May 8th, 2012
02:25 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney paints Obama to the left of Clinton

Lansing, Michigan (CNN) - Mitt Romney invoked former President Bill Clinton during a campaign speech Tuesday in an effort to paint President Barack Obama to the left of the two-term Democrat.

"President Obama chose to apply liberal ideas of the past to a 21st century America. Liberal policies didn't work then, they haven't worked over the last four years, and they won't work in the future. New Democrats had abandoned those policies, but President Obama resurrected them, with predictable results," Romney said during an address in Lansing, Michigan. "President Clinton said the era of big government was over. President Obama brought it back with a vengeance."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

The Romney campaign also used Clinton references on a campaign conference call before the candidate's speech.

A campaign official said Obama "really turned his back" on the policies Clinton supported during his 1992 campaign, which they said included changes to welfare and middle class tax cuts.

Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, blamed Obama for expanding the role of government, including more benefits and more spending, which he said have contributed to the current state of affairs.

Romney referenced "The Life of Julia," a web tool released by the Obama re-election campaign, which charts the character from age 3 until age 67, detailing how one woman's life would be impacted by Obama and Romney's policies.

Julia's hypothetical life is positively impacted by equal pay, a reference to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Obama signed into law and her ability to receive full Social Security benefits at age 67.

But Romney said Julia's story is evidence of how Obama sees the role of government.

"Julia progresses from cradle to grave, showing how government makes every good thing in her life possible," Romney said. "What does it say about a president's policies when he has to use a cartoon character rather than real people to justify his record? What does it say about the fiction of old liberalism to insist that good jobs and good schools and good wages will result from policies that have failed us, time and again?"

The Obama campaign used Romney's return to his native Michigan, his first visit after narrowly winning the primary on February 28, to highlight the GOP candidate's position on the auto bailout.

'Mitt Romney didn't have the courage to bet on American workers and instead said that we should 'let Detroit go bankrupt,'" Obama campaign spokesperson Lis Smith said in a statement. "Now he wants to bring back budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and letting Wall Street write its own rules-policies that President Clinton compared to the failed economic policies that created the crisis, but 'on steroids.' The American people won't be fooled – they know that this is the same economic scheme that crashed our economy and punished the middle class in the first place."

Romney met with middle class families prior to speaking at Lansing Community College Tuesday. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, calling Michigan the "comeback state" before he introduced Romney, said his state's economic recovery was a "role model for what needs to be done" to grow the middle class.

Also see:

Soros donates $1 million to liberal super PAC

White House downplays Biden's same-sex marriage remarks

Poll: Romney, Obama dead even in dozen swing states


Filed under: 2012 • Bill Clinton • Mitt Romney
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    "President Obama chose to apply liberal ideas of the past to a 21st century America."
    ----------------------------------------
    Oh Willard, you just sound desperate now. Individual mandates was a conservative proposal. Hell! You passed an individual mandate in Massachusetts. You even said it should be a model for the nation. So when President Obama passes an individual mandate all of a sudden he's a radical left socialist. Clinton and Obama are on the same team. Who's team are you on Willard?

    May 8, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. Bill

    Romney, sounding desperate, grabbing at straws and blathering incoherently about nothing. Oh wait, he is like that all the time. You GOP'er sure picked a humdinger this time. John McCain looks like Abraham Lincoln compared to this goof. I can not wait until November.

    May 8, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. California Gary

    Brought back the ere of big government? That would be GW Bush, not Obama. How about "intrusive" government? That would be the GOP in general, and the GOP state legislatures and governors specifically. If you want to be taken seriously Mr. Romney, stop spouting nonsense.

    May 8, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    "President Obama chose to apply liberal ideas of the past to a 21st century America. Liberal policies didn't work then, they haven't worked over the last four years, and they won't work in the future. New Democrats had abandoned those policies, but President Obama resurrected them, with predictable results," Romney said during an address in Lansing, Michigan. "President Clinton said the era of big government was over. President Obama brought it back with a vengeance."
    ------------–
    The size of the federal government has shrunk under Pres. Obama.

    The size of the annual deficit has shrunk under Pres. Obama. In fact, you can look up what the annual deficit is under a D compared to under an R. One glaring facts stands out. Republicans in the White House have always meant balooning annual deficits from year to year. Democrats in the White House have always meant shrinking annual deficits from year to year.

    Nice try, Mitt. But, we gotcha.

    May 8, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    wow those conservative policies of Bush and Co. sure have worked haven't they Mitt. In fact it was those trivkle down economics that so far have only worked for the folks in HIS income bracket. I love how the right always tries to paint liberals as evil or inept...and they have the paint all over their hands.

    May 8, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Peace

    I thought campaigns are about ideas and purpose. I don't get any from Romney instead he has now decided to attack the cartoon. Poor Julia!

    May 8, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. Ol' Yeller

    "policies that have failed us, time and again" Uh, yeah... when we have abandoned them for supply side economics which have'nt so much as failed us as they have never worked in the first place... unless you only count the rich and the Republican party... everyone else just gets skrooed.

    May 8, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Romney invoked former President Bill Clinton during a campaign speech Tuesday in an effort to paint President Barack Obama as a Democrat to the left of the two-term Democrat.
    =============================================================================================
    Not even close to Bill Clinton Obama is to the left of Hugo Chavez.

    Bill Clinton knew how to change and adapt to survive politically. All Obama knows is how to double down on his non-working "solutions", attack everybody in sight to divide the country, make excuses and blame others.

    Obama is a moron that blathers a good teleprompter speech. He is more qualified to be cleaning the Whitehouse floors, not occupying the Oval Office.

    May 8, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Romney's to the left & right of every position imaginable

    May 8, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  10. jefflz

    Every time Romney opens his mouth he reminds us how weak he is. He definitely wanted to let the auto industry go down in flames to destroy the UAW and now he is rewriting history. Here is a man who stands idly by while his supporters shout that Obama should be tried for treason, who lets the religious right force out his chosen foreign policy adviser, who parrots the draconian Ryan budget plan, who tells kids to borrow $20,000 from their parents, who made money off-shoring US jobs and closing down pension funds. Just try to come up with one positive feature of Romney – it is not possible. How desperate the GOP has become as they are held in a death grip by the Tea Party and the religious fundamentalists. Romney is not even fit to be in the same race with Obama.

    May 8, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  11. Squigman

    I'd hate to think that this cretin was the best the republican party, had to offer. He's arrogant, out of touch, has no personality of his own, and cannot make decisions without checking to see which was the wind is blowing. He's quick to take credit for accomplishments he had nothing to do with, and quick to point fingers at failures of people, who've tried to do the right thing, but had little or no success. He's a parasite, plain and simple. If he gets elected, it's because the registered voters failed to do their civic duty, and vote.

    May 8, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. Yomi Olalere

    What does it say of Romney practising politics of convenience?
    What does it say of Romney saying something 4 years ago and moving away from them in this political season?
    What does it say of Mitt when time and over again, he kept using world street tactics to control the voters?

    What does it say of Mitt when he has failed to live up to what he proclaimed – If you are in support of student loan interest rate freeze then, why are u standing idly by instead of talking to your Repubs?

    What does it say of Mitt when he's just thinking of his position on immigration?

    May 8, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  13. Ilya

    Let us pray that the American public isn't as far gone as the population of Europe. They decided that they aren't broke after all!

    How delusional. The Euros demise is certain now. We need to watch it very carefully. A vision of a future that we desperately need to avoid.

    May 8, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Romney needs to paint America a picture of what his plans are for Americans because he's painting himself right into a corner. He can't keep talking about what Obama's failures are when he's not the favored candidate of his own party, he'd better start talking about what his plans are for Americans. It may have worked on Newt and the others, but not this time.

    May 8, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  15. Canuck

    @Obama 2012
    "Not even close to Bill Clinton Obama is to the left of Hugo Chavez."

    The ignorance on the right is appalling – they just lap up what's served up at Fox News and repeat it without a second thought. Name one thing that Obama has done that supports your statement. One...

    May 8, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  16. Flipper Rmoney Failure Ahead

    Rmoney is starting to sound as detached from morality, truth and life as the GOBP extremists polluting our nation with the rightwing noise machine and the low-information mentally deficient posters who come her to spout nonsense. He Rmoney, ask Fakes News how it worked for them when they picked a battle with Sesame Street. Cartoons, mittens? Really? If attacking a cartoon is the basis for your campaign, ya got nothin'.

    May 8, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  17. The REAL Truth...

    @Squigman – I'd hate to think that this cretin was the best the republican party, had to offer.
    ----------------------–
    And you'd be correct !! Ding, ding, ding, ding... we have a weiner! And now, for a $100.. name the other failed cretins that are lining up to offer allegiance to the surviving cretin..

    May 8, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  18. FLIndependent

    Even though I'm an Obama supporter I thought that if Romney got the nomination and became President (heaven forbid!) that we would still be in fairly good hands but he has proved me wrong over and over again. This man is more pathetic than our last president and has absolutely no solutions to anything. He and the other Repubs can keep repeating their lies about how President Obama blames Bush for everything when we can clearly see that Romney does nothing but blame Obama for the mess that our President is still trying to clean up. If President Obama is so bad then why is Romney now saying the auto bailout was successful and it was his idea! He knows he can't hold a candle to Obama, however he's just hoping all of his $$$ and SuperPacs will buy him the White House – really sad & pathetic!

    May 8, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  19. rs

    I realize that painting Obama as "leftist" may bring a certain response from their rabid base, that as someone who grew up in the '60s, saying something like "more liberal than Clinton" (or anyone else) is purely idiotic. Obama is very centrist. Perhaps because they have spun out of control to the right, and already shed Reagan and Goldwater from their ranks along with Nixon, Ford and Eisenhower, that to them Obama may appear leftist, but reality is far, far, different.

    May 8, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. don in albuquerque

    Yes and Mittens is somewhere to the left of Scooby Doo.

    May 8, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  21. Dave

    I Head Tabby Nackle Of Boston Bishop Pinocchio single Handidly saved the Auto Industry & all their Supplyers. I Waved my Majic Underwear & POFF!!!!!!!!!!!!! it Happened.

    May 8, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  22. Larry L

    Wouldn't it be terrible to have another President like Bill Clinton? That healthy economy, the middle-class investing in the stock market, and a surplus in the budget was so threatening to Republicans! Not to worry... Bush eliminated that sort of situation and started two wars in the process! He trashed our economy and made his buddies filthy rich while doing it! What a guy!

    May 8, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  23. steven harnack

    Apparently they are desperate to disguise the fact that G.W.Bush's CONSERVATIVE administration GREW the goverment MORE than at anytime since WWII and in fact the government payroll has shrunk in the last 3 years, not to mention the fact that it was conservative ideas that put us in the biggest ditch since the Great Depression. The dishonesty makes me physically ill.

    May 8, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. The REAL Truth...

    "Willard paints Obama to left of Clinton" !! Or was it right ? No, it was left! Or was it.... hmmmm. Oh wait, it was right! No left. right. Left, right...
    Go ahead Mittens, flip-flop right on back home in Nov.

    May 8, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  25. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    "Let us pray that the American public isn't as far gone as the population of Europe. They decided that they aren't broke after all!

    How delusional. The Euros demise is certain now. We need to watch it very carefully. A vision of a future that we desperately need to avoid."

    And here we have an excellent example of how a deficient low-information GOBP cult brain works: it adds 1 + 1 and concludes the answer is 3. How do we know? Well, our poor poster apparently has failed to notice that for roughly the last two years Europe has imposed "austerity" which is essentially cuts in benefits, much like Paul "The Undertaker" Ryan's deficit increase plan (minus the tax cuts for the ultra rich). Austerity has FAILED in Europe as noted by many economists and US growth is roughly double that of Europe right now. So, we now know that contrary to our poor poster's fantasies, (a) austerity does NOT work, and kills economic growth and (b) President Obama's plan is out-performing the austerity plan favored by our own GOBP cult here at home. Gee, this really isn't a tough call to make!

    May 8, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
1 2