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."

Also see:

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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. babooph

    Now that he never worked in his life & made sure his heirs would never work for endless generations ,he plans on ours serving them at minimum wage...

    May 24, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  2. Scott

    so it is unacceptable for obama to lower unemployment 2 % but romney wants to say it like it would be masterfull for him to do it

    May 24, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  3. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Isn't it ironic that the republican policies drove us near a 2nd depression, and Obama has turned the economy around in spite of their opposition to everything productive, and now Romney wants to ride the democrat's recovery to fame. The unemployment numbers are headed to 6 percent with or without Romney, and possibly much more if the republicans lose big in November.

    May 24, 2012 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  4. maine liberal

    from the way the repugnants have talked over the past 3 years; unemployment is your fault.
    Mitt and crew will lower the workforce and lower the weeks of federal unemployment benefits.
    Unemployment is just a number that can be manipulated. if your not in the workforce and don t have a job your not cvounted as unempployed.

    May 24, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  5. jnpa

    If there is a way to lower the unemployment rate to 6%, don't you think someone in government other than Romney would have the answers? It would have been done by now. That is the same as the republicans saying they will lower gas prices to $2.50 a gallon. It is political bait..trying to get the vote – hook, line and sinker!

    May 24, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  6. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    "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."

    The people who are dumb as doorknobs are those who think Rmoney's warmed over manure of proven policy failures like tax cuts for the filthy rich and deregulation will create jobs. They don't. Proven fact. Full stop. How dumb can you people be to ignore this true fact?

    May 24, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  7. Independent Voters

    President Obama is doing good without the no do congress which want Obama to fail.
    Romney you the biggest lier in politics. Romney outsource jobs

    May 24, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  8. Bob B

    These guys will say anything to get elected, but this isn't anything new.

    May 24, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  9. tnmtl

    Great! Now Rmoney is on par with Bachman in making outlandish claims he will never be able to produce by his own efforts. And what does he propose people do anyway? Everyone won't be able to work at McDonalds or Walmart when their jobs continue to be exported to China or India (not only manufacturing, it's services now!!).

    May 24, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Mitt Romny seems to be campaigning more for Labor Secretary, than for Commander-In-Cheif. That's all he knows to talk about. What little foreign policy he's discussed is narrower than Rick Santorum's foreign policy skills. Start a war with Iran. If someone doesn't want to do things my way, destroy them. Didn't we just go through that with GWB.

    I've been saying it, and others on this blog have been saying it for months. Spending has not increased under Pres. Obama when compared to other Presidents, most especially the Republican presidents. Spending has increased 1.4% under Pres. Obama. Under Pres. Bush, who's policies Romney is looking to repeat, spending increased around 8% during his first term and even more during his second.

    Mitt Romney's "expertise" in tax reform would add $5 trillion in growth to the deficit, while Pres. Obama's plan would cut $2 trillion from that samne growth. Mitt Romney doesn't understand the tax system. How could he? Romney's only solution to taxes is don't pay any taxes.

    May 24, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  11. asm_ith

    Interesting that he says his policies will bring unemployment down to 6% in 4 years, yet the current CBO projection is for it to get down to 5.5% in 5 years anyway. So he is really just offering a change in policies to accomplish what already being projected with current policies. Romney is a joke.

    May 24, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  12. Abby

    Sounds a whole lot like Newt and his $2 gas, Obama and his plan to close GITMO and Bush's flying cars. Politicians will say anything to get elected.

    May 24, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  13. BOB

    too bad the outsourcing king is talking about China's unemployment rate not ours.

    May 24, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  14. dnick47

    One thing is certain, the repubs do not have one single idea to increase employment that was not introduced by RWR back in the Election of 1980. Those ideas have proven to be failures in Bush I and Bush II, now Romney wants to give trickle down another go... I think Romney and the Repubs should go to where the fire never goes out.

    May 24, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  15. desmond24

    Republicans are always making promises they know they can't keep, just to win an election. I guess they figure statistics are on their side on this one. Even if their policies don't affect anything in a positive manner, a most likely scenario, time itself may make Romney look accurate. More likely though, the GOP's penchant for getting into mischief, in one manner or another, will most likely derail any recovery. I am sure in their heavy handed manner to reduce the deficit they will impose austerity measures and other policies that will have Americans rioting on the street – making the Greece and Spain riots look like a parade. Heaven forbid if Romney wins the election!!

    May 24, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  16. vatoloke

    Kinda reminescent of Michelle Bachmann's $2 gasoline.

    May 24, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  17. Core republican Values

    A Romney presidency will mean more jobs for:
    Shoeshine boys.
    Maids
    Domestic servants.
    Defense contractors.
    Parking Lot attendants.
    Chauffers

    May 24, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  18. Wake up people

    First nutty Newt and his $2.50 per gallon gas and now the vampire capitalist that shipped jobs overseas and caused so much devastation is promising unemployment at 6%. This coming from the guy that has all of the same people working for him as the last guy who was the main cause of our economy collapsing in the first place. Do they think the American people are that stupid? Of course they do.

    OBAMA 2012!

    May 24, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  19. thebeelady

    And when hes elected, and fails in his "PROMISE" then what?

    May 24, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  20. rand

    It's amazing that people say that Bush crashed the economy............unemployment was at 5% up until April of '08 and the DEMOCRATS policy of getting involved in private lending (Community Reinvestment Act) and forcing banks to loan (you won't be able to expand if you don't issue x amount of loans to minorities) to those who COULDN'T AFFORD mortgages in order to
    level the playing field of home ownership ( government control over private business) in America was really the start of the downfall.. Also, Obama claims he saved GM..........yet 160,000 of GM's employees work OUT OF THE COUNTRY!! Only 60,000 work in the US. When Obama tries to claim he is THE better job creator than Romney... it's a complete joke. 30 years of private sector work for Romney and Obama barely showed up for Senate votes after he was a Community Organizer. At 30 he was writing his autobiography.....................I mean c'mon, seriously?????

    May 24, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  21. Jacob

    "Based on the policies we would put in place"

    Care to share any of those Mitt? Sound wonderful lowering unemployment but what exactly IS your plan?

    And how does your plan differ with the plan currently in place that by all accounts is reducing and will continue to reduce unemployment to under 6% in 5 years?

    Look, I know people might not be happy with president Obama and I would be one of em. But the man hasn't been terrible and the alternative is just so bad and downright scary.

    May 24, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  22. slk

    so $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$lover mitt is going to hire alot of regular people?????????????????????????
    NOT....................he only wants his MILLION AIRE and BILLION AIRE FRIENDS to succeed.

    BUt you all believe the trash he is talking.................................

    May 24, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  23. Erin

    Mitt Romney also promises that the sun will rise tomorrow.... see, it's easy to "promise" things that are going to happen anyways. Obama – with NO HELP from Republicans has worked his tail off to turn around the policies of the 8 years of Bush destruction.. and now Romney wants to hop on the bandwagon and claim credit for it, eh? How many "jobs" did he create at Bain Capitol again? The only jobs that Romney has a history of creating are all over in China right now.

    May 24, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  24. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    Mittens, don't make promises that you cannot keep. Oh, I forgot–that's what politicians do. You have no more control over the unemployment rate than Grandpa Willie does over his bladder.

    May 24, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  25. AiyeSiss

    He'll give the top1% a big fat tax cut and the rest of the US will give up, thus achieving his goal.

    May 24, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
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