May 18th, 2012
04:12 PM ET
6 years ago

Romney mocks 'bridge to nowhere'

Hillsborough, New Hampshire (CNN) – Mitt Romney stood in front of a so-called "bridge to nowhere" Friday and mocked President Obama's stimulus program for failing struggling Americans.

"That's your stimulus dollars at work: A bridge that goes nowhere," Romney told roughly 150 supporters, then generalized his criticism of the stimulus program. "It is without question the largest one-time careless expenditure of government money in American history."

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The city of Hillsborough received $150,000 in federal stimulus funds to restore historic Sawyer Bridge, which was built in the 1800s and spans a babbling brook.

But no cars have traversed the bridge in more than 20 years – in fact, it does not connect to any roads.

On Friday Romney quoted the Obama administration as defending its $787 billion reinvestment program against charges its price tag was too high for the number of jobs it would actually create.

"So they said 'yeah, but we put in place a whole series of elements that are critical to the future of America,'" he said, referencing the stone bridge behind him. "And you got one back there."

Meanwhile, supporters of the bridge project point to its historic value and say the restoration was overwhelmingly supported by New Hampshire's legislature - including some lawmakers who are now backing Romney - earlier this decade.

Romney's appearance in New Hampshire was the third time in several weeks the GOP candidate has visited. Campaign advisers say they see a real shot at winning the state where Romney has a summer home and deep ties in Republican circles.

Obama easily won New Hampshire in 2008, and an Obama campaign source told CNN the president's path to victory in the fall would likely require putting it again in the Democratic column.

–CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash contributed to this report.

Also see:

Romney to start airing first general election campaign ad Friday

Third party effort packs it in for 2012

Conservative group hits the road in Wisconsin

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. TIMMAY!

    dude, devon, learn to speak English. Nobody can understand your comments - seriously... it's embarrassing.

    May 18, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. California Gary

    A bridge to nowhere? Get on it Mitt, because that's exactly where you are headed.......nowhere.

    May 18, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. cali girl

    Anonymous, I spit tea all over my keybord. Thanks for the laughs.

    May 18, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. Pete

    It's funny how Bush got TARP goin with his give away scam,not asking anyone recieving monies to repay it.Then Pres.Obama came along,not only getting the TARP monies repaid,but with interest,we actually made money,something we never did under Bush.And to all those fact giving republicans Barney-Frank bill did nothing but help the housing industry being signed into law in 2010,not under Bushs watch,when the housing bubble burst in 2008.And why don't ya ask Romney about the monies he got from Bush while at Bain its like a shark feeding off anotheir shark,you guys will go to any lengths to screw the American citizen,won't ya!!! That Romney,an advocate for TARP when Bush was there and while he pocketed 10 million with a Bain bailout,not by TARP,but the FDIC,which he never repaid back,leaving tax payers holding the bag,real presidencial material.You republicans really take the cake.

    May 18, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. Myviewis

    Obviously New Hampshire is doing financially very well and they were in the position to spare $150,000. for the restoration of a bridge that has historical value. New Hampshire citizens had no need to use the $150,000. in anything else. Their unemployment rate is really low and I think everyone there has lots of money so using $150,000 to restore this old bridge is logical.

    May 18, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  6. PJ/Tx

    I read Devon's comments twice, and understood them both times. You and so-called "Fair" criticizing other people
    on this blog only shows your ignorance, not theirs. Everybody is posting the best way they know how, and some
    are probably using English as a second, or third language. So back off and stick to your own comments, and if
    you don't understand what Devon wrote, that is your problem.

    May 18, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. chablisandbrie

    That's the best he can do? $150k spent to restore a bridge? That's less than .02% of the stimulus. One errant missile in Iraq or Afghanistan costs more than that and didn't give anybody a job. Give me a break.

    May 18, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  8. poopmeister

    Romney would have bought the bridge, taken it apart and figure out how to still make money off of the deal. I truly wish that Romney would learn how to get everyone on board to his messages, but it just seems like the Obama haters are going to be the only ones rooting for him and hell, they might not even vote for him!!!

    May 18, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. me

    If Mitt is not a flip flopper, then he needs to be screened for Alzheimer's. Mitt went on the Squawk Box and said he would not run down money given by the government if he was still governor of Massachusetts.

    May 18, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    From what I understand, the bridge is historic and was repaired using $150,000 of Stimulus asked for from the N.H. Republican state legislators. It is no longer needed for traveling on by car, however it is being repaired to accommodate bicyclists, joggers, and the like. What is the story here, Mitt? People ought not be allowed to walk, jog, or cylce their way through N.H.?

    We in Minnesota understand what happens when bridges are allowed to decay. Can't see the difference between walking over a bridge or driving over a bridge. Fact is, all bridges accessible to the public are in constant need of repair.

    May 18, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  11. kayla

    mr. stiff i can see your desperation

    May 18, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  12. dan5404

    Sometimes it's worth something to an area to preserve a historic bridge for residents and tourists to see. Romney was dead wrong about the purpose of the money and he is dead wrong about the stinulus being wasteful. It saved us from another depression, and got the economy moving ahead from the Republican-created disaster.

    May 18, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |

    Where was the gop/teaparty when Rumsfeld Says 2.3 Trillion Missing From Pentagon on 9/10/01?

    Bush administration gave $43 million dollars to the Taliban,

    $17b in Iraq rebuilding money missing

    Reagan raised the debt ceiling 18 times for a total increase of 199%.

    top giant U.S. companies avoiding income taxes: Sen. Bernie Sanders list

    The Bernie Sanders Ten, per release....

    1) Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings.

    2) Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion.

    3) Over the past five years, while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS.

    4) Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009.

    5) Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year.

    6) Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, it received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction.

    7) Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department.

    8) Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury.

    9) ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2007 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction.

    10) Over the past five years, Carnival Cruise Lines made more than $11 billion in profits, but its federal income tax rate during those years was just 1.1 percent

    May 18, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  14. tumbleweed

    Hey Poop,
    Typical and greed. Don't you even consider that that historic bridge means something to that community.
    I know its hard to understand for repubs but there is more to life than $$.

    May 18, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  15. Jason

    six largest campaign contribution sources in 2011 were executives,
    family members and affiliated political action committees of Goldman.
    Sachs, JPMorgan
    Chase, Morgan
    Stanley, Credit
    Suisse, Citigroup
    and Bank
    of America, according to the Center.
    for Responsive Politics, a Washington,
    D.C.-based group that monitors campaign finances.

    By contrast, Ron Paul's three largest donors are.
    The US Army, The U.S. Navy, and The U.S. Air Force.

    May 18, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  16. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Yes, Democrats lookin' REAL GOOD in New Hampshire!!! BWAHAHAHAHA!! We'll just put this one in the Romney column right now... along with North Carolina and West Virginia.

    May 18, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  17. Thomas


    Thank you !

    May 18, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  18. ObjectiveGuy

    @ ARALE NORIMAKI: Apparently someone has never heard of refunds due to overpayments. Don't really have the time or desire to explain this most basic principle to you, but often taxes are overpaid, and then amended returns are filed, based on changing data. Companies would rather overpay and get refunds, than underpay and then pay penalties. So, essentially, your entire post is completely meaningless. And your first two points are just totally made up.

    May 18, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  19. T'sah From Virginia

    ►Romney mocks 'bridge to nowhere'◄
    Actually, Rob-Money's campaign will end on that same bridge, something HE should FEAR!!
    He MOCKS the bridge when everyone he's speaking to is FOR the restoration
    Does Rob-Money GET IT???? I'm really beginning to think he’s suffering from brain deterioration!!!

    Wake Up America!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    May 18, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  20. gg

    mitts show and tell–maybe the people living there wanted to restore the bridge-mitt would have took twice that much, to ship it to china-then pocket the change

    May 18, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  21. once upon a horse

    I thought the orignal "bridge to nowhere" was a Sarah Palin thingy but I guess it's not. Well if the GOP keeps blocking jobs that will fix our roads and overpasses and bridges, there are going to be a LOT more bridges to nowhere in the very near future. And as for stimulus dollars wasted I wonder how many states used that money like our dear ol' guvner here in the great red state of Texas did.......balance his own budget with it!!

    May 18, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  22. rs

    This confirms the GOP has no sense of history, and no desire to preserve the past. No siree, we had better spend tax dollars on weapons we'll never use than something that regular folks might enjoy. Pigs!

    May 18, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  23. Pander Bear

    A) the bridge is an historic monument and part of a park
    B) At a cost of $150,000 it costs approximately 2,653 times LESS than Ted Stevens Gravina Island bridge to nowhere ($398M) that was a fave of the GOP
    C) Both Republicans and Democrats in NH campaigned for the funds to fix the bridge
    D) It's the town itself that hasn't finished the project, not the Obama Administration
    E) Romney is utterly incapable of telling the truth and completely unworthy of even being allowed on the White House tour, much less being elected POTUS.

    May 18, 2012 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  24. gg

    a president spending money in the usa instead of building bridges in iraq that,s different

    May 18, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  25. Joan

    Historic bridges in these states are very popular tourist attractions. Preserving and respecting the heritage of bridges, architecture and natural attractions should not be ridiculed. Besides, $150,000 is a drop in the bucket for Romney anyway.

    May 18, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
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