May 18th, 2012
04:12 PM ET
3 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. Steven W Lindsey

    Yes, indeed, NH Republicans supported the (limited) preservation of NH heritage including this stone arch bridge.

    I suppose now that the Granite State has fallen under the sway of the Tea Party faction, we'll have to demolish all of NH's historic bridges and more. We don't want to burden future generations with the costs of historic preservation, keeping quaint things like covered bridges, white meeting houses, Robert Frost's farmhouse and all.

    Hon. Steven W Lindsey
    state rep
    Keene, NH

    May 18, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  2. timz

    I thought Mitt was going to be talking about the bridge in Alaska named after Gov. Sarah Palin that memorializes her second half-term.

    May 18, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  3. Marcus

    Sorry to ask but, isn't the 'Bridge to Nowhere' located in Alaska?
    This one at least has a purpose, a touristic one at the very least.
    So why call her like that?

    May 18, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  4. jocko

    Maybe the bridge connects the salamander and the golden plates.

    May 18, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  5. Mike in Texas

    The sad thing there are millions of Americans who buy the crap Mitt is shoveling because 1)They hate the President for reasons other than policy and 2)They are impatient fools who feel our economy should be booming with job growth of 500K a month and home prices back to where they were in 2006.

    Mitts says a lot without saying anything. What are your specifics Mitt? The guy is clueless so it's not surprise his supporters are too.

    May 18, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  6. Marie MD

    @dan5404, the flip flopper is dead wrong about everything. His problem is that he seems to forget what he said yesterday, heck, in the same paragraph because his brain is not functioning properly as he lies about everything.
    The sociorobully wanted Detroit to go bankrupt then he comes out with I saved it. With what? Did we miss he giving the okay to save the auto industry? Even his bain family didn't think his idea was good.
    It took, once again, President Obama to save the day.

    May 18, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  7. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    me thinks that Mitt Romney should do a bit of research before he mocks the president on such a project like this seeing that Republicans supported it and some that are even backing him right now.

    May 18, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  8. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    I love how when CONSERVATIVE Republicans are against something that they used to be in favor of is an evolved opinion, but when any other political stripe does so, it is a Flip-Flop. It looks like there are a whole bunch of Republicans in the New Hampshire State Assembly who should be called Flip-Floppers based on their opinion of the Sawyer Bridge. I am surprised that they aren't saying anything about the US 1 bridge that connects Portsmouth with Kittery Maine.

    May 18, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  9. Former Republican, now an Independent

    If Romney was smart, he wouldn't bring up the bridge to nowhere, as it was one of the republican party's many debacles.

    May 18, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  10. citizen9

    Congratulations Mitt, for attracting 150 willing participants to listen to your drivel!

    May 19, 2012 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  11. ThinkAgain

    @ARALE NORIMAKI: "Where was the gop/teaparty when Rumsfeld Says 2.3 Trillion Missing From Pentagon on 9/10/01?"

    Thank you for your research! It will fall on deaf GOP ears, but Democrats and Independents need to stay motivated to go to the polls in November and vote for President Obama and Democratic majorities in the House and Senate so we don't return to the failed GOP policies that Mittens is promoting.

    Get out there and VOTE, folks, for Obama/Biden 2012!

    May 19, 2012 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  12. ThinkAgain

    @Larry: "Do you plan to follow the Paul Ryan Plan? Do you plan to trash Medicare? Do you have any actual vision?"

    Yes
    Yes
    No

    'Nuff said, except to add: Vote Obama/Biden 2012!

    May 19, 2012 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  13. ThinkAgain

    @NotFooledByDistractions: "It's a curious breed of conservatism that would find offense in the job-creating conservation of a stone arch bridge that is one of the earliest examples of dry-laid masonry vaults in New England.

    The project was championed by 28 New Hampshire Republicans who now support Romney's presidential campaign.

    This guy really needs a new research team."

    Yep, Mittens is relying on being able to once again fool the GOP "base" into voting against their own self-interest.

    And here's a question to CNN: Why don't you fact-check these stories and run a sidebar or something explaining the real reasons this bridge was restored?

    May 19, 2012 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  14. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    More Mitt McCain yada, yada yada. He's like a broken record. Lie after lie after lie. A gaffe machine running away from reporters.

    May 19, 2012 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  15. GaryB

    Let's see. A few months ago, Romney told some supporters that the $370,000 he earned in speaking fees in 2010 was "hardly anything", so why's he so worried about a miniscule $150,000 spent on historical restoration? At least that money probably went to people who'll actually spend it in this country.

    May 19, 2012 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
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