Romney promises to bring unemployment down to 6%
May 23rd, 2012
01:35 PM ET
3 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."

Also see:

Obama campaign expands Bain attack and general election ad buys

Poll: Romney takes lead in Florida

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Arkansas, Kentucky primaries pose challenge for Obama


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • unemployment
soundoff (274 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    -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.
    ******************
    I work for a publically-traded company that has thrived because of good management. I'm not union, I am comfortably middle-class. The difference between you and I is that I deal with the consequences of badly-enforced regs every day and offer companies the opportunity to meet acceptable practices and standards. Your assumptions about me and my motives are typical of the shallow mouth-breathers that find the screaming and complaining on the Right to be comforting. The regs prevent chaos in the market: uncertainty is the killer in economic growth, and regs ( when sensibly enforced) reduce that uncertainty. I know it runs counter to whatever rightie website you go to for information, but in the real business world, that is what we strive for. Read about all the regs and fees Romney imposed in MA before you bother commenting.

    May 23, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  2. Myviewis

    The truth is I don't think the 18,000 plus employees employed at Clear Channel Communications owned by Bain Capital will be upset at Romney or the employees at Warner Music Group which was originally owned by Time Warner. Let's be true, even Time Warner made money from Bain Capital, like it or not it is business and business do what business do and thus jobs are created. CNN is also a business and jobs are created by it and people need jobs. Romney has created jobs and families are getting paychecks.

    May 23, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Qi

    I believe everything he says, but it worries me that he will not release his tax records. What is he afraid of. He must be trying to hide something. What if it comes out right before the election and then its too late???????

    May 23, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    FIVE MILLION people hvae simply dropped out of the labor force since Obama has taken office. If those FIVE MILLION people were counted in the unemployment calculations, the unemployment rate would be 11%.

    11% - ELEVEN PER CENT!!! THAT is the real, the TRUE Obama unemployment rate.
    They have played games with the numbers to drop the rate and make it look like Obama's bogus "stimulus plan" had actually done something besides waste nearly a trillion dollars.

    May 23, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. mu

    What a big deal to bring unemployment down to 6% in 4 years by Mitt. Obama has done already in 3 years with a spiral down economy when he took office. Now the economy is moving in right direction, it will be more easy to cut down unemployment. If we give GOP and Mitt back they will do the same which brought us in recession.

    May 23, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    Wow. Someone upgrade the Mittens robot's firmware. Total malfunction. Did he not read CBO's predictions today? Based on what CBO released today, we're in for one of two things happening after November:

    1. GOP/Teatrolls go crazy(er) because Obama was re-elected and the goal of destroyign the federal government and breaking the backs of the labor force to install a fully functioning plutocracy that doesn't need to hide itself becomes reality. You think the've been completely nuts for the past 4 years? That they've obstructed and played games? Wait until you see how they behave when Obama wins in November. They will truly throw up their hands and say "that's it, I'm done...I'm not even going to pretend to be trying to help the country anymore."

    2. Mittens wins and the same plan gets put into effect, but they still try to keep it on the down low...telling people that if we just keep making the insanely rich even richer it will "trickle-down" and that tax cuts magically create more government revenue and jobs and that deregulation is perfectly ok because industry will regulate itself and that the safety net isn't necessary because once all the sick, poor and minorities die off or "self-deport", we won't have those problems anymore.

    May 23, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. lreed580

    Both CBO and OMB predict 6.3 and 6.1 % unemployment by 2016. So what exactly is Romney taking credit for?

    May 23, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. NorthStar

    @ Fair is Fair ... the economy from the Bush admin was not finished bleeding jobs when Obama took office. within a few months of him taking office the unemployment rate was higher. don't blame him for that. and BTW, the deficit also ballooned by $2 trillion which is also Bush since the federal budget fiscal year ends in September. 9 months after Obama took office.

    May 23, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  9. v_mag

    So, Flipper will take George Bush's policies, which created 9% unemployment, and use them to bring unemployment down to 6%? That's a stretch.

    Romney = Bush.

    May 23, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

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

    FIVE MILLION people hvae simply dropped out of the labor force since Obama has taken office. If those FIVE MILLION people were counted in the unemployment calculations, the unemployment rate would be 11%.

    11% – ELEVEN PER CENT!!! THAT is the real, the TRUE Obama unemployment rate.
    They have played games with the numbers to drop the rate and make it look like Obama's bogus "stimulus plan" had actually done something besides waste nearly a trillion dollars.
    ************************
    It probably would ahve done more if those red states like TX, SC, and LA had not taken the stim money to balance their budgets retroactively. Imagine what could have happened if Sanford, Jindall, and perry had done that. Nawww, we can't put people back to work: we need to coverup our own screwups, right? Use the Feds to cover our mistakes and make the gullible mouth-breathers on the Right happy: pleased with your boys screwing with people's lives, instead of taking care of business?

    May 23, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    "Both CBO and OMB predict 6.3 and 6.1 % unemployment by 2016. So what exactly is Romney taking credit for?"

    Being Mitt Romney and Saviour of the World as he sees it? Heck, he's already saved the auto industry, private equity firms, Wall Street, the Utah Olympics, HealthCare in America, Cayman Islands, and created thousands of jobs - yeah, I know, those jobs were 15 years ago.

    I won't include his years as Governor. Apparently he's not yet willing to concede that he saved MA from anything but his own worse policies. Surely his Massachusetts etch a sketch moment is in the making.

    May 23, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  12. Martha in CF

    Romney lives in LA LA land. It would probably be at 6% right now if the Republicans would allow our infrastructure to be worked on and put the people back to work do this!!!!!! They were the ones voting against it... Hypocrits........

    Obama/Biden 2012

    May 23, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. Boo

    And how does Max Headroom plan on doing this? This guy is sooooo full of ....!

    May 23, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  14. Myviewis

    Romney=Jobs I'm sure those thousands of employees around the nation working for AMC Entertainment, The Weather Channel, Clear Channel Communications, Warner Music Group, Toys R Us, Burger King will agree when they cash their paychecks and keep families with a home, fed, kids in college, etc...

    May 23, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. Ricardo

    6%, moron it's still high, Why not 1%, politicians liars. I don't trust any of them.

    May 23, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. Patriot Awesome

    What exactly are these magic policies he'd put in place? Anybody can say they can drop unemployment with policies, but without specifics he's just telling people what they want to hear. As far as I can tell he's going to go back to Bush like policies that got us in this jam in the first place. No thank you mittens.

    May 23, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. tigerakabj

    So now he's talking about 6%, whereas before he said if it wasn't below 4% (and he got hounded for that pandering), then the recovery isn't good enough?

    Romney, you will never be president. Please believe the President is just getting warmed up delivering ads of your Bain record to the American people. You might want to go ahead and move to Florida like you and your wife want.

    May 23, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  18. M-AZ Independent -

    If the expectation is for the employment rate to drop to 6% by 2016, based on the current rate under this administration (10% to 8%), then why change course now. Mitt, youv'e gotta do better than that to get my vote.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    May 23, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  19. NotFooledByDistractions

    Ah...last week romney said that anything over 4% was unacceptable. Multiple choice mitt, never a dull moment.

    Wow, 6% – that's really going out on a limb considering that the projections have already been posted and show that unemployment should be down to 6.1 by 2016. Nothing new, romney just bogarting someone elses work and projections claiming them as some kind of a revelation.

    May 23, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  20. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    "FIVE MILLION people hvae simply dropped out of the labor force since Obama has taken office. If those FIVE MILLION people were counted in the unemployment calculations, the unemployment rate would be 11%.

    11% – ELEVEN PER CENT!!! THAT is the real, the TRUE Obama unemployment rate.
    They have played games with the numbers to drop the rate and make it look like Obama's bogus "stimulus plan" had actually done something besides waste nearly a trillion dollars."

    In case you weren't paying attention, a lot of jobs that required minimal education have been permanently lost. Therefore, a lot of less educated people are either giving up or going back to school. In some cases with couples, it makes more sense to stay home with children and save on childcare if the other one can work more. All these factors have been in play (and increasing) over the last couple of decades, so blaming a historical trend on the President is pretty stupid. You also complete ignore that ALL private sector job losses have no been offset. The public sector, however, has been hit hard by your GOBP governors and state legislatures. Again, a laid off state employee with a pension is more likely to retire early than accept a job at McDonalds. Try to pay more attention.

    May 23, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  21. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Mitt McCain won't make it out of the GOBP convention. Obama/Biden 2012!

    May 23, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  22. v_mag

    I don't believe Flip Rob-money is a natural-born American. I think he's a alien (in the galactic sense) and I demand to see his DNA!

    May 23, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  23. The Real Tom Paine

    -Myviewis

    Romney=Jobs I'm sure those thousands of employees around the nation working for AMC Entertainment, The Weather Channel, Clear Channel Communications, Warner Music Group, Toys R Us, Burger King will agree when they cash their paychecks and keep families with a home, fed, kids in college, etc...
    *********************************
    Any idea as to how much the average employee there makes? I suggest you check before making an assumption that is probably wrong. Radio sales and tech positions are very low-paying, fast food is no place to earn a living....clearly you will post anything to make Mitt look good. Do you think any of the people at a BK drive-thru window are thinking about driving a Porsche to their villa, except in their wildest dreams?

    May 23, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  24. Mario

    The TEA PARTY RUN'S MITT ROMNEY like they run John B an Mitch McConnell

    May 23, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. John

    Obama 2012 – BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE, do you work for the RNC or Mitt Romney? I assume what was said on campaigned trail do not count. Let erase all that was said about Mitt and get him a do over. What a Joke? If you all really care about our country stop giving these republican your vote. If don't believed what I'm saying do your homework. United State will split like an atom Adam. It happen in the sixty and the eighties

    May 23, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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