May 4th, 2012
01:09 PM ET
6 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%.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

"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. Lolo

    This man can taste the presidency , so he figures that no one is paying attention to his bald faced lies. The Republican party is damaged goods and have exploded. Wake up America. This party is nothing but a disgrace to all people.

    May 4, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. Al-NY,NY


    Yo Mitt, Lose the Skirt & have a real Press Confrence & tell the American People exactky what YOU are going to do & stop WHINING.

    his solution...the same old GOP policies that do nothing but make things worse...cut taxes so the rich can make more. deregulate everything so companies can pollute to their hearts content. cut spending....from programs that help people, NOT the military and their overpriced and unneeded toys.

    May 4, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. anagram_kid

    There is one sure fire way to get unemployment down to 4% – get as many women as possible out of the workforce. I am not advocating this, but I have to wonder if this is one of the reasons the GOP is pressing all these laws that would ensure women are pregnant more often.

    May 4, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. Phil

    Romney is probably over promising like most candidates. I recall a candidate back in 2008 who promised that he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term and if he didn't he probably wouldn't get a second term. Now who was that? Anyway, I didn't hear any of you democrats back then indicate that he was being stupid to suggest that. Is 4% doable, probably not. To make that happen you would have to get all of the occupy folks to get out of their parent's basement and look for a J O B.

    May 4, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. Data Driven

    Well, be prepared to never celebrate again, because we'll never be at 4% unemployment ever again. Technology and free trade agreements will see to that.

    Meanwhile, it would be interesting to hear specific proposals from Romney on how he would get the rate down to, say, 6%, rather than exclusively blame the President for socio-economic trends over which no office-holder can completely control. And tax breaks for rich guys is not an answer: hasn't been since Bush enacted them over a decade ago.

    May 4, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. Dr. Knowitall

    Well communist train of thought says there is only so much to go around and they are prepared to accept the fact that there will always be high unemployment.

    May 4, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. maf

    The platform that the GOP are lugging behind Romney is utterly incapable of bringing the economy into check, yet alone getting the unemployment figure down to 4%. I can't wait to hear what kind of "dream" Romney will pitch next!!

    GOP, stuck on tradition with no idea how to relate to this 2012 world! Bigger and more diverse than they believe, more complex than they understand, no room for women, seniors, minorities . . . yikes!

    May 4, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  8. Marie MD

    These Mormons don't do drugs, right? Just making sure that he is just too stuoid, ignorant, a big liar and is promising something that thanks ton him and his sending jobs overseas and closing US companies might never ever be accomplished.
    He turkey is a sociopathic lying limp man, isn't he!

    May 4, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. showme

    Put your money where your mouth is Mittens. Just HOW are you going to do this? You keep saying what is and what is not acceptable, but I have yet to hear one thing about HOW you are going to deliver. Put up, or shut up.

    May 4, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  10. demwit

    4%!? Ha! Thats old school...
    The new progressively social norm is 7%, at best. Romney is clearly out of touch with our move to Europa and needs to watch more CNN.

    May 4, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  11. Terry

    It is 100 % true that Bishop Hatch helped Bishop Romney Rape the US Treasury in Millions of Earmarks to Bian as the destoyed American Companies & sent Jobs overseas. Those High Ranking Tabby Nackles are such Fine People!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 4, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  12. Oregon Bruce

    No jobs
    No unions
    No taxes
    No medicare
    No social security
    No unemployment ins
    No nothing

    Vote Romney 2012

    May 4, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. 2012liberal

    When u cut govt and construction jobs like the rethugs hv done this is the rate u get. Teachers, police, firefighter dmv clerks etc... r jobs. Keep cutting them. Some day people will wake up. Private sector can only make so many.

    May 4, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  14. s

    Romney is like Bachmann, not dealing with reality!! Maybe he should join Gingrich on the moon

    May 4, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  15. Big D in Big D

    Definitely a dream of Romney and the "get the foreigner out of the white house" crowd. Remember this man governed a state that was 47th in job creation during his watch?

    May 4, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  16. Devlar

    Wait does he mean 4% unemployment in America or 4% unemployment for foreign countires where American jobs were shipped to?

    May 4, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  17. aalisa31

    If you actually take the etime to listen to what Romney is saying, it will not take you long to realize he is a fool.

    1. I believe in my country, but , umemployment will never be 4% again, due to the fact that alot of technology took the place of receptionist, reuced the number of technical support reports, due to automated fix options.

    2. Most manufacturing jobs will not come back to the United States due to the cheap off shore labor markets

    3. Cutting education benefits will reduce the numbers of INNOVATIVE GRADUATES.. this greatly reduces the chance of locating creative people to create new things that helps us compete with the reset of the world.

    Romney can stick a shoe in his mouth, because anyone that thinks logically knows this... that is why he will not win.... his lies will catch up with him.
    If Romney had better ideas for this country, it would have shown in his leadership as Govenor of Massachusetts and he would be sharing ideas now....go figure...... Obama has my vote!

    May 4, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  18. Don't be duped by the MSM

    The media already has Romney running against Obama in the general election, when in fact the GOP race is only about half way over. The associated press "estimates" and "projections" are far from accurate. For real election coverage look for Reality Check with Ben Swann on YouTube and Facebook.

    May 4, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  19. dreamer96

    Yeah comparing Reagan and Obama...Lets see

    Reagan sells WMD's to Saddam from 1980-1989 Anthrax, Sarin Gas, Tuban Gas, Mustard Gas, Botulism, Diluted Agent Orange in the form of Roundup, and Yellow Cake that ended up in Iran's Nuky weapons program...

    We have to fight two wars with Saddam to first push him out of Kuwait, then to get back all those WMD's...
    And we threaten to use our Nuky weapons both times...if Saddam used those WMD's on our troops...

    Reagan sells the shoulder launched missiles to Bin Laden making him a hero and he starts Al-Qaeda....that attack the U.S.A. on 9/11/2001

    Obama kills Bin Laden...and Destroys Al-Qaeda...

    I like Obama Better then Reagan....

    Reagan plants the seeds of future U.S. wars
    Obama has to cleans up Reagan's messes, and end those U.S. wars..

    May 4, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  20. Terry

    Bishop Hatch calls Bisop Romney tears back..... Yo Mitt, I got that little thing handled for you & your Bain Buddies, its MILLIONS. Thanks Orin.

    May 4, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. FRANK

    We need to get back to basic, Population has grown and unemployment equilibrum has chaged. Therfore, basic economics will have to change the the sustained unemployment equilibrum from the 4% to 6%. This is my prediction of the new sustainable unemployment equilibrium rate.

    May 4, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  22. Big D in Big D

    ARRRRGGGHH!!!!! Bin Laden is dead, righties say "Obama would not have been able to do this without the Bush policies". Mention the economy that tanked under Bush's watch and the righties say.."get over it, it's been 3 years it's Obama's economy now". The righties "government needs to stay out of our business" then say "government needs to dictate a woman's right to abort an undwanted pregnancy, rape, incest be damned".Romney has not told us of any solutions, just Obama bashing. Corporations you have gotten rich on the backs of Americans...The country is in a recession. Let's see how American you are. You have the means to help but we don't see you doing a damned thing. Greedy turds!

    May 4, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  23. SunRise

    Mitt, can you articulate what you would do differently? No more sound bites please. Give me some details to support your claim.

    May 4, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. Ol' Yeller

    I think that was a misprint... the way Romney ran businesses it must mean 'celebrate when employment is at 4%', not unemployment. I just love it that ALL the republicants are on the circuit today touting the 'slow' recovery. In other words, over 100,000 jobs created = bad. But when the republicants held the reins, losing 500,000 jobs a month= "ah, no big deal... " doesn't even warrant a mention because (all together now) "He lept us safe!" And, let's not forget, "Deficits don't matter!"
    Now, it is "Oh, killing OBL doesn't even matter and how dare the President even try and politicize this... I mean, look at this debt!"
    You righties need to wake up and smell the coffee... especially you blue collar working class ones. Unless you want to go back to living in company towns, getting paid in company script, and only being allowed to spend it at the company store. Been there done that folks...
    Those who don't know their history= doomed to repeat it.

    May 4, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  25. Terry

    Make no mistake about it with Romneys ties to the firm he created They are definitly buying Publican Governors all over the Country to enact the ROMNEY RUBES RYAN ROVE voter supression act of 2012. Think Im makin this stuff up. Bain Capitol has assets of 66 BILLION, yes 66 BILIION. Bishop Rpmney I am sure is worth 10 times the 300 million he is saying. Offshore accouts out the Wazoo!!!

    May 4, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
1 2 3 4 5