Romney promises to bring unemployment down to 6%
May 23rd, 2012
01:35 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney promises to bring unemployment down to 6%

(CNN) - After repeatedly pinning the president for the unemployment level, which now sits at 8.1%, Mitt Romney pledged he could cut the rate by two points if he makes it to the White House.

"I can tell you that over a period of four years, by virtue of the policies that we'd put in place, we'd get the unemployment rate down to 6%, and perhaps a little lower," the presumptive GOP nominee said in a TIME interview published Wednesday.

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The number marked the first time Romney had talked about a specific rate during this election cycle, although he listed 5.9% as the number he would strive for in his 59-point economic plan released in September.

And economic forecasts suggest he may not be too far off. Based on the current rate of growth, the jobless rate is expected to fall to around 7% by the end of 2015, and 5.5% by the end of 2017, according to reports by the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Romney has used the unemployment rate as a main line of attack against President Barack Obama. His campaign frequently points to a 2009 interview in which the president said if his administration could not get the economy turned around in three years, "then there is going to be a one-term proposition."

At the worst of the recession, the unemployment rate reached 10% in October 2009, nine months after Obama took office. It has gradually dropped to its current rate at just over 8%, though some experts attribute the lower rate to the fact that more Americans are leaving the workforce.

The CBO expects the rate to remain above 8% for the rest of this year and next year.

In a conference call Wednesday, Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt pointed to those predictions in criticizing Romney's statement.

"Government economists have been clear that under current law their projection today is that unemployment will hit 6% by that point," LaBolt said.

He went on to cite recent remarks in which Romney, chiding the president for his job creation record, said any unemployment figure above 4% was not worth celebrating.

"What I think was interesting about this is that Romney moved goal posts in a matter of weeks," LaBolt said. "He said he was going to get it down to 4% several weeks ago, now he's at 6%, he's already moved the goal posts on a critical promise he made."

In his previous remarks, Romney did not explicitly say he would reduce the unemployment rate to 4%. At a campaign stop in Pittsburgh in May, he said "anything over 8%, anything near 8%, anything over 4% is not cause for celebration."

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • unemployment
soundoff (274 Responses)
  1. Lemone

    Of course...he made it go up

    May 23, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  2. Fair is Fair

    The SCOTUS might beat you to it.... just by deeming the so-called ACA unconstitutional.

    May 23, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  3. Chumlee

    Keep flapping your lies Mittens – you are blowing smoke

    Obama 2012

    May 23, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  4. Scott

    He can't do no worse then OBama, maybe better, lets give him a shot. OBama surte is not doing anything to bring unemployment down.

    May 23, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. The Other Dale

    But on May 4 he stated that "good" unemployment would be 4%. Thus, by his own campaigning strategy he's saying that he can't do the job.

    Further, basing his numbers on projections already set in place is like saying, "As long as I don't get into office, it'll go down."

    Since when did Romney start campaigning for Obama?

    May 23, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. AJ 513

    So in other words, he can bring the rate down by the end of the next term by continuing Obama's policies, while demonizing him the whole time.

    May 23, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  7. Namejkane fl live FROM ROMNEYCARE BIG DIG IN BOSTON, 15BILLION DALLAR ROMNEY FISCILE CONSERVATIVE FAILED GOV,THREE TIME LOSER

    It's heading there anyway with no help from the Gop that's been trying to tank the economy for four years thanks to republican obstructionism and they will pay in Nov .

    May 23, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. Al-NY,NY

    And economic forecasts suggest he may not be too far off. Based on the current rate of growth, the jobless rate is expected to fall to around 7% by the end of 2015, and 5.5% by the end of 2017, according to reports by the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office.
    -----------------

    if the CBO is right, then Obama will get it down to 6% as well so where's the big indictment of Obama?? Maybe Flippy will promise $2.50 gas!

    May 23, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. Mr. 1% the "VULTURE CAPITALIST BUSINESSMAN" would outsource the poor, disabled, unemployed and elderly to China and sell America to the highest bidder!

    Uh, Mittens, you forgot 2.00 a gallon gas, and the moon colony, or perhaps in your case, the Planet Kolob colony.

    For you Mormon neophytes(no, you Fox trolls it is NOT name-calling) Planet Kolob is the planet or star nearest the Throne of God.

    Frankly, there is some indecision amongst Mormons about whether Kolob is a "plant" or "star" but truthfully, I started to dose off during this part of the discussion.

    Let them settle it, and then we can just check out the movie!

    May 23, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. Patriot

    Yeah, after he killed them. Now that he's running for President he promised to revive them? What an Evil man.

    May 23, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. Tyrone

    I am Whackjob Romney & Russia is our biggest Foe!!

    May 23, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Romney promises to bring unemployment down to 6%
    =======================================
    But the Obama plan of keeping people unemployed so long that they drop out of the workforce IS bringing the unemployment rate down. He needs another 4 years to eradicate more workers and their jobs and soon we'll be at 3% or lower.

    Or do you think Romney has a different plan??? Like actually CREATING a hospitable enviroment for job creation?

    May 23, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. Joi Gibson

    If economic projections are that the rate will gradually go down, based on the current rate of growth, how can Willard say HE himself will be the one doing it. Oh wait, it's like the auto bailout – he will take credit for that too. Really!!! And what EXACTLY are the policies he plans to put in place. Why not define them now? I think we are owed that if he wants to be president. He's like Scott Walker. Say anything to get elected, and then when elected (OMG – I certainly hope Willard is not elected) change the tune and just hack away at everything Republicans don't like – no matter how much it hurts the average American. Average American being the operative phrase – something Willard has no concept of.

    OBAMA/BIDEN/FIRST LADY MICHELLE 2012!!

    May 23, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  14. John

    Scott, according to Romney the fed gov't don't create jobs its can only facilitate the environment. If that true then don't blame the President. He have try on numerous occasions to generate growth but your republicans refuse to work across with Dem and the President. The republicans have they like Mitt , they just need him to sign the bills . Stop looking back the country must go forward . Kick out those republicans who put party first and American people last

    May 23, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  15. JuhDuh

    Wait a minute, when Obama took over the unemployment rate was over 11% and now it is at 8.1, that is nearly a 3% drop and Romney can only drop 2% in four years?

    May 23, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  16. david

    in three years and six month Obama has reduced unemployment by four notch, now its 8.1% so Romney is setting a low threshold for himself to be evaluated, what clever guy. Obama has really done very great when you consider the environment he is opearing in, especially the world economy run by europeans who have applied what republicans are planning to apply if they won the election. Obama is middle class continued progress.

    May 23, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. Mgc tampa

    Wow, an etch a sketch moment!

    May 23, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  18. Kelly

    And if you elect me I will make the sun revolve around our planet!

    May 23, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. Nardfather

    For people who say we should just give Romney a shot, you are insane. You don't give someone the keys to the most powerful position in the world to "give them a shot"....that is how we ended up with Bush W

    May 23, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. NorthStar

    Big deal! Mite Robmey could sit on his duff and do nothing and the unemployment rate would probably go down to 6%. It's already dropped 2% from it's peak and is on pace to hit 6% provided Europe does not crash. If that happens, Mitt would panic because there would be no one left to fire.

    May 23, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. Wes B.

    In one term, Obama has decreased the rate by 2%. Now Romney says he can decrease it by 2% in one term? Ummm....

    May 23, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  22. Curt

    I may be wrong but didn't he just say a few weeks ago that anything over 4% was unacceptable. Notice that he said over 4 years ( when his term would be up anyway ) How about he promises to lower unemployment within 2 yrs. ( if elected ) and if he does not succeed then he resigns.

    May 23, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  23. Bill

    What a lying, gasbag.

    May 23, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  24. Fair is Fair

    JuhDuh

    Wait a minute, when Obama took over the unemployment rate was over 11% and now it is at 8.1, that is nearly a 3% drop and Romney can only drop 2% in four years?
    --------
    No YOU wait a minute.

    When Obama took over, the unemploymen rate was under 8%... remember when he told us all that we had to pass his porkulus package to prevent unemployment from going to 8%??? And what happened? It went to 10.2% and has stayed over 8% for the longest period IN OUR HISTORY. And seriously... the only reason that it's at 8.1% now is that,we are at the lowest percentage of eligible adults in the labor market since the lase democratic economic phenom president, Jimmy Carter.

    You're entitled to your own opinions... just not your own facts.

    May 23, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  25. David

    No one is bringing unemployment down to 6%. No one. That's because the government has lied for years about the real unemployment number.

    May 23, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
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