June 12th, 2012
05:39 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama jabs Romney over economy

(CNN) – President Barack Obama delivered harsh lines against his Republican rival on Tuesday, saying while he was impressed with Mitt Romney's corporate career, the presumptive GOP nominee had "drawn the wrong lessons from these experiences."

"When I hear governor Romney say his 25 years in the private sector gives him a special understanding of how the economy works, my question is why are you running with the same bad ideas that brought our economy to the brink of disaster?" Obama said at a campaign fund-raiser in Baltimore.

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The president took a swipe at Romney's economic policies, which oppose tax hikes on the wealthy.

His comments came as both candidates accuse each other of being "out of touch." Obama, referring to himself as someone who has "spent time in the real world," hinted that Romney had a misguided orthodoxy on the way the economy operates.

"The challenge we are facing is that for over a decade, harder work hasn't led to higher incomes," he said. "Bigger profits at the top haven't led to better jobs across the board. You can't solve that problem if you can't even see it."

The debate over the economy rose to new heights in the last few days after Obama took heat for saying the private sector was "doing fine" while suggesting the public sector needed a boost.

Hitting back, Romney, made the case that the federal government needs to decrease, not increase, spending on public jobs, including those for fire fighters, police and teachers.

Both candidates' comments have since spiraled into war on words, prompting a debate over whether a stronger private sector or more robust public sector would best stimulate the economy.

Talking about deficit-reduction measures, Obama joked Tuesday that he loves "listening to (Republicans) give us lectures on debt and deficits" and pointed out the trillion-dollar deficit he inherited.

"It's like somebody goes to a restaurant, orders a big steak dinner, martini, all that stuff. And then, just as you're sitting down, they leave," he said to laughter. "And accuse you of running up the tab."

The event marked one of six fund-raisers for Obama on Tuesday, half in Maryland, the other half in Pennsylvania. The president could raise at least $3.6 million at the events.

All proceeds from the events to go the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee of the Obama re-election campaign, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties.

Also see:

Obama radio spot aims at black voters

Poll gives Obama edge in Pennsylvania

Obama campaign hits Romney's Massachusetts record in second TV ad

Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Maryland • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    President Barack Obama delivered harsh lines against his Republican rival on Tuesday, saying while he was impressed with Mitt Romney's corporate career, the presumptive GOP nominee had "drawn the wrong lessons from these experiences."
    Spoken like a college professor that never ran a business, met a payroll, had one day of executive experience, has zero finance or business experience and has proven they don't have a flippin' clue about how our economy works, even after 4 years.

    Obama can only DREAM about being as successful as Romney. Obama is truly the living breathing embodiment of the term "empty suit".

    June 12, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  2. Logic N LA

    His point is well made. Should the government sell off states not producing sufficient revenue for the fed? should cutbacks be made for the poor of the south to help the capltist economy of New York? Maybe we can limit the number of people born to those making minimum wage or living in poverty. Or do we let those wit hthe most money have a vote that carries more wirght like a stockholder.
    Government is for ALL Americans and cannot function like a private sector business. Romney's background does not qualify him as a strong candidate. If it did, then Warren Buffet or Bill Gates should be President and still not Romney.

    June 12, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. Bootstomper

    Republicans are well known for having amnesia.

    June 12, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  4. Wes B.

    These are the correct messages Obama needs to hit upon. The policies Romney is pushing are the exact same ones that got us into the mess in the first place.

    June 12, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  5. Four and The Door

    Obama's tax and spend philosophy is not a formula for success with the American economy. Any way you look at it we need businesses to grow, increase their economic activity and become profitable. Some Democrats think this is not a worthy goal, but it absolutely is what needs to happen for jobs creation and getting the government revenues back up.
    Obviously this is not Obama's expertise. His world is academic law and politics. The solution to our economic problems do not lie in academic law or politics. It involves American companies doing better and growing. This is where Mitt Romney's background is strong. He knows how to make America work again for everyone.

    June 12, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  6. tykl

    Obama again goes to the "Bush did it" line with his whole dinner analogy. Obama voted "present" the most as congressman in Illinois and now he is trying to argue to that he has only voted "present" as President because he can't be blamed for anything since nothing can be done. The logic is warped. And I like how he tells us how unsuccessful Romney was (that he didn't learn the right lessons from the private sector) – does anybody even listen to the President anymore? Obama tries to push how in touch he is with the middle class but he is a 1%er trying to pretend he's a 99%er – that's a painful act to watch. And then I love when he compares to how much he makes compared to Romney so that therefore he/Obama must be in touch with the middle class since he doesn't make as much as Romney. Again, the warped logic. Anybody listening?

    June 12, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  7. Rupert Murdoch = Josef Goebbels

    The President says, "bigger profits at the top havn't led to better jobs across the board. You can't solve that problem if you can't even see it."
    Romey sees it just fine. He doesn't care about better jobs across the board. He cares about bigger profits at the top.
    This is the new Republican America. Rich guy at the top. The rest of us – slaves.

    June 12, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Knowing Romney and his adherence to Pledges Against America he reminded the 100 CEO's that he met with to remember to continue NOT hiring until AFTER the election lest the unemployment rate should drop thus aiding the President's re-election effort. The folks looking for work in the private sector can continue to eat cake.

    June 12, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  9. just askin

    >Obama joked...

    isn't he more suited to comedy central at this point? millions unemployed and all he's got is jokes? this joker is making this a very easy choice in november.

    June 12, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  10. Thomas

    If Romney was such a smart guy , why didn't he run on the economy back in 07 and 08 ? All i remember him campaigning about was National security. Mitt has beed running for the last eight years !

    Why would I vote for a guy that has hired the same economic advises as GW Bush ?

    Would You ?

    June 12, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  11. Penobscot

    That's all you got Obama? You've led the worst economy in 80 years and it's someone else's fault. That's why you'll be out of office soon.

    Obama is an empty suit. He's the Do Nothing President.

    June 12, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  12. bob aussie

    Another "It's Bush's fault" line from Obama.... He's had three years to do something to reduce the the national debt, but can only blame his predecessor. We went from bad Bush to worse Obama.

    June 12, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  13. California Gary

    People with Romney's background and experience only know how to "manipulate" and "take advantage of" the economy, not how to run it for the good of all. His claim of understanding the economy is much like a bank robber claiming to know how to run the banking industry.

    June 12, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  14. bob aussie

    Logic N LA: Yes, Warren Buffet, and even Bill Gates, would probably make a better president than either Romney or Obama, or any of the dozens of GOP and DEMs waiting in the wings for the next go-around. Unfortunately, they don't have either the ego or the delusion to run for the office.

    June 12, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  15. Myviewis

    Oh, this is good coming from a man who has never ran a state, city, county, government department. Obama has never ran anything in the public or private sector. His presidency has been his training ground. And he is telling all this to the man who has been a governor. Seriously, how ridiculous is this for Obama to say. Obama knows that his resume in the real world would not even get him the job of a supermarket manager. Obama had never even dealt with Debt and Deficits before he became president. He's career is not even in the field that relates to finances. He has no hands-on or educational background in administration.

    June 12, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  16. rob

    Hey Logic N LA,

    The job of POTUS is as leader of the administrative branch of our Govt....ADMINISTRATIVE. The president is the head of the many departments of the Govt, not the states. With years of succesful experience Romney is just what we need. He will root out the extreemly wastefull govt programs and layer upon layer of bureaucracy, regulations and wrong headed rules written by people who don't live in the real world. The Dems always rely on another program or more spending aimed at expanding Govt, more useless bureaucrats and nore controll of everything we do.n They have had total controll of the Exec and Congress for 2 years and only lost the house in 2010. They have left us with huge debts for programs that are either complete failures or unpopular with the public.

    Time for the adults to take over again. Nov. 6 can't come fast enough.

    June 12, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  17. Penobscot

    What a loser. He's trying to pass the buck to save his back. A do nothing president. Typical liberal: "it's someone else's responsibility."

    June 12, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  18. Valentina

    Obama is in BIG trouble with his re-election and he knows it. What else has he got to do if he can't run on his own record? Attack the opponent, and he is great at it, but unfortunately he is alienating more voters than attracting. Too bad for Obama, good for GOP. Totally Romney 2012!

    June 12, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  19. Natalie

    @Bend Forward,etc: you should to change your name to "Bend over for the GOP"; it makes way more sense. Great point, Mr. President, most of us are thinking the very same thing! Failed GOP policies, including two unfunded wars helped us get into this mess. Leave it to Mittens and it would be more of the same. Thanks for getting our economy back on the right track, Mr. Pres. We were losing over 700,000 jobs per month before Obama took office, most of don't have amnesia. We dang sure don't want to go back.

    June 12, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  20. Myviewis

    Romney's background is that of Governor, unlike Obama who had never been a Governor, Mayor. Obama had never even worked for the City of Chicago running a department like Housing, Environment or the Family & Support.

    June 12, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  21. Four and The Door

    Logic N LA
    His point is well made. ..Government is for ALL Americans and cannot function like a private sector business.
    I think you miss a few critical points here, Logic. First, companies are successful when they execute their objectives effectively, efficiently and reliably. Why can't the federal government become more effective, efficient and reliable too? It can and it needs to. The funding from tax dollars and debt is not infinite.

    The second main point is that understanding how the private sector works can be critically important for doing things in the public sector to encourage success in the private sector. They need to work together. This benefits both government and private sectors and every citizen in the country. Mitt Romney is uniquely qualified from his success at high levels in both the government and private sectors. His time is now and we need his leadership to go forward now.

    June 12, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  22. Mitt

    M.R. doesn't understand much of anything. He's just a puppet for Rove and all the other mean spirited GOP.

    June 12, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  23. scott

    I could ask the same question Why is Obama running this country into the ground with his increasing the Federal Debt constantly. Why is Unemployment still over 8%, why is this country slowly slipping back in a depression? Obama in four years has not done anything,

    Solyndra, fail
    Fast and Furious-fail
    Human Being =fail

    June 12, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  24. New Age Independent


    Republicans are well known for having amnesia.


    As does Obama. The economy now is in no better shape, especially given his record deficit spending. Something Democrats used to care about. So much for that since a Democrat is in the White House. I mean seriously, 5 trillion in 4 years! Bush, he needed 2 terms!

    June 12, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  25. Susan in NC

    Mi$$ Romney, the "I think we need an elevator for our CAR in our new house, dear" candidate can thank his huge trust fund monies (plus God knows what other monies he has hidden in foreign countries - something we'll never know) for any success he may have had in business. It's not hard to "stick your neck out" when you know you have plenty of money to lose - many of us could become billionaires with that kind of backing. The Presidency of the United States is not for sale and that's the ONLY thing Mitt has going for him - lots of pronouncements and predictions, but NO how-to's. HE is the "empty suit"!

    June 12, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
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