May 29th, 2012
01:08 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney visits coal region to ding 'Obama economy'

Craig, Colorado (CNN) – Set off by soaring music and a majestic local backdrop, Mitt Romney pulled up to the small town of Craig, Colorado promising to turn things around.

"I'm not going to forget Craig, Colorado," he told an audience gathered outdoors Tuesday morning. "I'm not going to forget communities like this across the country that are hurting right now under this president."

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Supporters in this city of 10,000 residents enthusiastically lined the block to enter Romney's Tuesday event, and a string of liquor stores and fast food joints on the main drag posted signs welcoming the former Massachusetts governor to the picturesque community.

But conversations with some local officials suggest Craig is not the ideal spot to deplore President Barack Obama's economic stewardship.

After an overnight stay in this coal mining region, on Tuesday Romney criticized Obama for creating a hostile climate for American business owners and energy producers and touted his own plans for fixing the nation's problems.

The presumptive GOP nominee said he decided to visit Craig after hearing the story of Frank and Kerrie Moe, who own a hotel in the city and who say a trickle down effect from overregulation on the coal industry is crushing their business.

Earlier this year the Moes told their story in a video produced by a conservative energy group backed by heavy-hitting Republican donors the Koch brothers. The video is titled "The Perfect Storm over Craig, CO."

Romney said their message spoke to him.

"We said, we've got to come here and let you know that we care about what's happening in Craig," Romney told the audience after being introduced by the hotel owners. "We care about what's happening in rural America."

An area coal mine, Peabody Energy's Twenty Mile, stopped production and bused in 148 miners to attend Romney's event. Men wearing the trademark mining uniform of blue overalls with crisscrossing reflective neon stripes stood in clumps among the audience.

The general manager of Peabody's Colorado operations, Pat Sollars, said the miners would be compensated for the time they spent at the event.

Sollars told reporters Romney understood how important coal production was to the nation's economic security and growth, and said the president "doesn't view coal as an essential element" in the nation's energy future.

But he could not point to any Obama-era decisions that had affected the coal business here. Instead, he said he was worried about what the president could do if re-elected.

"I think right now our big thing is looking to the future," he said.

Meanwhile, the city mayor told reporters the local economy had turned the corner. Unemployment in the county is slightly above the national average at 8.6% in March - down from 11.1% in 2010, according to the Department of Labor.

State Republican Party Chairman Ryan Call acknowledged bustling coal production had buoyed Craig's economy.

"The economy here in Craig and in Moffat County does seem stronger than a lot of our western slope communities," Call said. "And that's good. That's a good thing. We certainly welcome that kind of opportunity."

He faulted the Obama administration for slowing the approval of licensing requests for energy producers.

In his speech, Romney addressed signs of turnaround touted by Obama officials.

"Now his campaign these days is trying to find a twig to hang on to, some little excuse they can grab and say, 'Look, things are getting a little better, aren't they?'" he said. "And the answer is yeah, things are getting a little better in a lot of places in this country, but it's not thanks to his policies. It's in spite of his policies."


Filed under: 2012 • Colorado • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Debbie

    Oh this is rich. So Romney the venture capitalist will try to see his brand of capitalism to coal country. I hope they see that venture capitalism is not the capitalism America was built on and that Romney would buy and sell them in a heart beat if he thought he could earn a nickle.

    May 29, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    The panderer is spreading falsehoods once again. The President't policies have not adverselty affected the coal industry in Colorado. Who let's this guy get away with all of these lies? All i hear from this jerk is ow he can do things better. I find that hard to believe when we are already on the right track. He'll undo all the progress thats been made and go back to Bush era policies.

    May 29, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  3. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    LOL didn't I just read on PT that Romney was whining that "Obama was going AFTER HIM" yet he has no problem going here to attack him on energy policies. Go figure.......

    May 29, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. Wifer

    How many wives does Romney really have? He is a Mormon, isn't he? Mormon's generally have multiple wives. Is this why Romney has numerous houses and compounds? To store all of his extra wives? I think we should form a committee to investigate this. I demand to see his long form Marriage Certificate!!

    May 29, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  5. Thomas

    Big Boss Man , Don't you hear me when I call, You aint so big , You just talk , Thats all !

    This guy will do anything , say anything to get elected.

    ANYTHING !

    May 29, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    You have to understand something about liars Willard. There are good one's and there are bad one's. You just happen to be a bad one.

    May 29, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Romney, prove to America that you "love this country" more than you love money, SEND ONE OF YOUR FIVE(5) BELOVED SONS TO WAR FOR THIS COUNTRY THAT YOU SO LOVE.

    May 29, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  8. Running on Cow-Pie-Diplomacy...

    Obama's re-election camaign is based on "Cow-Pie-Diplomacy" When one cannot run on one's record than hitting below the belt comes into play...Voters are tired of Obama's ridicule for others....

    May 29, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  9. lies from the right but mostly hate

    Romney=Clueless

    May 29, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  10. Kimberly

    Romney is a COWARD with no back bone. His fake smile, and uncomfortable smirks at every question he is asked are sickening! To think this man actually has people that would vote for him is sickening as well!

    May 29, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  11. mcskadittle

    come on coal is dead, its time to get into the 21st century

    May 29, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    ""doesn't view coal as an essential element" in the nation's energy future."

    That's jsut a baltant lie. Obama has consistently promoted "all the above" and "clean coal," even to the piont where those of us who know that "clean coal" is completely imaginary have become a little irritated that he can't tell the truth to the Amurikan public because they don't want to hear it.

    "But he could not point to any Obama-era decisions that had affected the coal business here. Instead, he said he was worried about what the president could do if re-elected."

    Elephants hiding in the strawberry patch again? Yawn.

    May 29, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  13. Myviewis

    mcskadittle – "come on coal is dead, its time to get into the 21st century"
    ---------------------
    And President Obama agrees with you which is why he will forget about the people in small town Craig, Colorado.

    May 29, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. Jules

    Oh my God, I hope it is not a personal attack on the president. Seeing as how Romney ius whining about the president attacking him personally, just before he goes to a fundraiser with Donald Trump. Really, Mitt, you want some cheese with that whine?

    May 29, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  15. Fair is Fair

    mcskadittle

    come on coal is dead, its time to get into the 21st century
    -------
    Coal is used to generate 50% of the electricity in this country. Cut out coal and the only thing that will be dead is your batteries.

    May 29, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "Voters are tired of Obama's ridicule for others"

    Right, because voters aren't tired of the GOP/Teatrolls' ridicule for Obama? It's the ONLY thing they've done for 3.5+ years. Literally. They've done almost nothing else...other than manufacture crises and take things hostage in order to make demands and slow recovery and, eventually, cause the nation's credit rating to be downgraded...all so they would have more ammunition for doing nothing but ridiculing Obama.

    May 29, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "Coal is used to generate 50% of the electricity in this country. Cut out coal and the only thing that will be dead is your batteries."

    Good thing Obama's not arguing we should do that, eh? But that's fine...just make it up as you go along. I swear the GOP/Teatrolls are all snorting "bath salts"...you'd have an easier time finding paranoid delusions at a Teatroll rally than you would in a locked psych ward.

    May 29, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  18. Myviewis

    @Fair is Fair – "Coal is used to generate 50% of the electricity in this country. Cut out coal and the only thing that will be dead is your batteries."
    --------------------
    Unfortunately, Obama and Californians don't agree with you nor do they like coal.

    May 29, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  19. Wake up people

    I have to give Mittens credit, he takes pandering to a whole new level. He leaves no one out. Does he really believe he can do these things or is he just being his usual flip flop self? I have yet to hear him say anything substantial, just telling the folks what they want to hear. I pray people aren't really that stupid.

    Wake up people!
    OBAMA 2012!

    May 29, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  20. rob

    Hey Sniffit, just look up the EPA Regs on new and existing coal fired plants. The President himself said that power companies can build a coal fired plant if they want but under his admin they would go bankrupt. Look it up.

    Also, the President just started using the term "All of the Above" in the last few weeks. His whole plan was to have the Govt "Invest" in renewable and clean energy such as Wind, Solar, Bio etc. and they would creat "5 Million jobs" Look it up. Instead we have example after example of Obama's favored companies getting millions and billions of Govt gaurentees and go belly up leaving the tax payers on the hook.

    May 29, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  21. Pete

    Romney does know diamonds come from coal,so who's to know he might buy the mine and wait around till the coal starts lookin like his new investment,Gingrich would buy in,his old lady would make him,she's wears the pants in his family,and those rocks on her fingers he's still payin for, remember!!!

    May 29, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  22. Blindersoff

    Again, Romney shows that he is not wearing any clothes America, what will it take for you to see this and call him out? Romney is absolutely wrong for this country . . . Period.

    May 29, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. cali girl

    Robmey gives a hoot about rural America? Sounds just like The Trees are the Right Height.

    May 29, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  24. roscoe66

    4 more years of record unemployment is just what the country needs. More and more debt and no budget. Tax and spend. Tax and spend. It will never end under the current administration. Romney is by far the lesser of two evils.How can you people be so supportive of a man who has been in office for 3 and years and still blames all of his failures on the former president?

    May 29, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  25. Thomas

    @Claudia, Houston, Tx
    Romney, prove to America that you "love this country" more than you love money, SEND ONE OF YOUR FIVE(5) BELOVED SONS TO WAR FOR THIS COUNTRY THAT YOU SO LOVE.

    Don't you understand , his sons are needed here at home to help the economy ! Who's going to hire all the returning vets ?

    May 29, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
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