Romney adviser unsure when Romney budget would balance
August 15th, 2012
06:30 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney adviser unsure when Romney budget would balance

(CNN) – Mitt Romney's senior adviser Ed Gillespie said Wednesday in a CNN interview that he did not know when his candidate would balance the federal budget, the day after Romney's new vice presidential candidate, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, said the campaign had not yet "run the numbers."

Romney, meanwhile, was on the campaign trail this week praising Ohio Gov. John Kasich's understanding "that it's government's job to balance budgets" and saying his plan would "get us to a balanced budget faster than the plan [Ryan] originally put forward" - while providing few details about how he would balance the federal budget, which he said in June would be reached "within eight to 10 years."

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Obama's most recent federal budget, released last spring, projects the deficit would be reduced over the next ten years, but does not forecast balance in that time.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates the federal budget shortfall so far this fiscal year is $975 billion, according to a report released earlier this month - and that with two months remaining in the federal government's fiscal year.

Gillespie said on CNN's "The Situation Room" that he was unsure of how many years it would take for the federal government to balance spending and revenue levels.

"I'm not sure of that myself, actually," he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "I'll get back to you though. I'm sure it's on our website."

In June, Romney told private sector leaders at the Business Roundtable that he would balance the federal budget within a decade, in large part through cuts.

"I will in my first 100 days take action to eliminate government programs, to send a lot of government programs back to states - where I limit the rate of growth at inflation - and to cut back the number of federal employees through attrition," he said. "And those things save about $500 billion a year by my fourth year in office - if I am lucky enough to be elected - and get us to a balanced budget within eight to 10 years."

Romney's Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth, titled "Believe in America," stresses the importance of a balanced budget, but does not lay out a timeframe.

"To return the United States to the path of fiscal discipline, America must cut its government spending, cap that spending at a sustainable level, and pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution," the plan reads.

Ryan, who was announced on Saturday as Romney's running mate, said on Tuesday that he, too, was unsure when the Romney plan would achieve balance. The seven-term congressman from Wisconsin has authored his own budget plans, which many Republicans, including Romney, have received warmly, although Romney has not adopted the Ryan plan as a plank of his platform.

"Well I don't know exactly when it balances because we haven't - I won't get wonky on you, but we haven't run the numbers on that specific plan," Ryan said on Fox News Tuesday. "The plans that we've offered in the House balance the budget."

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a high-profile surrogate for Romney, on Wednesday defended the GOP candidate's plan.

"First of all, we know that Governor Romney's plan moves towards and puts the country on a path towards balancing the budget much more rapidly and dramatically than President Obama has in mind, which is trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, and the debt and the deficit growing," he said on CNN's Starting Point.

For the administration's part, the budget Obama unveiled earlier this year - which was understood to have little chance of becoming law - forecast the 2013 shortfall to be $901 billion. His budget predicts the deficit shrinking to $704 billion by 2022 but does not place a premium on achieving balance in the near term.

Meanwhile, Romney said in a separate interview Wednesday morning that Ryan's plan was a "a serious and important effort to try to get America on track to have a balanced budget." His plan, he said, would reach balance faster than Ryan's.

And while campaigning in Ohio on Tuesday, Romney praised the state's governor's budget chops.

We've got a governor here in Ohio who understands what needs to be done," Romney told supporters in Chillicothe, Ohio. "He's a guy that understands that it's government's job to balance budgets. And he did it here in the state of Ohio. And he did it without raising taxes. In fact, he cut some taxes to make Ohio a better place to create a job. Isn't that what we need in Washington, DC?"

Romney's "Believe in America" plan points to his own experience balancing the budgets of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and of Massachusetts when he was governor.

"He cut taxes nineteen times, balanced the budget without raising taxes and slashed red tape for businesses," the plan reads. "By 2007, when Romney left office, the state had accumulated a $2 billion cash cushion in a rainy day fund."

On the stump this week, Romney has said his plan for economic growth includes energy independence, education, opening doors for trade and dealing with those who trade unfairly, cutting spending and shrinking deficits, and supporting small businesses.

– CNNMoney's Charles Riley and Jeanne Sahadi contributed to this report

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.

soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. rs

    Hint: It won't, ever. You can't cut taxes and go to war in Iran, and somehow magically "cut" your way to prosperity. Mr. Romney is indeed eager to cut federal spending, and that means cutting federal jobs and increasing unemployment. It's George Bush all over again.

    August 15, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  2. g

    he,ll let you know if he,s elected like every thing else

    August 15, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  3. BlkPwr817

    Probably wont balance out in our lifetime. I'm sure Romney will make somthing up in time for the GOP convention. If he hasn't, he'll just brush aside the question until after the election...

    August 15, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  4. n

    My name is Mitt Romney and I got nothing for the American People but this old bottle of "Snake Oil"!

    August 15, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  5. edog

    Are you kidding me!! This from the guy who says he wants to talk about serious subjects! No details in his tax policy in which loopholes to close. No details in which programs to cut, but he will balance the budget. I like how Ryan the other day said they will disclose those details "in the light of day" but after the elections!!??? What????

    August 15, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  6. Mikeunpublished

    This is absolute nonsense. How can someone have a 50/50 shot at being president and not even have specifics on his platform?

    August 15, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  7. Craig

    But fear not, at least Romney can read a balance sheet so he once stated when asked what his qualifications for the Presidency were.

    August 15, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  8. Jeff in Virginia

    This is actually a really easy one.

    The Romney/Ryan plan isn't going to balance the budget, so obviously they can't provide a date.

    August 15, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  9. drake mallard

    Romney's campaign is based on the notion that because of what he did at Bain he understands the economy. It's perfectly reasonable to examine what his experience at Bain really taught him. After all, Bain wasn't in the business of creating jobs, it was in the business of making money

    The high unemployement is due to people like romney out sourcing that's why middle class Americans are suffering so much.

    Romney is already running away from Ryan's

    August 15, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  10. Former Republican, now an Independent

    The Romney/Ryan campaign is dodging the real details of their budget plan because the burden is entirely on the backs of working class Americans, not people born into money like Romney and the majority of his campaign contributors.

    August 15, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  11. atteloc716

    That's a deflection, there is nothing on site? to run number's on assumptions... Ryans hope could not be scored, also made up projections that CBO stated they did what he asked and it was not being backed by them.

    He has the same information listed as his taxes.. as little as they need to SEE.

    August 15, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  12. edog

    Romney only balanced the Olympic budget after a $4 billion dollar federal government Pork payment. In other words! Romney got a GOVERNMENT BAILOUT to help him with the Olympics. Once again, Mittens is flip flopping: Government bail out for the big banks -GOOD- Government bailout for GM -BAD- but Government bailout for Romney Olympics -GOOD-.... Flip then flop then flip than flop!!!

    August 15, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  13. billthenjgeek

    Gov. Romney balanced the Olympics budget by begging and tricking the federal government into paying for more of the Olympics than they ever had in the past. Then he bragged about it on film! He specifically bragged about how he sent someone to the dept of education with the song and dance about the "educational" opportunity the Olympics in order to get that arm of the government to provide funding. He balanced the Olympics by bringing in more REVENUE. This REVENUE was funded by taxpayers!

    August 15, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  14. scarf

    A couple of years after Obama was elected, I thought he reminded me of Jimmy Carter; nice guy, but in over his head. But the longer this campaign goes on, the more Romney reminds me of Dukakis.

    August 15, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  15. NVa Native

    From the planet Klatoo comes the Mittens 2000 model.
    Talk about a Manchurian candidate, Romoney is a freak amoung freaks.

    August 15, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  16. Mary Ann

    Maybe he will balance the budget the day after he shows us his tax returns.

    August 15, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  17. DRAKE MALLARD

    i don't care about poor people

    August 15, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  18. GI Joe

    He's such a jokester. He's trying to pull one on us now. ahh -– aha -– aha

    August 15, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  19. Hey, Mittens got anymore of those 100K jobs at Bain for doing nothing? 'Call Me, Maybe?'

    It is a cinch that if Ed Gillespie doesn't know the answer, then Mitt the Twit is still out shopping for a vowel.

    Am I the only one that finds it disturbing that neither the "senior adviser" or the "top dog" can answer a direct question?

    August 15, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  20. GROVER NORQUIST IS AN ENEMY OF THE STATE

    FIRE HIM WILLARD!!! He's providing a bad service to you yet AGAIN!!! He's telling the truth. We can't have that.

    August 15, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  21. Randy, San Francisco

    Romney/Ryan lied to their Tea Party supporters. Their main priority is making the 1% richer and not balancing the budget.

    August 15, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  22. GROVER NORQUIST IS AN ENEMY OF THE STATE

    I think your campaign staff and a few surrogates are working against you Willard. You're not liked much. It migth have something to do with your faith, your flip flops, your Massachusetts individual mandate healthcare law, or because you haven't RELEASED YOUR TAXES. Your such a coward Willard that you send Ann out to say you won't be releasing anymore taxes. Wuss! How about you grow a pair and man up chump.

    August 15, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  23. Larry L

    Let's see... By last count Romney promises low taxes from everybody – therefore cutting revenues and raising the deficit. He promises high spending on defense – higher is he starts one of the wars he's hinting about. This would increase the deficit. He plans to repeal Obamacare but replace it with a plan containing all of the good provisions – but with no plan specified to pay the bill. This is of course just a lie. He promises to cut regulations designed to protect consumers from the same financial folks who caused the mortgage meltdown. He says he'll give us cheap gas and a new embassy for Israel! None of these things appear related to a spending plan. He plans to leave the oil companies with big subsidies – in spite of their large profits. Does anybody see a plan here? One that might balance a budget?

    August 15, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  24. Thomas

    Romney adviser unsure when Romney budget would balance.

    It all depends on how many wars he wants to start .

    August 15, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  25. Bugl3t

    why would I believe ANYTHING this man says? Romney makes all sorts of claims but doesn't feel it necessary to actually prove anything by showing documents and/or actual facts to back whatever he says up.

    August 15, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
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