Romney on Obama: 'Is he really that out of touch?'
June 8th, 2012
02:01 PM ET
6 years ago

Romney on Obama: 'Is he really that out of touch?'

Salt Lake City, Utah (CNN) - Mitt Romney berated Barack Obama as "so far from reality" after the president said the private sector is "doing fine" during a press conference Friday.

"He said the private sector is doing fine. Is he really that out of touch? I think he is defining what it means to be detached and out of touch with the American people," Romney said in Council Bluffs, Iowa after a roundtable discussion with farmers.

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In his opening remarks in the White House briefing room, Obama addressed the economic crisis in Europe and offered his assessment of the state of the economy in the United States during a question and answer session with reporters.

"The truth of the matter is that, as I said, we created 4.3 million jobs over the last two, 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone. The private sector's doing fine," Obama said. "Where we're seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government, oftentimes cuts initiated by, you know, governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don't have the same flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in."

The Republican presidential candidate criticized his 2012 competitor for "pushing aside the private sector" and instead wants to add more government jobs. He cited the recent gubernatorial recall vote in Wisconsin as a sign voters want the opposite.

Romney said of Obama, "he wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people."

During a conference call with reporters Obama's re-election team defended the president's remark.

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"The president has always made clear that we need to do more than just recover from the recession because the fact is even before the economic crisis it was getting harder for middle class families to send their kids to college and make ends meet. And that's why he's focused every day on creating jobs now and restoring economic security to the middle class," Obama press secretary Ben LaBolt said.

Speaking in Iowa, Romney called his characterization that the private sector is doing fine will "go down in history as an extraordinary miscalculation and misunderstanding by a president who's out of touch."

Romney poked fun at the president, referring to a to-do list Obama said he keeps in his desk in the Oval Office.

"I got a copy here of his to do list from his desk. You see I was able to sneak that out and there were a few things that are missing. Missing is lead a real recovery. Missing is reduce the deficit. Missing is save Medicare and social security. Missing is help for small business," Romney said.

"And I won't have to have a long to-do list in my drawer at the White House. My to do list is written on my heart and the first three entries are these: jobs, jobs and jobs. I'm going to go to work to get America working again."

- CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Also see:

Romney reacts to Wisconsin recall vote

Texas a cash cow for Romney

Jill Biden weighs into 2016

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Peace

    Why is this liberal from Massachusetts not telling people what he intends to do??? Instead picking up whatever Pres. Obama says. By the way Mr. Severely Conservative, what is your slogan? Stop using "FORWARD" someone has already putting it in use!

    June 8, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    We know that the kola bishop is a lying flip flopper with no principles, ethics or morals and he is a bulky and animal toeturer but that smile of his is really raising questions for me.
    Its like he has an on button that he can push and he always looks as if the last place he wants to be is wherever he is at the moment.
    He always looks uncomfortable and if anyone is really out of touch its this clown. Just watch his right hand and arm go to work (no pun intended) when he is with the crowd of black kids pretending that he had heard of Who Let the Dogs Out (obviously NOT him, just ask poor Seamus). A picture is worth a thousand words and that video shows that he is NOT comfortable with any group of people except the rich like white crowd.

    June 8, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  3. Steven Watson

    Minutes of the meeting on January 11, 1996, of the New Party’s Chicago chapter read as follows:

    Barack Obama, candidate for State Senate in the 13th Legislative District, gave a statement to the membership and answered questions. He signed the New Party “Candidate Contract” and requested an endorsement from the New Party. He also joined the New Party.

    This is the real story that should be followed up on....does CNN want to be a news organization or STATE RUN MEDIA???

    June 8, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. Romney is not My Hero

    The pictures of Mr. Plastic with his supporters are always unsettling to me. President Obama is always seen with people of various races, but Rombot isn't. What's up with that? Is this the way the "Amercia" is supposed to look? LOL

    OBAMA 2012!

    June 8, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  5. Patrick from Minnesota

    Whereas all Romney has seen of America has been from the seat of his black, tinted window, chauferred Cadilac. Now that's really staying in touch...

    June 8, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  6. chumlee

    Mittens: You are a total liar with everything that comes out of your mouth.

    What is your jobs policy? You have none, just like you have nothing to offer our country except total lying lip-service.

    Obama 2012

    June 8, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    Someone on here implied that all Obama wants to do is print money and generate inflation: really? Have you seen the inflation rate since he took office? Would have made any number of GOP presidents happy, not to mention the fact that interest rates are at historic lows. It was the GOP the de-regulated the banks, and had them pursuing what was, in effect, a soft money policy, the kind of policy that Populists in the late 19th century advocated. All Obama did was bring back the kind of regualtion that enabled the economy to boom in the 90s, and the GOP wants to abandon that in favor of the crap that got us into trouble in teh first place? Any more great ideas, Mitt, like fighting another war off the books, and cut taxes in wartime as well( a first in our history, with disasterous results). This is not a strategy session at Bain, this is the ENTIRE economy, and the sooner the Mormon aristocrat understands this ( since I doubt since he's too arrogant to admit it), he'll realize that having a trust fund gven to you by a hard-working father does not give you insight into the lives of ordinary people. Everything he's proposing will destroy the recovery and send us roaring into a double-dip.

    June 8, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  8. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    Obama is very much in touch with reality. The GOP, however, they're so far out there, they may as well be on Pluto.

    June 8, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |

    You are out of touch amongst Vietnam veterans you draft dodger. You're such a coward Willard. You're not fit to lead. You're nothing but a puppet and Karl Rove, the Koch Brothers and the rest of the billionaire boys club are your puppetmasters.

    June 8, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  10. Woman In California

    Mitt Romney represents the rest of us. Fortunately it is 2012 and Republicans have picked a winner.

    Which rest of us is that you speak of? If you and your party "think" Willard will be a winner because 1) he's a white man running against a half black man); 2) he yells "business experience"; and 3) SuperPacs will keep flowing money into his campaign like champagne you are sadly mistaken. Do you think the American people are fools and can't see through this guy? Willard has done absolutely NOTHING for this country except "benefit" when convenient. Granted, things might look like they're going in his direction NOW (and I'll admit that slightly) but wait until November when he is actually "off-script" and "unplugged" the man will fall apart (not that there's much holding him together now) and the president will once again be elected (legally) and overwhelmingly to a second term.

    June 8, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  11. Delusional Democrats Whining Crying Blaming, My Dream Has Come True

    non issue - Just look at the picture above. Does that represent the American People?
    Was it supposed to be? No. As you said... non issue. You read far too much into pictures.

    June 8, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. Critical Thinking

    So let me understand this, the President says; "the private sector is doing fine"..hmmm then why all the complaining about congress doing nothing. If the private sector is doing fine, then doing nothing and not borrowing money from China to put in place a jobs program seems to be the correct course of action. I personally don't think the private sector is doing fine, but what do I know as a business owner who employees people, make payroll, provide health benefits. Im sure a President who has never been an executive, or Governor of a state, or started or ran a business of any kind is surely more insightful in these manners..All I can say is......BO MUST GO !!!

    June 8, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  13. Bill

    Of course, Mittens is is touch with the real America. That is, the pepole making millions of dollars, who have cart elevators, 12 homes and accounts in the Caymans and Switzerland. What a putz.

    June 8, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. Hank

    Anybody reading THE REAL ROMNEY will see that alexithymic Mitt has been out of touch all his life--beginning in grammar school. Some of the incidents that people who have known him back then, are not to be believed. At Stanford, Mitt was considered a sick joke--he got the "prized" Axe-Committee duty. And Mitt's garlic wars in Paris? A great read.

    June 8, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Hey, Willard, tell us again how many minimum-wage, no-benefit jobs YOU created?

    June 8, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  16. Anthony

    The private sectors have replaced all the jobs that were lost after Obama took office. Most of the job losses came in the first year, before Obama's policies had a chance to take effect. We have 27 straight months of positive private sector job growth since. Is Romney that out of touch? You bet. He has been campaigning for the White House since 2007. He had not been in the private sector for years.

    June 8, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. Bren

    For the liberals who think that the voters who voted for Walker, are going to turn around and vote for Obama, you need to wake up!! The voters who participated in those exit polls were messing with the media/pollsters--in the same manner that they did when giving answers that made the media claim that the recall election was going to be "close and neck-to-neck". Those voters will be voting for Romney, and Romney will win Wisconsin!!

    June 8, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    -Delusional Democrats Whining Crying Blaming, My Dream Has Come True

    If public sector jobs had grown only at the pace of population growth over the past 2 1/2 years, instead of sheding 600,000 jobs, our unemployment rate would be below 7.5% now. If the GOP had not blocked every jobs bill in the past 18 months, we would probably be below 7%. But then, the President would be elected in a landslide and the GOP doesn't want that.
    If only tax revenues were tied to population growth, your whacky proposition might work. And since half the people in the country pay no federal income tax, it makes harder as fewer and fewer get stuck paying more and more. Maybe every local person should have to pay $500 a year for their police and fire protection? Why should some people pay nothing?
    Ever hear of sales taxes? Every time someone buys something, they are conributing. Mitt Romney imposed a gas retailer's tax of 2 cents pergallon: it raised over 60 million dollars for MA when he was in office. It disproporationately impacted working poor people, by the way.

    June 8, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. Solus5

    Last week Obama said we are in a recession, but today the private sector is doing fine? Mitt is a total liar? When reading this story, what is being said my M.Romney that is a lie?

    NY Times quotes from BO's national security team, then they say BO's people didn't leak any info, and he is mad because someone would think his White House would leak something.. Either the NY Times made up the story and it no longer credible, or they are trying to cover up for BO and they lied and are no longer credible and BO is lying..

    This whole administration needs to be flushed down the toilet..

    June 8, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  20. trex

    ...At Midnight................Obama says.......'Do you know where your kid is right now?"..................and at midnnight, Mittens says........"Do you know where your money is right now?".......................................a basic difference...................

    June 8, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  21. Patrick from Minnesota

    Mitt, you make me laugh. I can't wait to see Obama wipe that sinister grin off your face in November.

    June 8, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  22. Maxx

    Hey Mitt, how much did you make last year? $22 million. How much did all of you friends make? Plenty. I'd say the private sector is doing fine – they're just not hiring and making their current employees pick up the slack. Out of touch? Go buy another car elevator.

    June 8, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  23. Boo

    And yet the conservative m o r o n s will still vote for this guy....

    June 8, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  24. Aaron Trummer

    What part of being out touch do we need to udnertsand about Rommeny! Record profits, record amopunts of cash, 30% increase in CEO compensation, continued subsidies for big oil and big argi-business, continued oursourcing of manufacturing (APPLE) to keep labor costs low. Rommeny has zero clue of who is hurting and why. Thousand fo teachers (the real job creators) laid off, thousands of construction workers laid off (no infrastructure bill from the GOP/Tea House) , thousands fo workers without skills thanks to stalled funding of community colleges and vocational training centers. The Republican/Tea Party candidate Romeny is sadly not only out of touch, but a cnsumate liar about economic record and yet to shape a single idea about how to fix the above except the tired and old refrain of "tax cuts" for the wealthiest Americans. What part fo teh last 8 years preceeding 2008 does he not understand! This man is dangerous!

    June 8, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    "And I won't have to have a long to-do list in my drawer at the White House. My to do list is written on my heart and the first three entries are these: jobs, jobs and jobs. I'm going to go to work to get America working again."

    And America laughed ...

    June 8, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
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