Romney quotes Bill Clinton in new ad about experience
July 31st, 2012
10:16 AM ET
6 years ago

Romney quotes Bill Clinton in new ad about experience

(CNN) - In a new television ad released Tuesday, Mitt Romney touts a record of success in his former roles as businessman, head of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games and governor of Massachusetts.

"My own experience was I got the chance to start my own business," Romney says in the ad, which splices together footage from a variety of interviews and speeches by the candidate.

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Text on the screen features a quote from Bill Clinton, who said in an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan that Romney had a "sterling business career."

In the largely positive spot, paid for by the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee, Romney is featured saying in a June speech that "freedom and free enterprise are what create jobs, not government."

The line hits at the heart of a comment President Barack Obama recently made about businesses, in which he said, "If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help."

At a campaign event in Virginia on July 13, Obama continued: "There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business – you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

Republicans have used a portion of the quote–"If you've got a business – you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen"–as a prominent line of attack against Obama, pinning it as example of big government philosophy coming from the Oval Office. Obama has since hit back, saying the line was taken out of context.

Continuing in the ad, Romney makes the case that his multifaceted career best prepares him for the White House.

"I want to use those experiences to help Americans have a better future," he says.

The ad ends with text on the screen, again taking a jab at the president's "you didn't build that" comment.

"Believe in the American you built. Believe we can build it again," the screen reads.

While it's unclear how much was spent on this particular commercial, "Believe in our Future," the Romney campaign and the RNC together bought $7.3 million in air time in eight battleground states last week to run through Tuesday, according to a Republican ad tracking source.

The Federal Election Commission has said each party committee can spend $21.6 million in coordinated efforts this campaign cycle.

Responding to the ad, Obama's campaign on Tuesday released a statement faulting Romney point by point on his stated accomplishments.

“In both the public and private sectors, Mitt Romney’s record is one of outsourcing, job losses, and massive debt. As a corporate buyout specialist, Romney loaded companies up with debt, driving several into bankruptcy while he made millions for himself, thousands of workers lost their jobs, and his companies shipped American jobs overseas. At the Olympics, Romney lobbied for billions in federal spending, which even John McCain called ‘a national disgrace.’ And as Governor, Romney outsourced jobs and cut taxes for millionaires while raising taxes and fees on the middle class and small business – driving the state down to 47th out of 50 in job creation and leaving Massachusetts first in the nation in per capita debt," said Lis Smith, a spokeswoman for the Obama re-election campaign.

- CNN's Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Bill Clinton • Mitt Romney
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. American People

    The American People want to see mitt's tax returns for the last 20 years. We also want to know how many jobs he's off-shored and how much of the profits are sitting in off-shore accounts evading taxes.

    July 31, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  2. Jon

    Right on! At least some Democrats recognize the value of hard work.

    July 31, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  3. AL In Palm Beach County, FL

    Hey Mitt,

    True or false, you can't retroactively retire from the presidency?

    July 31, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. 1crusader

    Romney had help at the Olympics to the tune 1.3 BILLION dollars of taxpayer money, and used gov't monies to bail companies out at Bain.

    July 31, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. Sniffit

    ""I want to use those experiences to help Americans have a better future," he says."

    Bull pucky. He's being hired by the insanely rich to do to the federal gov't precisely what he did to the companies he canibalized: raid it for a profit that goes to the people who bought him, and then leave it a useless, non-functioning shell that requires massive layoffs and restructuring, is vulnerable to extremely wealthy vultures who want to move in an control it and loses all solvency in terms of pensions, Medicare and SS.

    July 31, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  6. tee27

    He forgot Bill paid his taxes and Mitt has not. Mitt please show us the paper work on your past tax returns.

    July 31, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  7. drake mallard

    It's not worth moving heaven and earth, spending billions of dollars
    just trying to catch one person." —Mitt Romney, speaking in 2007 about
    killing Osama bin Laden

    "I'll tell you what, ten-thousand bucks? $10,000 bet?"

    I like those fancy raincoats you bought. Really sprung for the big bucks."

    Corporations are people, my friend… of course they are. Everything
    corporations earn ultimately goes to the people. Where do you think it
    goes? Whose pockets? Whose pockets? People's pockets. Human beings, my

    I'm not concerned about the very poor

    i'm also unemployed

    "He [Obama] says we need more firemen, more policemen, 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."
    —Mitt Romney

    July 31, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. Donkey Party

    What a complete tool.

    July 31, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. vic , nashville ,tn

    Experience and leadership
    Bill Clintons was right but Romney is not running his campaign on governor’s experience that is Romney fault
    We seen Romney leadership in London that was horrible

    July 31, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. Four and The Door

    In the largely positive spot, paid for by the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee, Romney is featured saying in a June speech that "freedom and free enterprise are what create jobs, not government."
    Positive, true and absolutely on the mark! The private sector including entrepreneurs, small small, medium and large businesses and the support financial infrastructure are who will do the heavy lifting to bring the American economy charging back. There is much more to getting the worlds largest economy in a significant growth mode than building bridges and the other "jobs" bills the government can throw money at. The private sector is where the growth needs to happen. But the government needs to get out of the way. It needs to be supportive in this effort rather than being a burden with the highest tax rates of any developed nation and smothering American businesses with inconsistent and knee-jerk political driven regulation. We can do better. It's not difficult. Romney 2012.

    July 31, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  11. Wake up people

    Blah, blah, blah but you still refuse to show us those taxes. I swear if this muppet gets elected, the poor and the middle class are doomed.

    OBAMA 2012!

    July 31, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. don

    Mitt made his money by firing employees and gutting the businesses he bought before selling what ws left. The SLC olympics received 1.2 B dollars in government taxpayer funds in order to be "sucessful". Great resume.

    July 31, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. Holla

    Another clip from master of flip flopper. Can you kindly show me your tax return for the last 10yrs. You can't deceive me with your advert. I am more smarter than that. Mitts, the republican leader.

    July 31, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  14. Mike

    Hey Mitt, you had help starting your own business. Would that have been possible without your father's money?

    July 31, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  15. Jan

    The last conservative Republican who campaigned on his MBA/ business experience was George W. Bush.

    Bush inherited a Balanced Budget from Bill Clinton (who had no business experience); and Bush's business experience turned Clinton's Balanced Budget into Bush's Depression (in more ways than one).

    This time around, just say no to "sterling business experience."

    July 31, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. Thomas

    The Romney campaign is very unprofessional .

    Clinton will have more to say about what he really ment.

    July 31, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |

    I wonder when the press will call out Willard's campaign for misquoting the President. I have nothing against negative ads as long as there is a credible message behind it. Willard's "You didn't build that" ad is dishonest and he should be called out for it. But not before he gets called out for not releasing taxes. Show us your papers!!!

    July 31, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  18. beevee

    President Clinton also said that success in business does not mean that Romney will be a good president. Don't forget to say that as well. As we know in the type of business that Romney touts success i.e., acqusitions, one has please only a few shareholders which often comes at the expense of ruthlessly giving pinl slips and making many unemployed.

    July 31, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  19. Governor 47th In Job Creation (Excluding Off-shored to China and India)


    Romney should only read scripts from a teleprompter to sound more intelligent. Like someone else we know.
    – – – – – – – – - – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Like who? Oh you mean Willard at the NAACP convention? Or did you mean Palin when she wasn't writing things on her "palm pilot (minus the pilot)"? Sorry, junior. Most competent politicians use teleprompters. This talking point is useless.

    Anywho, back to matters at hand. Why is Willard now touting these things in a commercial when he doesn;t want to talk about them in a face to face situation? Let's talk more about Bain - specifically when did Willard leave, how many jobs did he eliminate, how many bankruptcies did he facilitate only to pocket profits and leave the rest of us on the hook. How much did he profit from abortions, and what sorts of crony deals were in place with his Olympic "sponsors"? Speaking of the Olympics, how does he justify using govt money for that - sounds like socialism to me....Back to MA, he managed to go backwards 10 spots from 37th to 47thnin job creation and one good thing he did do was start Romneycare which was used to craft the ACA (just like he wanted it to before he flip-flopped).

    Finally, show us your papers Willard. 12 years worth. What are you hiding, wimp?

    July 31, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  20. King

    does mitten actually think the american people is this stupid, they have peddling a lie for the past couple of months, and still peddling this lie. come on folks, I.know their are alot of gullibles and folks that just straight out haters of Obama, but this is rediculous NP.this is a president that took a financial disaster and a stock market crash, and turned it around in 3 years into the most powerful financial sector the country and the world have ever seen. the last this happened we saw a great depression. why is every one Freaking out because the president asked those that benefited the most to help the people.

    July 31, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  21. Jeff in Virginia

    If this is the best that Rmoney has, he's going to lose.

    July 31, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  22. Tony

    Clearly, Romney is hiding something from his "sterling business career" because he refuses to release his tax returns.

    July 31, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. reginaldb6

    It is about time they start looking at Romney so call Olympics rescue as what it is a taxpayer bailout of billions of dollars. Corporate Welfare at its finest. If I was given billions of dollars to fix something even I can do that.

    July 31, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  24. colinburruss

    what if operating a small business were a requirement for every graduating high school student?
    we are supposedly a capitalist nation, but no one in my hood can break a twenty.

    July 31, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  25. Knucklehead

    Head of 2002 Olympics? That's the one where the Salt Lake Organizing Committee bribed some members of the IOC, right? Yes, Mitt knows business, all right...a self made man, for sure.

    July 31, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
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