Republicans jump on president's 'forget' comment
May 11th, 2012
08:44 AM ET
2 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. Ol' Yeller

    So, now the republican'ts want to talk about what out President inheritted from them? Great, let's talk about it. For 3 /12 years they have whined and cried that the President has wanted to 'blame Bush'... No, he just wanted people to remember what he was handed when he entered office. The selective memories of the republicant's is that they want to talk about the recession, but they don't want to own it.
    Kinda' like their nominee who doesn't remember the attack he led on the gay student, but he does remember he didn't know he was gay.
    Lovin' it!

    May 11, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I detected a lot on negative feelings and money envy from the right wingnuts as a result of the Hollywood fund raiser for our president. Not to worry, the Kochs, Rove, and the swift boaters has promised the personhood money launderer almost a billion dollars to make Mittens look like a viable candidate. As for Hollywood, the extreme right will always have John Ratzenberger, Gary Sinise, Kelsey Grammer, Chuck Norris and Ted Nugent.

    May 11, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  3. Severely Moderate

    I'm glad Republicans are now "reminding" the American people of the recession they caused.

    May 11, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  4. Wes B.

    GOP is really grasping at straws here. First, it's clear Obama didn't REALLY forget anything. But I think he makes a very valid point: Many don't look at the big picture to see how the economy has improved since he's taken office. Almost every month has brought more private sector jobs. And the stock market has gone from the 8,000s to the 13,000s.

    Those that think it's gotten worse under Obama either "forgot" how bad it was...or they're just plain stupid. For three years now, the economy has steadily improved.

    May 11, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  5. gg

    lets hope people don,t forget the crash and burn republican policies of the bush white house-america can,t servive another one

    May 11, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  6. Joseph

    Romney commented: sometimes I forget when I physically attacked, held down, and abused other kids in high school. But as I long as I claim I did dumb things in the past it should be forgiven.

    May 11, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  7. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Well when you golf as much as Obama has you tend to forget about important things. But it doesn't look like Obama is forgetting about an fund raisers.

    May 11, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  8. Bruno

    Read it in the context it was said, idiots. He forgot how bad it was, which was ready to go off the cliff, until he came into office and helped to stabilize the situation and get it moving in the right direction. The GOP is increasintly desparate, but they are making it easy for the American voter with their pledge of "Our Way or the Highway". America, show the GOP the highway.

    May 11, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  9. Joseph

    Looking at his comment, Obama was saying sometimes he forgets the MAGNITUDE of the recession in 2008-2009. The RNC has obviously long since forgotten or perhaps doesn't know what the word means.

    May 11, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  10. OrlandoGuy

    The GOP really is fishing with this ad. Read the whole comments and you will see how stupid the GOP is on this. They will do their best to mislead...it is what they do best.

    May 11, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  11. Namryan

    In particular hasn't forgotten that it was the Republican's policies that started it... let's rehash the past! Whose administration was in charge when the meltdown happened? Here is a hint: his initial are GWB!

    May 11, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  12. maf

    So . . . are the Republicans finally taking CREDIT for the state of the Economy when President Obama took over???
    Weird ad, but truly makes them look bad for bringing up the transition between their hero Bush and their nemesis Obama.

    May 11, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  13. Bill

    As I have said before, Romney really need better advisors. All this does is remind people of the disaster created under the George W. Bush administration and its failed policies. Noit toi mention the near collapse of ouor economy. For all those folks who like to blame Obam, it started in 2007. Weak and ineffective effort by team Romney, at best.

    May 11, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  14. John, PA

    However; president Obama; we will not "forget" how bad the economy is, how bad the job market is. how bad the housing market is, how bad the Obamacare law is, how bad unemployment is, how bad the all of the Obama policies are and the FAILURE the Obama administration is! We will not forget on November 6, 2012.

    May 11, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  15. Nora

    And sometimes Romney forgets if he bullied someone in high school. Seriously, who would answer "I don't recall" to that question?

    May 11, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  16. C

    Typical republican nonsense. They have to lie, cheat and distort to win an election. Democrats only have to get out the truth.

    And the latest truth is that Romney is a cheap bully.

    May 11, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  17. Sniffit

    Aaaaw, how cute, more substanceless blather from the GOP/Teatrolls that tells us nothing about their candidate's positions on and proposed solutions to the issues most important to us...like, oh I dunno, whether he even has any.

    May 11, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  18. enuff

    It was part of a personal observation by the President so that he reminds people also about how it was when he took over. I don't see how it is literal, but then again people will twist it "literally" to shape their own causes . I guess Romney 'just forgot' about the people he beat up on over his lifetime, but that's ok – even when it is true, because it was so long ago that it shouldn't matter.

    May 11, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  19. Mike in NJ

    Do you think GWB had the 'pulse of the people' while they were losing their jobs, their houses, their healthcare?

    Also, it's a FIGURE OF SPEECH, morons. Do you remember your auto payment while you're in the shower? Do you remember the water bill while you're taking a dump? Stop faulting our leaders for admitting a bit of humanity, then calling them 'elitist'.

    At least he didn't need to forget that he bullied a classmate because he thought he was gay....

    May 11, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  20. Thomas

    I haven't forgot , two wars , recession , losing my home.

    Thank you GB BUSH !

    Romney / Bush

    How can we forget .

    May 11, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  21. Anonymous

    Really? This just sounds desperate...come on! Politics is just a ridiculous game now-a-days

    May 11, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  22. Four and The Door

    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.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Democrats like Barney Frank who pushed hard for every American to be able to get a mortgage regardless of what their income level was. There have been a variety of economic mistakes. But this one took us down.

    May 11, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  23. sonny chapman

    I hope people REMEMBER that 22 Million Jobs were created under Bill Clinton & 4 Million Jobs were lost under that Great Free Market Guru, George W. But he DID cut taxes for The Wealthy, I mean Job Creators.

    May 11, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  24. Jess C

    The GOP is extremely desperate; this is proof. They're going down; can hardly wait!

    May 11, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. Jules

    H! Wait until president Obama wipes out Romney with the facts.

    May 11, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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