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.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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."

Also see:

Obama campaign expands Bain attack and general election ad buys

Poll: Romney takes lead in Florida

Palin endorses Utah's Hatch in Senate race

Arkansas, Kentucky primaries pose challenge for Obama


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

    Does anyone else notice that Romney is long on pontificating and short on details? Oh yeah, and how about that Big Dig? And being 47th in job creation when he was gov. of MA? Romney has this oddly compartmentalized memory. He only remembers what he wants to remember.

    May 23, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    -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?
    **************************************************
    His plan creates a hostile environment for the people who will actually work: that is, unless you want to count all the Staples/Wall Mart style jobs he will create as jobs that you can actually have a real life and raise a family with. Wonderful, a nation of retail workers. He taxed everything that moved in MA so he could close the debt in his state: why are you giving him a pass on that? What am I saying, of course you will.

    May 23, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. Fair is Fair

    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....
    -------–
    The unemployment rate is higher now that when Obama was sworn in. Please get your facts straight.

    May 23, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. Jill-IN

    Hey, the unemployment rate is already headed down. Things are in good shape in lots of States. We live in Indiana and things are really hopping this spring – lots of construction, home sales up, new housing additions being built, new work being done on roads and bridges. Restaurants and stores are busy. Things are great. So we are happy with Obama.

    May 23, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    "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."

    Oh, Lord. Another John McCain "I can get Bin Laden – I know where he is" GOP moment all over again. Didn't Romney just last week blast President Obama that nothing under 5% unemployment should be considered celebratory? What's with Romney trying to set his own goal post one point ahead of his anti-Obama goal post blast?

    May 23, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  6. macrasta

    High 5 @ AJ 513

    May 23, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. Critcal Thinking

    if you want european style cradle to grave government then you get european style unemployment rates from 8% to 12%. If you want smaller opportunistic style government, then you get unemployment rates from 4% to 6%. Anything lower than 4% is really not possible because of those who will never seek employment. so the choice is ours to which type of unemployment rates we want.

    May 23, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  8. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    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
    =====================================================================================
    In 2008 an inexperienced dog catcher named Barack Hussein Obama was given the keys and a "shot"! Four years later we are STILL paying the price. Romney has vastly more experience, SUCCESSFUL EXPERIENCE, than Obama. Experience and success that Obama could only ever dream of, because Obama is totally unqualified to hold the office of President.

    May 23, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. Bob

    Right. He'll do it with more tax cuts and deregulation.

    It's worked so well for 30 years we would have had another Great Depressoin were it not for President Obama's wise fiscal policies.

    May 23, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  10. BK

    Just saying "I'll do this" doesn't mean anything.
    By virtue of the policies you put in place? Care to share what policies and why they'd work? No. Because politicians are better at saying they'd do it better than actually having a plan once they get in charge.

    May 23, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. TheGayAtheist

    6%?

    ..All Mormon Mitt has to do now is keep Newt's promise of a constitutional amendment legislating 99 cent a gallon gas.

    In the words of the GOP Savior, St. Palin, "You Betcha."

    May 23, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. Roblsmith

    Vote romney, see u in the soup line.

    May 23, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    The Real Tom Paine
    His plan creates a hostile environment for the people who will actually work: that is, unless you want to count all the Staples/Wall Mart style jobs he will create as jobs that you can actually have a real life and raise a family with.
    ===================================================================================
    Don't you live in the USA??? We have a service economy now so many ojobs are created there, as well as in any of the USA based manufacturers.

    But I suppose you would rather have people unemployed and on the government dole in order to bolster the government dependent base of the Democrat Party.

    May 23, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  14. Lizzie

    Tom Paine, so what are Presidents Obamas plans, put out more regulation that stifle the economy, like the over 1000 pages to tell farmer how, when and where to farm or maybe the 588 pages on how to drill for oil and natural gas, because this administration has soooooo much experience in all of the above. All they can say is raise taxes on the rich Period. Go ahead and raise it see how fast this economy goes down, the rich will alway be rich and the poor will always be poor.
    According to your blog you rather sit at home let someone else take care of you and then complain if you don't get enough of the pie.

    May 23, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  15. Justin

    Either guy will eventually get it down to 6! Doesn't mean Romney should be President

    May 23, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. David

    Mormon Mitt must be planning on a massive government push to have a national hiring day..at fast food places.

    If you can't feed and house yourself on Burger King wages, you need to work harder.

    May 23, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. Tyrone

    So he likes to fire people on the spot & have them escorted out by security Guards after he Rapes them from Their Pensions. Does that really make him such a bad guy??

    May 23, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    The only reason that thr Republ8icans won't vote on anthing because they feel it would reduce the unemployment rate and help Obama. They are worried about bama so much that they held the American people back just to get him out. Now remember Obama is for ther Middle class. Now he may not have the money of the Super rcih but he will be well off than most of us. Som think again before you vote out of hate for Obama because if you getr scik Romney and the Republicans ain't gonna pay your housenote, gas,electric, car payment. ZThe only only thing you will get is a I'm sorry that happen. At least with Obama through no fault of your own he will support programs to help those that got toasted through not fault of their own.

    May 23, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. sonny chapman

    That's right up there w/Newt's Moon Colony prediction.

    May 23, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  20. Myviewis

    Thousands of people have jobs thanks to Romney. Take Warner Music Group for example, they were acquired by Bain Capital, previously owned by Time Warner who owns CNN and they employee. And how about The Weather Channel, The Sports Authority, Brookstone, AMC Entertainment, Burlington Coat Factory and Clear Channel Communications that employees over 18,000 full-time employees. I don't think these employees are upset to be taking a paycheck home.

    May 23, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    -Obama 2012 – BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    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
    =====================================================================================
    In 2008 an inexperienced dog catcher named Barack Hussein Obama was given the keys and a "shot"! Four years later we are STILL paying the price. Romney has vastly more experience, SUCCESSFUL EXPERIENCE, than Obama. Experience and success that Obama could only ever dream of, because Obama is totally unqualified to hold the office of President.
    *******************
    Success at what? Creating a few min-wage jobs, then inflating his resume for claiming credit for jobs created after he left Bain? Begging for federal funds to save the Olympics? Raising taxes and fees in MA to balance the budget, then making the individual mandate a reality, then being MIA in his job the last 2 years because his ambition outweighed his conscience to the oath he took as governor? He has never stuck at anything in his public professional life long enough to make a real impact. All Mitt has is a nice exterior covering overweening ambition, kind of like Lucifer.

    May 23, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. NYC REPUB

    Well i'd rather let this president finish the job. Obama 2012

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

    Sometimes Pinochhio's movemens are so lifelike, I almost forget he's not a real boy.

    May 23, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  24. Ryan-MN

    We are already on track to get to that level or lower with Obama at the helm. Thanks, but no thanks Romney.

    May 23, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  25. Dave Jaipersaud

    Ok, the Congressional Budget Office project the unemployment rate will be 7% by 2015 and 5.5% by 2017 based on the current growth rate. The current growth rate is based on policies (Obama & the Democrats) that are now in effect which Romney has nothing to do with. Basically Romney is admitting that his policies (Republican) will make no difference to the unemployment rate over the next four years. Yet again, he shows how unethical and deceptive he is at his core. Trying to take credit for the projected employment rate of 7% which he and the Republicans would have contributed nothing towards. He wants to get rid of the current policies that will reduce the rate to 7% and replace them with his philosophy of trickle down economics which will likely cause rate to go back up to the great recession rate of over 10.5%.

    May 23, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11