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. Mikey

    Is this guy high? Half of what comes out of his mouth is ridiculous beyond belief. Unemployment has only been at 4.0% in 7 of the last 400 months and only then in 2000, under Clinton at the hight of the tech boom. Only in one of those months was it actually below 4% – 3.8% in April 2000. What an idiot! If Mitt gets elected, can we call him a failure if the unemployment rate is over 4.0%?

    May 4, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. rla

    When policies are causing people to STOP looking for work you know we are headed down the socialist path. Americans, kids "minorities" need a kick in the ______ and policies that give them a chance at a good paying job!

    May 4, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  3. paofpa

    Pepperoni or Extra Cheese?

    Republican love Pizza. They want to see more small Pizza places. As we all know the bulk of small business, except pizza joints, the bulk of the costs are input not labor. Tax breaks cannot help reduce that cost. And with more austerity, extra money will go into Pizza. I know logic is not there and numbers do not add; but you are talking ECON101 vs. third grade math. May your LDL levels rise so we can cure this country of this current GOP Plague.

    May 4, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  4. Dave

    What a clown Romney is. Again, Mitt, what's your plan? Stop whining unless you can articulate what you will do. I'm sure this plays well with your brainless Republican base, but smart voters know you're full of it.

    May 4, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. Gus

    This, Brought to you by a guy who sent TENS OF THOUSANDS of jobs to China. He is truely a CARTOON!!!!!!!!!!

    May 4, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  6. curious

    How can Rmoney claim to be able to do more for America than he was able to accomplish as Govenor of Massachusetts? He was a complete failure, and that is why he only lasted four years. There is nothing in Rmoney's actual record that would prove he can do any of the things he promises. Remember the republicans campaigning on creating jobs in 2010? Show me one job.

    May 4, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  7. Texas Dude

    Keep moving the goal post it'll avail you nothing as the economy continues to improve and unemployment keeps going down.

    May 4, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. Sue

    Hahahahahaha..........Go look at the unemployment rate FACTS/data about when Bush was in office.

    The majority of the time, unemployment was at 4.6%--which is one of the reasons why Bush was reelected so easily.

    Obama is a JOKE, and his policies are a JOKE!! Obama is not a qualified, competent, leader--he is an unqualified, incompetent FAILURE and a bad joke on our country.

    Oh, also.........Gas was $1.79/gallon when Obama took office. Gas has gone up OVER 100% since Obama took office. This is another reason that Bush won reelection so easily.

    May 4, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  9. Gus

    This guy specialized in shuting down Companies here in America. He must be smokin some really good majic underwear

    May 4, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  10. barry

    Not only did he ship thousands & thousands of Jobs to China, He got help from his mormon buddy Hatch & raped the US Treasury for MILLIONS to do so. He is as ANTI American as there is. What a Slimeball!!!!!!!!

    May 4, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  11. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    The last time it was under 4% was in the Clinton years, a Democrat and that's what it will take to get it under 4% again, so re-elect the President. It's never been under 4% under a republican President, so yes if you want to see it under 4%, elect President Obama since his plan will get us there, slow but sure, no smoke & mirrors, no lies or half truths.

    May 4, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. Bren

    Just give Romney and the superpacs a little more time to make voters throughout the country aware of the "truth" about Obama and his policies--and what he/they are doing to destroy our economy, unemployment rate, gas prices, our country!!

    US citizens/voters are being awakened every day to the disaster known as the Obama Administration.

    May 4, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  13. barry

    Yo Hatch, can you get me a few Mill from Congress & help me shut down some US Factories?? Sure Bishop. Make sure you Make the check out to Bain Capitol.

    May 4, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  14. once upon a horse

    when the numbers aren't so great blame Obama...when they are pretty good it's because of the Tea Party House. Ok Mitt if YOU can get unemployment down to 4% why not get gasoline down to 2 bucks a gallon while you're at it. Some of your groupies will believe anything you tell them anyway.

    May 4, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. barry

    Can a Bishop hold a Press Confrence? What a GIRLY MAN!!!! & he wants to be Commander & Chief!!!!! PLEASE

    May 4, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  16. Doug in NYC

    What country does Rob-Me want to off-shore more of our jobs to to get that counties unemployment rate down below 4%?

    May 4, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  17. barry

    Its ok Mitt, you dont have to Lose The Skirt, I even buy you a Pink one. Thanks, Gretta!!!!!

    May 4, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  18. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Wally Cleaver's boy Eddie Haskeel comes to mind whenever I see this fake stiff. November will be his downfall IF he gets past the Anybody but Mitt McCain convention in Tampa.

    May 4, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. Bill

    Sue-
    You seem to be the one who needs to look up the facts. By January 2009, the economy had already lost almost 3 millions jobs. That would be during "Dubya's" presidiency as you yokels like to call him. And he was barely relected by the slimmest of margins – 51%. It had nothing to do with his record on employment. It had to do with the fear instilled by the GOP in the years following Sept. 11. And finally, during the first three years of Obama's administration, more jobs have been created than in all 8 years of the Bush presidency. As they said in the movies once, you ought to smell what you are shoveling.

    May 4, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  20. anagram_kid

    Gov. Romney’s main problem here is that he is not an expert at creating jobs; he is an expert at making money using other people’s money as capitol. Don’t get me wrong, that is a valuable skill, but not for a president. The intention of Bain was not to create jobs, but rather to create wealth for its investors. That is not a rational model for a nation-sized economy.

    May 4, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. anagram_kid

    For those that argue that we need a businessman to ‘fix’ our economy, they should remember that making money is the primary goal of a business. Providing quality service and products are a means to that end. A good businessman will cut as many corners as possible to achieve the highest ROI. So ask yourself this – do you want to drive on a bridge that is as safe as possible or as economical as possible.

    May 4, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  22. Laverne

    Mitt Romney is stuck on STUPID! In the condition this country was left in by the last administration, there is no way and there is no way he will make it 4% either. For a guy who claim to be so business savvy, he is about to be one of the most stupid talking candidates out there except of course for Gingrich and the moon colony. This is why Romney is going to lose he is a panderer and a liar!

    May 4, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  23. george of the jungle

    romney is a fool. He was a failure as govenor so he thinks he can run the country. Obama 2012 Forwad not back

    May 4, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  24. tee27

    Mitt Mitt please show you past taxes from 1995-2010 and how much money you have parked off shore

    May 4, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  25. Lolo

    @ Sue where were you living that gas was $1.79 a gallon when Obama took office? You are lying just like Mittens. Just say you will not vote for Obama because he is black. Now that is the truth. You are hearing so much lying from the GOP/TPers that you would not know the truth if it smacked you in the face. Grow up and do some research and quit repeating the same lies that Faux news brings to your living room every night.

    May 4, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
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