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. Fair is Fair

    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.
    ---------
    Bush Derangement Syndrome... alive and well. WHEN does anything stick to teflon Obama? Ever? Don't you sheep get exhausted making excuses?

    May 23, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. Keith

    George Bush hosed this country ROYALLY - I'm not about vote for someone who repeatedly shows me he's CLUELESS too!:

    * Sat idle while his church promoted the idea that black people are a cursed race-you want to be my president but you're not smart enough to figure out religious BS?

    * Refused to LISTEN to a man with MS about the benefits he's experienced from medical MJ while CAMPAIGNING and repeatedly shows us that he's UNWILLING to listen to anything on the matter. Billions wasted on prohibition and yet he THINKS we're doing the RIGHT thing???

    * Wears magic underwear - seriously?

    What's in a person's head MATTERS-esp given that we need to NEW SOLUTIONS not the same ole god and country propaganda. it's 2012, not 1220!

    May 23, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. mcskadittle

    Lizzie: I love when republicans where their ignorance like a badge of honor, this law is soo many pages so it must be bad! all legislation has a lot of pages, try reading them first

    May 23, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. Dean

    I could do it in 18 months. $100,000.00 fine and 6 months jail time for CEO and personnel director of company who hires an illegal alien and a 100% tariff on any manufactured product made outside the U.S. 200 % if it is made by an American company outside the U.S.

    May 23, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. Myviewis

    Romney has managed to keep thousands with jobs and you really don't think he can figure out how to lower our unemployment down to 6%???? Seriously, the guy keeps thousands, thousands, thousands employeed, how dumb can you people be to ignore this true fact? You guys are Dumber than a doorknob.

    May 23, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. Richard "BONEHEAD" Cheney

    Woo haa haa – what a fool.

    May 23, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  7. Patricia Thomas

    Romney does not know how to create jobs based on his background. First of all, when he was Governor of Mass. the state ranked 47th in job growth - and Mass. is a wealthy state. However, Mass. did beat out Louisiana, which had just been destroyed by Katrina. Some Republicans say that because Romney was a CEO of a company he knows how to create jobs. The fact is Bush Jr. had also been a CEO and look at the utter mess he put us in. Reagan & Clinton were never businessmen and look at the good job they did. So, being a CEO does not count for squat, in fact, it seems to be a huge detriment. Plus, Romney was CEO of Bain Caplital, which had no interest in creating jobs. Its mission was to make Romney, other managers & investors rich. Bain was not a venture capitalist firm, it was a corporate raider firm - big difference. Romney wants to do the exact same things that Bush Jr. did and we know where that got us. I think Obama has done a pretty good job expecially when you consider the horrific debacle Bush Jr. handed him. In fact, I believe Obama saved us from another Great Depression with 25%-28% unemployment.

    May 23, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  8. Dean

    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
    ------------–
    and if you count the people who are now working at half pay jobs then the number is about 18%.

    May 23, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. louis perez

    They don't question WILLARD money in the Cayman Island, but they question President Obama birth certificate when they know all along he is an American, just can't get pass the color.

    May 23, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  10. Hugganoak

    First, we'll start by outsourcing more jobs to overseas. That should bring the unemployment rate down a percentage point or so. Then we'll lay off thousands of workers from private companies and take the profits. That should bring it down another point, and voila! We're at 6%. Easy.

    May 23, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "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%."

    Seeing as how the reason for the vast majority of those people dropping out of the labor force was their age, I'm going to interpret this statement as just more of the GOP/Teatrolls insisting that the retirement age should be increased and that the elderly should be put to work or put to death, with no in between.

    May 23, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  12. REPUBLICAN ARE THE GREATEST

    Romney can do it, Obama can not do it. Capitalism wins over Socialism.

    May 23, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. once upon a horse

    Obama may have been able to do that too if he had a Congress that would have worked with him and passed more jobs bills. Republicans won't approve public sector jobs because they claim it grows more government. Mitt can promise all he wants just like Newt's promise of $2.50 a gallon gas and a moonbase, but if he were to get an obstructionist Congress like Obama has where in the Senate the filibuster is abused he will get the same results.

    May 23, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. Flipper Rmoney Failure Ahead

    If Rmoney thinks he can hit 6% with the same stale and failed policies of tax cuts for the filthy rich, benefit cuts for everyone else, and deregulation, then his magic underwear must be causing hallucinations. It didn't work for GWB and Rmoney is just a robotic GWB V.2

    May 23, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:
    @ Fair is Fair ... the economy from the Bush admin was not finished bleeding jobs when Obama took office....

    Bush Derangement Syndrome... alive and well. WHEN does anything stick to teflon Obama? Ever? Don't you sheep get exhausted making excuses?
    ----------–
    Call it what you want, we prefer to call it the truth. I'm surprised that you are not using that twisted logic to blame Pres. Obama for the Great Recession that was still underway during the first 6 months of his administration.

    May 23, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. Governor 47th in Job Growth

    What are those policies Willard? Be specific. The same policies in MA when Willard was Gov? He doesn't like to admit that he was actually Gov of MA, ah hem Romneycare. Healthcare was the one bright spot of an otherwise failed tenure. Certainly the policies that led to an esteemed 47th out of 50 for job creation can't be so sound.
    Doesn't want to talk about Bain
    Doesn't want to talk about Gov of MA
    Doesn't want to talk about Romneycare
    Doesn't want to talk about Chen from China

    May 23, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. Governor 47th in Job Growth

    @ Sniffit
    "....that the retirement age should be increased and that the elderly should be put to work or put to death, with no in between."

    I do believe you've unlocked the secret of Paulie Ryan's Path to Nowhere. Elimnates need for SS and Medicare at once.

    May 23, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. vic , nashville ,tn

    The way the economy and unemployment rate are moving , unemployment rate will reach 4.5 end of 2016 we don’t need Romney help

    May 23, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    I'll tell you what if Mitt gets elected and can get unemployment down to around 6% then I think we should give credit to OBAMA because Mitt will just be continuing what Obama had started......just like the Republicans love to give Bush credit for many of Obama's succeses might as well keep it going. Hopefully though this will not happen because the closest Mitt should be to the White House is watching Obama retake the oath of office in January.

    May 23, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  20. Namejkane fl live FROM ROMNEYCARE BIG DIG IN BOSTON, 15BILLION DALLAR ROMNEY FISCILE CONSERVATIVE FAILED GOV,THREE TIME LOSER

    A vote for the republican morons is a vote for another job in China and dip ,you left a 1billion dallar defict for the incoming gov.of mass. Where are the disk drives your staff stole in mass. Government property .

    May 23, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. Myviewis

    @Patricia Thomas – can you really ignore Facts? 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 jobs are created. Even Time Warner (owns CNN) has created jobs by doing business with Bain Capital.

    May 23, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  22. Marcus

    Obama 2012 – BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE
    OK, FIVE MILLION people are no longer working...
    How many of them have RETIRED due to their age?
    Numbers please.

    May 23, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  23. Rosa, b'ham al

    Hahahahahahahahah!!!!! How does he plan to do that? More tax cuts for the wealthy? FIring government employees? I guess they don't count in the unemployment figures.

    May 24, 2012 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  24. Joan

    Democrats have proven they can not help the economy. That is why the party of blame got ousted last election and are going to get another shellacking this election.

    May 24, 2012 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  25. Chuck Jasper, Ga.

    "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."

    We have never seen this type of claim before from a Republican have we? Romney "projects" he can get unemployment to 6%, when it is already headed there. This reminds me a lot of the claim he deserves "credit" and is "responsible" for the Auto Industry not tanking even though he had nothing to do with it. You conservatives and Republicans in general are really simple minded sock puppets aren't you? You believe everything that comes out of a Republicans mouth without ever looking at facts.

    May 24, 2012 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
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