Obama says if positions reversed, he'd make same attacks as Romney
July 15th, 2012
12:42 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama says if positions reversed, he'd make same attacks as Romney

(CNN) – The continual barrage of attacks on President Barack Obama's handling of the economy comes as no surprise to the Democratic incumbent, who said in an interview that aired Sunday he would make the same criticisms if he were the challenger in the current climate.

Speaking on CBS, Obama agreed that rival Mitt Romney was centering his campaign on the current state of the U.S. economy.

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"That is his argument, and you don't hear me complaining about him making that argument, because if I was in his shoes I would be making the same argument," Obama said, acknowledging that unemployment and jobs were at the top of most Americans' minds heading into the heat of election season.

"The most important issue we face as a country is how do we build an economy where the middle class is strong and growing, and those who are willing to work hard can fight their way into the middle class," Obama said, stressing that "the components that we put in place have made a difference."

The president continued, "I think the question right now for the American people is which vision, mine or Mr. Romney's, is most likely to deliver for those folks. Because that is where the majority of American people live. Because the middle class has been and is in a terrible place and losing ground in terms of their history."

Obama said he was chiefly frustrated by how politics seep into every decision made in the nation's capital, despite the suffering of Americans who are out of work or losing their savings. He claimed the constant battle between Democrats and Republicans was a major reason for a reduction in enthusiasm for his candidacy from 2008.

"If you ask me what is the one thing that has frustrated me most over the last four years, it is not the hard work, it is not, you know, enormity of the decisions, it is not the pace. It is that I haven't been able to change the atmosphere here in Washington to reflect the decency and common sense of ordinary people," Obama said.

Asked if he felt he was partly to blame for the polarized atmosphere, Obama replied, "I think there is no doubt that I underestimated the degree to which in this town, politics trumps problem-solving."

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Filed under: 2012 • Economy • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Donkey Party

    When the GOP states their mission is to make "Obama a one term President" before he even took office, its pretty clear where the problem lies. The GOP doesn't care about America, its all about greed and power. That's why the GOP are labeled domestic terrorists, all they do is hold the country hostage to further their radical right-wing agenda. The only thing more shameful than the GOP, are the ignorant, gullible fools who support them.

    July 15, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. SafeJourney

    Mitt is the guy that lost to the guy that lost to President Obama. Really repubs? This is what you are going with.
    Mitt your Bain Pain is not going away. Either deal with it by releasing your tax returns or leave before the convention.
    You know it and the Repub powers that be know it.

    July 15, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  3. Hey Mittens, got any more of those 100K jobs at Bain for doing nothing? 'Call Me, Maybe?'

    "I think there is no doubt that I underestimated the degree to which in this town, politics trumps problem-solving."

    I still do not know how you ever made that mistake, since the first point on the RNC agenda was for "America to fail".

    What part of the party spokesman's radio rant did you not believe?

    McConnell coming out and saying his agenda was not about helping the people of America, but making sure you, "that one", only had one term. Didn't that give you a clue?

    What part of "taking back our country" from a voting majority of the electorate designated President, did you not understand?

    I for one am very glad you finally asked to "buy a vowel".

    July 15, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. Purush

    The fundamental issue is that of economic model. Obama's model of investing in growth foundation, creating capability in middle class to grow and build vs Mitt model of give tax cuts to rich, rich, rich. The choice is a no brainer. And by nature the Obama's model is long lasting but takes a while to be visible in terms of results. But results are surely showing up. Take the economic indices – Personal debt as ratio to GDP (down from 133% to 110%), share of exports, reliance on consumption (or shall we say over consumption), dependence on traditional energy. All these are today in much better shape than what they were 4 years or more back.

    July 15, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. AgeofInsanity

    The President may be getting a little too cerebral for his own good. The do nothing Congress has a lot to do with the current state of the economy.

    July 15, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. Levi

    It's also hard to get anything done when the President is off playing golf or attending some sporting event or on vacation with his family somewhere else.

    SafeJourney – what in the heck does Romney releasing his tax returns have anything to do with Bain? Have you not listened to anything that anyone outside of the Obama campaign have said? Even Obama supporters have come out saying that what the Obama camp is doing is bogus and not true. How about you read something other than what is released by Team Obama so you know what you are talking about.

    July 15, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. Micahel Wheeler

    Obama has had four years, he has failed. This country is far worse off than it was under his predecessor. Obama is a failure. His policies are a failure and it will be so nice to see those moving trucks pulled up at the White House in January. "If you ask me what is the one thing that has frustrated me most over the last four years, it is not the hard work, it is not, you know, enormity of the decisions, it is not the pace. It is that I haven't been able to change the atmosphere here in Washington to reflect the decency and common sense of ordinary people," Obama said. Think about that when you lie about your opponent and call him a felon. Besides your sycophant supporters, the rest of the country is watching and paying attention. If you don't come up with some facts to back up your outrageous claims, independents are going to break for your opponent. So long King Barry.

    July 15, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  8. Grow up already...

    And if you did make those arguements, while at the same time exonerating you side from any responsibility, they would be just as disingenuous. Like the arsonist blaming the firefighter for using too much water!

    July 15, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  9. Michael B.

    At least Obama knows it's all about the economy. What he doesn't know is it's his fault we're in this situation.

    @SafeJourney: Tell me what tax returns will do to help you change your mind and vote for Mitt Romney? What? They won't change your mind when you find out that he has paid all of his taxes that he is required by law? He is an honest man, and I can't believe you care so much about someones personal finances so much that it would change your vote.

    July 15, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. Myviewis

    Gotta love Obama, he is so predictable and consistent in making excuses. He actually has the audacity to blame the battle between Democrats and Republicans for the reduction in enthusiasm for his candidacy from 2008!!!! How about Obama's bad job performance is to blame for a reduction in enthusiasm for his candidacy from 2008!!! Seriously, this guy never looks at himself for fault, what an ego, yes ego which is a reason he continues to have problems running our economy because his ego tells him he is doing nothing wrong and there is nothing to change. And when Obama is asked confronted with the real issues taking place he very easily, conveniently, quickly puts the blame on someone else and keeps on going.

    July 15, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  11. vic , nashville ,tn

    Mitt Romney economy plan will work for only rich people ,

    July 15, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  12. Norma Vessels

    I agree with Donkey Party and SafeJourney. Both have good points, true points. Mitt Romney should go ahead and release his 2000 and 2001 tax returns so everyone can see if he is lying or if we were wrong. Why won't he?

    July 15, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  13. canadian59

    Unite the country don't divide..it...don't expect every one to agree to your policy...and stop mocking your opponent...run on your record Mr President...I'm sure the American people will appreciate that more....show them the good you have done...the changes you have made...bring a positive approach...and you will see positive results...

    July 15, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. rla

    Come on cry babies- tell me every democrat in existance has not worked to make the other guy a one termer??? PLEASE!!!! The only issue here is that Obama makes the job so easy..... Oh all the hostile – vapid statements really show how hollow this democratic party and its president really are!

    July 15, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. jpmichigan

    I wish Romney who do onto Obama what he did to Santiorum and Gingrich, chew he up and spit him out. relive all of Obama's misdeeds and associations, truely vet him, because the media didn't and won't. Obama call for transparency and smalller government, and instead gave the American people contraditions and secrecy. If you truely are happy with the way the government is runned by Obama and are happy with Obama's economics, well then vote for him and not another word when the rest of American goes down the commode.

    July 15, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  16. The Elephant In The Room


    July 15, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  17. diesel84

    @DonkeyParty, you should check your statement. Mitch Mconnel said this after Obama was elected. Before that Obama said he didnt want the folks who made the mess to do a lot of talking and to basically get out of the way. The divide in our country has only grown since Obama took office

    July 15, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  18. Gizmo

    I cant beleave all the crap the Republicants put the President through just because they dont like him! All of us as a NATION needs to stand behind this President if we want anything to get done for us poor and middle class! Thats all their is to it! To all you all you GOP supporters out there, what exactly has your party done to ceate jobs in the past 4 years? NOTHING!!

    July 15, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. Food Stamp man

    46 million on food stamps, U-5 unemployment rate at 15% and 23 million unemployed or underemployed Americans and the democrats can only talk about Mitt and Bain. How pathetic.

    July 15, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. realitychecks

    The republican party has a definate plan to oust the President who believes the middle class is in need and declining. they want the middle class to fall.with only the 1% in control of the 99% poor. eventually they plan to rule the world. So Palinesque....we're not that stupid. The S.E.C. released that info not the Dems, so why aren't they attacking that agency? The obvious has not escaped us....Obama 2012

    July 15, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  21. King

    Obama needs to stop giving these lunatic repubs who have been sabataging this country so he can be a one term president, Obama needs to point out that under his presidency :spending is only 1 percent while 9 percent under bush ; the lowest in modern history, taxes are the lowest in 80 years, and regulations are lower than under the bush administration. Obama needs to have a chart comparing this fact on jumbo truns at every speach, and stop allowing fox news and the lunatic repibs to stop their lies and fare tactics. where are the Obama advisors. why isn't this facts over every big screen jumbo tran campaign events.

    July 15, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  22. J.T.

    Romney probably doesn't want to show his tax returns because he may not have paid any taxes period. After all, taxes are for little people you know.

    July 15, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  23. Dee

    I agree with safejourney & Donkey Party because if the shoe was on the other foot Cantor. Boehner and McConnell would be all over the TV denigrating this President. He absolutely needs to release his tax returns if he wants to be the President of the US. The Dems are not going to let this go until his record is clear at Bain right now it is very questionable and the GOP knows this.

    What are his billionaire donors going to say nothing because their monies are in overseas account avoiding the US tax system.

    July 15, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. Debby

    I love how Obama does his tap dance then blames politics for things not getting done. Its either Bush's fault or politics. Well Obama you are knee deep in the politics part yourself.

    July 15, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  25. Badboy

    What a sorry pathetic excuse for leadership; thanks a lot Oblameo, you cant spin out of this one....there are definitely two different visions, one grows government and one grows the private sector which includes the middle class. All liberals like to spend other peoples money but seem so tight about their own you couldn't even pull aneedle out of their rear end! Blame Bush, blame congress, blame the Euro market, blame Bush some more....OBLAME-O! the lamest preezy in heezry

    July 15, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
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