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. edbonfla

    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.

    First, he is ALWAYS joking and being sarcastic - see his follow-up steak dinner comments. So, by inheriting a trillion-dollar deficit it is okay for him to increase that by a factor of 8 or 9 in 3-4 years. Talk about a jokester!

    June 12, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  2. Blindersoff

    Obama will out jab Romney before he throws the knock out punch . . . Glass jaw Romney hit the mat hard, cannot count the fingers the ref is holding up.Done deal.

    June 12, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  3. Mike in Texas

    He is running on these failed policies because Republicans are in denial that they are failed policies. The voters Romney wants to get are:

    People who would never vote for a Democrat.
    People who don't like Obama because he is African American, has a "funny" name, believe he is a Muslim and born in Kenya.
    People that don't follow politics too much and think that it is all Obama's fault the economy isn't running full steam ahead.
    People that are gullible and believe the lies and misinformation Romney is spewing and not being called out for.
    People that are impatient and think that the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression should be fixed by now.
    Romney is banking on a tepid economy and ignorant, hateful, impatient people. He doesn't have a clue how to fix the economy, he just wants to be President.

    June 12, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  4. phoenix86

    Free-for-all spending like Obama does as President, when done in the private sector (as well as the public sector) ruins companies (and countries) and allows for Private Equity firms to come in and risk their own capital to turn the dying company around.

    After Obama, the US as a country needs a good dose of Private Equity discipline to get the house in order before the US becomes beyond repair. Four more years of Obama would be catastrophic for the US economy.

    June 12, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  5. Uncle Sam

    Democrats are well known for being corrupt.

    June 12, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  6. Gimmeabreak!

    Isn't it rich that Obama attacks someone else over the economy - geeze, that takes the cake! Just too, too hilarious! LOL.

    June 12, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  7. Leftcoastrocky

    Mark Hopkins, a senior adviser at Moody’s Analytics, said “On net, all of these policies [Romney's ideas for creating jobs] would do more harm in the short term. ... If we implemented all of his policies, it would push us deeper into recession and make the recovery slower.”

    June 12, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  8. ddt

    I agree with you Mr. President a million%. They left you with a cloged toilet and execpected you clean up and remove all that smell in just a shot time. Thank for all you have done to prevent a second deparession

    June 12, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  9. Joey

    Ok!!!! I seen what Romney Said and to be honest his crowd seem to be bored and clap only when he stops talking, he don't make a clear point and seems to try to pander me to his promises!!!! With that said Obama makes a clear point, states what he has done, and states what he will try for and harder to get done and his crowd always seem more alive, he's the better speaker. I'm voting for Obama, only because I know what he has done and will atleast try for what I want, Romney don't speak to what I want done, he's boring really!!!!

    June 12, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  10. Bob

    Romney's private sector experience actually makes him the worst choice for President. As a member of the private sector, all he learned how to do was to take advantage of state and local governments (deferred taxes, zoning waivers, lobbying for sweetheart deals) all the while shipping jobs overseas so his private company could make a few bucks. Once a local government and company was drained of resources, he and his investors would abandon its rusting carcass and move onto the next sucker leaving a net loss for the state and the company. Forget about vulture capitalism, this was parasitic capitalism. His time as Massachusetts governor showed that his skills of taking from tax payers did nothing to improve the state's bottom line or the welfare of tax payers. His state trailed the nation in job growth, infrastructure, education, quality of life, etc. compared to his predecessor and his successor. He's a user, not a creator. The "I'm a private sector guy, so I can make a government run" was the same bogus logic that saddled California with Schwarzenegger which left the state with a 20 billion dollar deficit and a illegitimate kid.

    June 12, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  11. wakeupcall


    Twenty five years in the private sector, at the least, gives Romney the understanding that O bama does not have...according to O bama's statement the other day that 'THE PRIVATE SECTOR IS DOING FINE'.

    Millions of people who have lost most everything these last 4 years and are still struggling trying to make ends meet...trying to find a job and yet not wanting to go on Government assistance would certainly disagree with that statement, as I do.

    It only takes living life under his leadership these last four years to understand that O bama doesn't understand how to do his job and doesn't really care much about America or the people that live here.

    June 12, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  12. josh gonzalez

    You can't run the government like a business. Firefighters, police, and teachers are not to blame.

    June 12, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  13. Lila

    I especially love how Obama acts as though he never spent a penny after Bush left office. Yah, like he never added to our deficit at all.

    June 12, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  14. chuck weidemann

    Big business " get as much as possible for the lest as possible"," people can be replaced"....wasn't it heard at a republican debate in regards to health care and making it so everyone can afford it..."let them die" is that really the values that this country was built on? Come on let's not turn ourselves into a extremist government only set up those privileged few born into money.....this countries forefathers left Europe so ALL could have a chance. What I hear from these republicans is I ' be got mine and screw you....

    June 12, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  15. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Appearently Obama's only experence with the Business Community is getting the Business Community to pay more taxes. Thanks to the Housing Mess nobody has any more money to give. Thanks to looming regulations and Obama Care no one is hiring until they know which way the wind blows. If people re-elect Obama there will be more of the same. Looming disaster and no jobs.

    June 12, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  16. victor

    Did Abe Lincoln, FDR, Ike, Nixon, LBJ, Ronny, run a business. Owning a business has nothing to do with running a government for all the people.

    June 12, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  17. Lila

    Obama has actually created more deficit in three and a half years than Bush did in eight. Interesting isn't it.

    June 12, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  18. Phil the Love

    Romney says he understands the plight of the middle class. Then Donald Trump throws him a fundraiser dinner. Most of us cannot afford to spend one night in his hotels.

    June 12, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  19. zulu

    My President also said Mittens economic plan can be written on twitter with room to spare lmao

    June 12, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  20. g

    the republican business code has been in effect since 1980–crash and burn. i don,t think the next one is fixable

    June 12, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  21. A not-so-stupid former republican

    Just answer the question, Mittens. Stop the bluster and tell us what your plan is. You can't because you have no plan!

    June 12, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  22. A not-so-stupid former republican

    If Romney wants to tout his business experience, why doesn't he try to compare himself with Warren Buffett or Bil Gates. These guys are businessmen not third class wannabees like Romney!

    June 12, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  23. 2020

    The Federal Reserve Report stated between 2007-2010 (with 2 and half years in Bush era) American lost 39% of their net worth mostly due to the dropped value of their homes. President Obama stopped the bloody loss of 700,000+ jobs in each of the first months when he took over the presidency, and created 4.3M jobs in 27 months straight, while 800,000 in 2012 thus far. If you are unable to digest these numbers, you are either blind or nuts. Romney on the other hand, keeps running away from his record as governor like a fugitive, hiding his Romney care. What is wrong with Romney?! Romney won't dare to show his true color, as it stings.

    June 12, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  24. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens Romney does have the ability to even carry Obama's jock strap. Romney is a lying elitist who is a mere puppet of the Kochs and Fox foreign owned media. It is amazing that Mittens says he wants fewer teachers, police, and firemen, and then tells Fox fools he did not say that. Mittens, like most millionaires survived those lean times by selling stock that was given to him by his parents.

    June 12, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  25. RillyKewl

    Why would anybody believe anything Romney says?
    Everybody knows about his inability to tell the truth.

    June 12, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
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