source says

Bachmann to endorse Romney

Pro-Romney super PAC back on the air


Filed under: Mitt Romney
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Willis

    Man did you see that gimmie a kiss interviee from Greata? I threw up after that.

    May 4, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. Willis

    Yo Mitt, Lose the Skirt & have a real Press Confrence & tell the American People exactky what YOU are going to do & stop WHINING. Questions from real Joirnalist? Bishop says HELL NO!!!!

    May 4, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. Dave

    Gretta, Gretta, Gretta Off shore accounts, no off limits, remarks about Russia., no sorry, Draft dogger, Oh no Bishop says cant go their, Your killin me Gretta.

    May 4, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Repeating an oft-used campaign line, Romney told the crowd that in order to create jobs, "it helps to have had a job."

    Interesting concept, Mitt. Apparently his advisers haven't yet advised Mitt of the 2007-2008 jobs market crash. Or that his own party has been obstructing one jobs bill after another ever since. Nor, it seems, has Mitt encouraged all those "corporate" friends of his sitting on billions of profit that now would be as good time as any to put their 2002 tax cuts to good use and actually start creating the jobs those tax cuts were "guaranteed" to produce. It's been a decade after all.

    May 4, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. kakaraka

    Well Mitt, the same Bush policies you are proposing will do just the opposite and will not create jobs. We are getting slowly from the mess you and your GOP buddies have created and we don't want to go backward. It's easy to say unemployment should be 4% but your proposed action will not get there.

    May 4, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  6. Greyman

    The vulture capitalists from Bain Capital is one of the last people who gets to lecture me about jobs. And whatever the news, job creation (especially in the private sector the GOP claims to love so much) is going UP, while in the twilight months of the last GOP presidents, the economy was hemorrhaging jobs by the hundreds of thousands!

    Oh, and Mittens, don't preach to me about college students in trouble when your party is reluctant to keep loan interest rates low with no strings attached. Or when your party filibusters any attempt whatsoever to tie corporate tax breaks to domestic hiring.

    May 4, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. Bill

    Romney is completely out of touch and uninformed. Or just plain stupid. The United States will never see a 4% unemployment rate again. If he had spoken with any economist out there, he would know that we will be lucky to see 6% in the next 3 – 5 years. New reality folks.

    May 4, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. The Other Dale

    Why stop at 4%? C'mon, don't be a wuss, make it 2%. Make 1%. Make it that we have to hire people from Mexico to take up the slack because we have two jobs for every man, woman and child in the country. I mean, we're dreaming anyway in order to fit those rose-colored Republican glasses of your, Mitt, so we might as well go hog-wild.

    May 4, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. Crooked Bridge

    OK, he knows damn well that the U.S. employment landscape has irrevocably changed due to outsourcing, and technization. Unless he knows some way to create some type of product or service that can only be fulfilled by U.S. labor, and/or vast numbers of the current U.S. workforce suddenly vanish, there will never be 4% unemployment rate. This guy is completely FOS.

    May 4, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. Tyrone

    TEAM DOOM & GLOOM willard you make me laugh

    May 4, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  11. Wake up people

    Maybe if he got some cooperation from Congress instead of obstruction things could be moving along faster. For the life of me, I can't see how anyone can want to go back to the same policies that got us into this mess. It's like half the country has amnesia. 4 years ago today, George Bush was still in office and the country was hemorrhaging jobs, people were losing everything. So many people I know lost their jobs in 08, me included. And President Obama hadn't even been elected yet, yet people keep saying he has had 4 years. Why hasn't Congress been brought up on charges of high treason yet?

    OBAMA 2012!

    May 4, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  12. Lionel

    Oh please. Every day that goes by I am sicker of Romney. 4% unemployment? What is his plan to do this. Ro(money) has not had a job in 6 years. He has been campaigning for the presidency since. How about we talk about that Swiss bank account.

    Thanks but no thanks,

    Latinos for Obama 2012

    May 4, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. Tyrone

    How many of my brothers & sistas agree that Mr Personality should LOSE THE SKIRT & have a Press Confrence from REAL Journalist & answer questions from them? We he be so Fraid????

    May 4, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. Thomas

    I haven't seen such set up press interviews since GW . Bush.

    If Romney is such a visionary businessman , why didn't he for see the crash , or did he benefit financially of the down turn ?

    Romney , Latter Day Bush !

    May 4, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  15. GI Joe

    Wonder how the job market would be if the wealthy quit sending our jobs to China and India (like Bain/RMoney did).

    May 4, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. vic , nashville ,tn

    Don’t forget Mitt Once upon a time you were governor of Massachusetts that time you didn’t care about high unemployment rate

    May 4, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/Dutch, Bad Newz, VA

    "This is a sad time in America. When people who want work can't find jobs."
    ---------------------------------------
    How many American jobs have you sent overseas Willard? STFU! We're moving in the right direction. We're no longer losing 800,000 jobs a month. You've got surrogates staing that your policies are Bush's on steroids. WE CAN'T AFFORD YOU!!!

    May 4, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  18. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens must have forgotten that Bush handed Obama a U – 6 unemployment rate of 14.2%. The republicans refused to vote for any jobs plans, and now are doing cartwheels because they are ruining the recovery.

    May 4, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  19. Curt

    Mitt's going to be waiting a long time for 4% unemployment rate. I thought he was so smart. When is he actually going to tell us how he will achieve this and should he be elected, will he resign if he does not reach 4% unemployment? What if he's elected and the Democrats control the house and we have another do nothing congress. I think its time that politicians be held accountable for their promises.

    May 4, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. Bill, NY

    No One, and I mean NO ONE kills jobs like the GOP!!!!!

    May 4, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Obama sure has fixed that "excessive worker problem" the USA had. His superior logic figured out the REAL problem was NOT a lack of jobs, but an excessive number of workers looking for jobs. His 2+ years of unemployment benefits and attacking businesses and forcing Obamacare on them sure cured the "excessive worker problem".

    Given another four years I'm sure he can improve on this where a whooping ONE MILLION people will be employed in America and the unemployment rate will be 2% because we'll all be sitting at home waiting for a government welfare check and food stamps. Life will be soooo wonderful.

    May 4, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. mcskadittle

    so he is promising 4% unemployement, is that $2.00 gas next?

    May 4, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  23. Dave

    We should rephrase this for accuracy: Romney is criticizing Obama for not producing jobs and for racking up record debt!

    May 4, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  24. Wake up people

    Speaking of Bush....he has been as quiet as a church mouse this election. I guess he doesn't want to remind the people of what he did. I've seen every angry white man in Washington, but we have yet to see lil shrub... Come out, come out wherever you are shrub/scrub.

    OBAMA 2012!

    May 4, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  25. John

    Did you see how much more BROWNER Grettas nos was with the Mitt Interview??? Gretta, Here are a list of Dont Go Theres, Ok Willard yes sir Bishop. I gotta tell you thats real Journalism!!!

    May 4, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
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