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. Myviewis

    Obama ( the guy who never started his own business, nor ran someone else's business, never worked in the real world, worked mainly part-time and only worked full-time for 4 years in a law firm as a junior lawyer and allowed his Law license to expire in 2002 after only working at the law firm for 4 years, never was even a manager of a business or store or supermarket, never even ran a government office, never ran a state or even a city, was never a Governor or Mayor ) has the audacity to criticize the business owner, the businessman, the Governor of a state and Obama thinks we should listen to him who has no idea of all that is involved in running a business, less alone start a business, the man who has no idea what it takes to run a state or a city. Seriously, who is Obama kidding? Obama is president because he had the Latino vote and all those that fell for his charm and motivational speeches, not because of work experience or even academics.

    July 31, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  2. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    does this guy have an original thought of his own?

    July 31, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. Peace

    "My own experience was I got the chance to start my own business," Romney says in the ad
    Romney has a problem of expressing himself or he knows his experience will not help the nation, just only to enter in the books of presidents. If he was good in business, what made him stop dealing with it for all these years? I do think the expertise he has is not what is needed. The tricky time is on the way coming (Nov. 6) and if we are not thoughtful, I do sense the outcome of his work, will be very much regrettable.

    July 31, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  4. stew

    Tax dollars fund roads and bridges, bidding on them and winning provides jobs and many companies need tax dollars to stay in business.
    Most if not everything starts with the citizen and the citizen is the government, it is called, " we the people."
    Not we the corporation!

    July 31, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  5. Four and The Door

    Clearly, Romney is hiding something from his "sterling business career" because he refuses to release his tax returns.
    Fast and Furious Executive Privilege. Isn't it more important to our nation what Obama's hiding?

    July 31, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  6. California Gary

    Put all the lipstick on your record that you want to Mitt.........but it is what it is. And by the's not a good strategy to get Bill Clinton engaged in any way........he who irritates Bill pays a hefty price. Clinton will eat your cookies, drink your milk, and take your lunch money before you even realize he's there.

    July 31, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  7. Fair is Fair

    "If I was given billions of dollars to fix something even I can do that."
    Tried that. It was called the "stimulus". It failed – completely and utterly miserably.

    July 31, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. J

    For everyone ripping Romney on here, lets talk about how Obama has failed so bad and is becoming so unpopular that his campaign had to call in the big guns of liars with Bill Clinton. What's going to happen is you'll hear less from Obama and more from Clinton since people love Clinton and the campaign hopes that people will associate this election with Bill Clinton somehow and vote Obama.

    July 31, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Lesseee here. Mitt has been extremely sucessful and Barrack wants to get his hands on all that money. No kidding, some of you peasants haven't figured that out yet? Bill had a hard time spouting those words Romney has had a Sterling Business Career.So who do you want building a sucessful business? Daddy Warbucks or Wimpy, of BUY ME A HAMBURGER TODAY AND I WILL PAY YOU TUESDAY?

    Barracks idea of sucess is Taxing the Job Creators out of existance to give you your Hamburger, of which may be your last. Want jobs to improve? You figure it out.

    July 31, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Four and The Door wrote:

    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. ......................
    The private sector would not exist without support bought and paid for with taxes. You own your intellectual properties and patents because we have a government that registers your patents and PROTECTS them for you. Your place of business exists and is protected by public servants, better known as police officers and fire fighters. You have employees who attended public schools and universities, many of whom paid for their college education with government student loans. Many in the private sector got their start with small business loans, tax credits and other STIMULATIVE services provided by local, state and federal governments.

    Live the delusion. Let's take it all away. No more cops, just everyone armed to the teeth. No more fire fighters, just pyromaniacs having a field day. In fact, no more money because we did away banking regulations: buyer beware because when you make a bank deposit, they don't have to give it back. But, you can return with a gun and demand it. No thanks.

    July 31, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. Sniffit

    "Obama is president because he had the Latino vote and all those that fell for his charm and motivational speeches, not because of work experience or even academics."

    Hahahaha. You're truly a champ at reqriting the historical record into yoru own comforting delusional fantasy, eh? Obama's academics are proven stellar. The nonsens about transcripts is just that, nonsense. You don't graduate from harvard Law School with "magna cum laude" unless you shot the lights out. You don't become the first black president of the Harvard Law Review unless your fellow students and the professors very much respect your academic talent. And what is with the blind spot you people have for his service as a state legislator for several years? Or as a constitutional law professor? Is it really so hard for you to accept that he's highly educated, highly intelligent and very experienced in working within the law and government? I mean, here's the thing...wouldn't you be much better off simply accepting certain truths and then addressing reality rather than desperately manufacturing an alternate reality just so it's easier for you to generate vitriol about the man?

    July 31, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  12. amlcpamaine

    You're no Bill Clinton, Mitt.
    I've worked with your Bain staff and been in meetings with you, and you're nothing but a handlers' robot. My cousin worked directly with Bill Clinton on legislation and describes him as being encyclopaedic (others have noted the same).
    You're no Bill Clinton and never will be. The biggest difference is that Bill Clinton cares about the lives of working, struggling families and you wouldn't know the least thing about struggle.

    July 31, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  13. Max

    SO...WHAT ABOUT YOUR TAX RETURNS>>>MITT? What are you hiding from the rest of us?

    July 31, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. ghostriter

    But Senate lobbying records show that the Salt Lake City Olympics Committee under Romney spent $3.5 million employing five lobbying firms in addition to its own in-house lobbying shop. Among their goals: winning federal earmarks that included $60 million for "perimeter" security; $15.8 million for "international sporting competitions"; $3 million for an extension of a Salt Lake City light rail project; as well as millions more for communications equipment, sewer projects and other programs aimed at supporting the Olympics.

    The overall federal cost of the 2002 Olympics has been estimated at about $1.5 billion, although Romney defenders say much of this was put in place before he took over the Olympics Committee in 1999. But Romney later touted his efforts in his book about the Winter Olympics, “Turnaround,” writing that he directed his chief Washington lobbyist “to bring in more federal funding than had ever been appropriated for any Olympics, summer or winter.”

    And he made his success in doing so a selling point when he ran for governor of Massachusetts in 2002. “I was successful in organizing the Olympics, got record funds from the federal government," he said then. didn't build that.....we did...

    July 31, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  15. Max

    ...AND...MITT...Palestine has a unique culture, like any other country that needs to be respect and NOT racialized....MITT...are you really a RACIST? Sounds like it...ARE YOU?

    July 31, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  16. Sniffit

    "Tried that. It was called the "stimulus". It failed – completely and utterly miserably."

    The numbers don't do. Sorry, but your knee-jerk talking point that has been drummed into your head by Red State and World Net Daily and Faux Noise doesn't comport with the evidence..only your ideology. In fact, it should've been bigger and most economists are saying that we should do more of it in the short term so that we can accelerate the economy and get ourselves in a place where we can afford to do more cutting and budget balancing in the long term. But that's ok...we understand...the GOP/Teatrolls have had their eyes myopically set on November 2012 since January 2009 and you can't see past it. It's why Mittens will lose.

    July 31, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |

    @Four and The Door – Fast and Furious Executive Privilege. Isn't it more important to our nation what Obama's hiding?
    NEWSFLASH: – Fast and Furious was a continuation of Project Gunrunner – which coincidentally was a program initiate by the ATF under DUBYA's adminstration in 2005. If you check the FACTS (something you Repugs are loath to do) you will find that the investigation was INITIATED by Holder, not Congress.

    In June 2012, an investigation by Fortune magazine concluded that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. Agents interviewed during the six-month Fortune magazine investigation repeatedly asserted that only one isolated incident of "gunwalking" ever occurred, and was performed independently by ATF Agent John Dodson (who later appeared on CBS News as a whistleblower to denounce the gunwalking scandal) as part of an unauthorized solo action outside of the larger Fast and Furious operation.

    Please check your FACTS before spouting. It gives intelligent Republicans a bad name when you don't.

    July 31, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. ST

    Romney can't claim he was successful in business without proving it to people. The only way to do it, is to release his Tax Returns and let people believe what he says. No one should buy only words!

    July 31, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. ghostriter

    I wonder how many companies Romney had vested interests in that got contracts during the 2002 Olympics....

    July 31, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |

    @Ray E. (Georgia) – Barracks idea of sucess is Taxing the Job Creators out of existance to give you your Hamburger, of which may be your last. Want jobs to improve? You figure it out.
    Ray, you need to figure it out. We've been giving the so-called job creators the large TAX BREAKS in US History for the last TEN years, and where are the JOBS ???? R-I-G-H-T !! That has proven so successful...
    With the massive national debt, you simply cannot begin to pay it down WITHOUT RAISING TAXES. I have no desire to pay more in taxes, nor have larger Govt., but FACT is... lower taxes = LESS REVENUE = MORE DEBT!!
    Try taking economics 101 pls..

    July 31, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  21. NO ROBME 2012!



    Bill Clinton will speak at the convention and SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT!

    July 31, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  22. ghostriter

    SALT LAKE CITY — A new report raises questions about one of Mitt Romney's sources of campaign money, who was also a key figure in the Olympic bribery scandal and the subsequent trial.

    The Daily Beast reports the donor, New Jersey travel-company executive Sead Dizdarevic, became an immunized witness during the 2003 trial stemming from the Olympic bribery scandal.

    He testified at the corruption trial of Salt Lake Olympic directors Tom Welch and David Johnson that he and his sister-in-law had delivered $131,000 in cash contributions to the defendants in hopes of securing an exclusive Olympic hospitality contract.

    The report says after Romney took over running the Olympics, Dizdarevic was awarded an exclusive, elite travel package contract anyway. The Daily Beast says now Dizdarevic, his family, his company and his business associates have donated more than $1 million to Romney's campaign.

    July 31, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  23. Sniffit

    "Barracks idea of sucess is Taxing the Job Creators out of existance to give you your Hamburger"

    Newsflash: "Job Creators" is a bullcrap nonsense term coined by Frank Luntz solely to give the GOP/Teatrolls a buzz phrase to use instead of saying what they really mean: "rich people." It is, in fact, a purposeful attempt to create a very incorrect perception that is unsupported by the real evidence. Rich people don't create jobs. Demand creates jobs. And do you know where demand comes from? The middle-class. Middle-class salaries create jobs, not people who look at additional tax cuts from the gov't as a pay increase they can stick in an offshore bank account to avoid taxes. Middle-class spending creates jobs, not the hording and consolidating and refusal to increase middle-class salaries that goes on in the 1%...the stockpiling of the country's capital by people who already have so much of it that they could never even spend all of it if they tried...and their endless quest to figure out how to get more of the pie and keep it for themselves while using their already extreme wealth to convince the gov't to rig the rules to give them advantages over the rest of us in doing so. THE REAL JOBS CREATORS ARE THE MIDDLE CLASS. Top-down supply-side economics is a self-serving myth perpetuated by those it benefits the most: those at the top.

    July 31, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  24. ghostriter

    When Mitt Romney's nephew pitched the idea of having his start-up Utah commodities firm help make the 2002 Winter Olympics more environmental friendly, officials with the Salt Lake Organizing Committee jumped at the prospect.

    The Olympic organizers were looking for low-cost ways to go green and Ryan Davies offered his company's services for free, hoping a contract with the vaunted sporting event would be a marketing boon for his fledgling company, called 02 Blue, Inc.

    How Davies secured the Salt Lake Olympic contract for his firm, however, appears to have been far less formal than the process used by the Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) to award work to its vendors, ABC News has found. Davies said in an interview the deal had nothing to do with the fact that he is the nephew of the man who was running the games at the time, and who is now the Republican nominee for president.

    July 31, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  25. Wake up people

    Show us your taxes you vulture Willard! You're a pathological liar that will say anything to be President. You stand for absolutely nothing and if you were educated at Harvard, you need to ask for a refund, because you Willard Mittens Robmey, are even dumber than Bush. You make Bush look like a rocket scientist.

    OBAMA 2012!
    The best President EVER despite a do nothing obstructionist congress. And to all of you haters that will attempt to tear me down. I am gainfully employed as are all of my family members. I'm college educated and I had a great job until Bush decimated our economy. And I thank God everyday for President Obama who got me back to working.

    July 31, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
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