Republicans jump on president's 'forget' comment
May 11th, 2012
08:44 AM ET
6 years ago

Republicans jump on president's 'forget' comment

Washington (CNN) - National Republicans and Mitt Romney's presidential campaign are criticizing President Barack Obama for saying that "sometimes I forget" how bad the economy was when he took over in the White House in January 2009.

The Republican National Committee came out Friday morning with a web video that highlighted the quote from Obama, which the president made at a re-election campaign fundraiser Thursday afternoon in Seattle, Washington.

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Obama, discussing the severe economic conditions that he inherited, said "it was a house of cards, and it collapsed in the most destructive, worst crisis that we've seen since the Great Depression. And sometimes people forget the magnitude of it, you know? And you saw some of that I think in the video that was shown. Sometimes I forget."

He continued: "In the last six months of 2008, while we were campaigning, nearly three million of our neighbors lost their jobs; 800,000 lost their jobs in the month that I took office. And it was tough. But the American people proved they were tougher. So we didn't quit. We kept going. Together we fought back."

The RNC's web video starts with a clip of the president's comments, then asks: "How can a sitting president forget about the recession?"

The video goes on to say that "76% of Americans say the economy is still in a recession" and that "middle class incomes have fallen down $4,300 under President Obama."

It ends by saying that "President Obama might forget the recession but America hasn't.'"

Thursday night the Romney campaign also criticized the president over the comment, with press secretary Andrea Saul saying, "It's not surprising that a president who forgot to create jobs, forgot to cut the debt, and forgot to change Washington has now admitted that he's forgotten about the recession. In fact, it seems that the President has forgotten that he's been in office for the last three-and-a-half years."

The Democratic National Committee is responding to the attacks on the president.

DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse told CNN that "the problem with Mitt Romney is he's forgotten what sank our economy into the worst recession in our lifetimes and who got us there. What else could explain why he wants to go back to the same failed policies that nearly sank our economy or why he'd surround himself with the Bush political and economic team that ran our economy into the ground."

The economy remains, by far, the top issue for American voters, with jobs being the top economic concern. The Romney campaign wants to make the presidential election a referendum on Obama and what they consider the poor job he's doing creating jobs.

The president's re-election team continues to highlight the extremely rough economic conditions that he inherited, saying that Romney would bring back the failed polices that put the country in the recession in the first place.

The Labor Department reported last Friday that the nation's unemployment level edged down from 8.2% in March to 8.1% in April. The Labor Department also reported that the number of jobs rose by 115,000, lower than many economists had predicted. According to the report, 342,000 workers dropped out of the labor force, with the labor force participation rate, now at 63.6%, at its lowest level since 1981.

Filed under: 2012 • DNC • Economy • Jobs • Mitt Romney • President Obama • RNC
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Russ in Md

    "the labor force participation rate, now at 63.6%, at its lowest level since 1981", "76% of Americans say the economy is still in a recession", "middle class incomes have fallen down $4,300 under President Obama."
    And you liberals say the repulicans want to kill the middle class. What does this look like. Worst president ever.

    May 11, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  2. vic , nashville ,tn

    GOP love bad news and they remember bad things only , After Obama took lot good things happened they forget all the good stuff

    May 11, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  3. Russ in Md

    In 1981 a republican presidents policies helped creat 1.2 milion jobs in just the first 6 months of office.

    May 11, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  4. woodofpine

    The GOP has simply forgotten whose (unchanged) policies caused the recession. It hopes the voters have too.

    May 11, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  5. s

    You have no plans to show us what you would do, just same old Repub talk, no plans

    May 11, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  6. judy

    oh brother at this point the repos are grasping at straws every time the president opens his mouth they will try and spin it. Spin this you wing nuts.. mitt he forgot he was a bully . your candidate is a twit and your stuck with him Obama 2012

    May 11, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  7. Jack

    No. The Republicans forget how bad the economy was when Obama took office. He saved us from going down into a Depression. We have improved but would have improved more and more quickly had not the party of NO just wouldn't do anything to help.

    May 11, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  8. Anthony

    Republicans, do you remember that you campaigned on "jobs, jobs, jobs" in 2010? Where is your jobs bill? Do you remember the recession started under Bush's watch in late 2007, and how bad things were BEFORE Obama took office? Do you remember that Romney passed a health care bill with individual mandate in 2006, when individual mandate and cap-and-trade were still Republican ideas?

    May 11, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  9. Myviewis

    Obama would not have forgotten how "Bad" the economy was in 2009 if the economy had truly been as "Bad" as he says it was. You don't forget something that is "Bad". If anything, when something has been "Bad" in our lives we remember it more but we don't forget it.

    May 11, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  10. Tom-n-NoVA

    Let them jump. It's very clear that the GOP WANTS the economy bad...and to get worse. They have actively worked to MAKE it worse (Remember the Tea Party getting memebers to pledge NOT to do any hiring?) The GOP would rather watch the nation burn then help a black democratic president. Shame on the GOP.

    May 11, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  11. MaryM

    Desperate Repubs. They have a candidate that is NOT likeable. People are NOT going to vote for someone they do not like

    May 11, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  12. Louisiana Man

    NOR has Americans forgot the massive devastation their boys..cheney and lapdog bestowed on our once prosperous country..

    TIC for TAT

    May 11, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Having averted the Bush republican near depression, President Obama is correct in that people are forgetting what republican economic policies did to our nation.

    May 11, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |

    The RNC is reaching. They are trying to do everything to distract us from Willard's bullying days. As far as the President's comments go, looking at where we came from to where we are today, it's possible people can forget how tragic and the seriousness the Depression was. I know I haven;t forgotten who caused the Depression.

    May 11, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The repubes, under Bush, created a near depression, refused to help the president get us out of it, and the GOP has selected a money launderer and tax evader to take us back to the failed policies of the Bush administration.

    May 11, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  16. Michael

    American also won't forget that when the republicans had complete control under George Bush that the economy tanked.

    May 11, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  17. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Considering how much he spends on lies, this is not much of a negative ad. It seems that the personhood candidate is showing us he has nothing to run on, so he appeals to the brain dead. Bottom line, Mittens wants to attack worker's rights, women's rights, seniors, the middle class, the poor, veterans, college students, and go to war with Iran, send troops back into Iraq, and create a new cold war. He is a republican dream come true.

    May 11, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  18. Blindersoff

    But let the American people remember the most important of all is who put us in this state of the economy and how it was allowed. The American Government sold us to big corporation who in turn was allowed to pillage and blunder, rap and Disembowel the middle glass and thus selling the remains to the third world for profit. While sending our young and poor to fight a bogus war where many of lives were lost just to ensure that the privileged of the rich could continue their assault on the middle glass. I lower my head in shame as I try and distant myself from you people who coward under the mighty hand of oppression. I say throw the republican leadership out with the dirty bath water. Let us not forget the obstruction perpetrated by the house and senate to make This President a one termer. I say keep Barack Obama and lets finish this thing . . . Forward she blows!

    May 11, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  19. fernace

    The President didn't say he forgets the recession, he said he sometimes forgets How Bad It Was, when he took office! Quite a different statement, but I understand that the GOTP feels he's made points w/the LGBT community recently, so are now grasping at straws to divert attention! In actuallity, it's the GOTP that seems to forget, (or have selective amnesia, as I call it), who caused the near depression, who has continually obstructed progress & who wants to continue w/the same failed policies, while diminishing & eliminating necessities for the majority of American workers! Obama could never forget that! He took office during national crisis & even I, who was hit hard by the chaos, sometimes forget how truly bad it was! Until I look back & see how far we've come & realize the only way forward is Obama/Biden 2012!!

    May 11, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  20. Dave

    The Republicans and their convenient memories... Of crouse they forgot they they made this mess and that they have stood in the way of progress at every turn...

    May 11, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  21. livingston

    Wow, talk about taking a comment out of context. They seem really desperate. Any person with an active brain cell understands exactly what the President was saying. Or is that the problem with republicans?

    May 11, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  22. Kemikal

    Leave it up to some Republicans to take the President's words out of context. Bottom line, they are all politicians first; most of whom only care about a vote. Put away the I'm a Republican and I'm a Democrat, and focus on being an Ameican. make the decision that is best for this country in the long run. Honestly, I believe that is Pres. Obama. Romney just can't be trusted. I still don't agree with the Pres. on supporting Gay/Lesbian marriage, and never will. Sodom and Gomorrah????

    May 11, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  23. NVa Native

    And the American people will always remember who brought this beast of a GOP Recession to our door step!

    May 11, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  24. Bootstomper

    Romney should stick to selling used cars.

    May 11, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  25. Dr. Knowitall

    How could you "Forget" BOzo ? It has only gotten worse since you took over. I know he doesn't have to put gas in a car or buy groceries, but the spike in the cost of living and continued unemployment is kind of hard to miss when you live in the real world.

    May 11, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
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