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. Larry L

    Newt Gingrich really got it right when he directly called Mitt Romney a "liar". He absolutely has no concern for the truth and has no belief whatsoever that his "vision" would work. He can't even give you any specifics about his own
    plan!

    August 15, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  2. drake mallard

    Romney "worst Republican" to face Obama

    August 15, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  3. CoJo

    it has been shown that ACA has the same cuts as in Ryan's medicare plan. So how do the republicans explain that?

    August 15, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  4. vic , nashville ,tn

    Really they don’t why they are running this campaign

    August 15, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  5. malcolm in St Louis

    it is not a plan if you do not gauge the outcome. It is guess or wishful thinking. Get real GOP!

    August 15, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  6. Melo-D

    Oh Willard, how long do you think people will accept the answer, I'll get back to you, or i don't know, next question. I thought you were running on your great managerial success? Shouldn't he have any details behind what his main campaign proposal is?? The man is just full of hot air.

    August 15, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  7. Mike in Texas

    They can't say because his current plan will add to the deficit. In addition, Ryan's plan is based on best case scenarios and all it would take is one glitch to throw it off track.

    August 15, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  8. redleg56

    SO- we should trust someone who can't pass the bar exam and who is a documented (from his own signatures) liar? And who thinks Bin Laden should go to bed safe in the knowledge that America is not hunting him down?

    August 15, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  9. manhandler1

    Why is it that Romney even looks awkward just standing still. He just wants us to trust him about alot of things...for instance his taxes.

    August 15, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  10. Delilah

    That's Willard for you – all smoke & mirrors. No facts, no substance, no conviction, no back bone.

    August 15, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  11. ron

    LOL. How about this answer from the Romney Hood campaign "Never! You silly bunch of middle-class suckers! That's when my budget will balance."

    August 15, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  12. Investment Advisor

    Why is this the topic? How about "Why we have not had a balanced budget under Obama?" This will bring out the "Anti Bushers"

    August 15, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  13. Marty, FL

    Romney irresponsibly increases deficits by $5 trillion giving unaffordable tax cuts to the rich off the backs of the middle class and seniors.

    August 15, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  14. Pete

    How can Romney and Ryan balance something they know nothing about.Bush,in which Ryan rubber stamped everything never really balanced a single budget because he left major pricey pieces out,two unfunded wars,Medicare Part D and other unnamed bills that this president got stuck with.Ryan as well as republicans can't predict how long it would take to balance ,they're good at lying about what the president has formulated haven't they..The budgets have been shot down numerous times because the incumbent wants revenue raised and your hypocrites want their wealthy elitist to get their taxes,especially capital gains reduced or eliminated,its their plan and these idiots have made it public..No budget will be formulated until there's bipartisanship in the house and senate and not before then..Clinton was tough in saying to Gingrich and republicans you work with me or you'll get nothing,they say different but that's gospel and republicans don't like to be backed down from anything but Clinton did just that..Pres.Obama will get a budget this time if these extremist republicans are gone and its most likely they will,like it or not. They haven't done what they were elected for unless obstructionism was their only job because that's all they've done in congress since being there!!

    August 15, 2012 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  15. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Oh- just trust Mitt... He'll make it work out (for HIMSELF)... Not a chance Mittens!! Show us your taxes!!

    August 15, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  16. 1twinsfan

    Please, someone in the Romney campaign teach Mitt how to stand.

    August 15, 2012 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  17. labman57

    Team Romney cannot recall the specifics of his budget plan because there are no specific to recall.

    Okay, I'm not being completely fair to the Master Panderer from Massachusetts. In fact, Mitt does indeed have a specific, detailed economic plan for America, and he'll gladly share it ... just as soon as his billionaire and corporate overlords finish writing it.

    August 15, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  18. Evergreen

    Most states are in financial trouble. How is transfering programs back to states suppose to work?

    August 15, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  19. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He only thought to balance the budget because he had to. If he doesn't think that he can, they why is he bothering with the business background? That requires budgets be balanced. Does he or doesn't he plan on facing the legacy that started with Reagan.

    August 15, 2012 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  20. Michael

    Is this a joke? Its that repuglican fuzzy math again! Paul Ryan's budget seems to have the same problem! Repulicans spin machine wants this to a non-issue, like the evaporation of 1/2 trillion surplus, -8.9 GDP, 11 trillion national debt, 1.3 trillion deficit, 2.8 trillion in tax cuts (unpaid for)2 Wars (unpaid for), Medicare prescription plan (unpaid for), 3 trillion borrowed from China, a Wall Street, Banking, Auto, Mortgage crisis’s, losing over 800,000 jobs monthly and a economy on the brink of depression when President Obama took office! Repuglican spin is that this economy belongs to Obama! Well, when this country is out the economic pitfall started under George Bush, I will agree!

    August 15, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  21. enuff

    Wait... wasn 't Romney going to do it ALL on day 1? How can he even say 10 years when even Ryan has said they haven't run the numbers? Besides, he hasn't had to face off with congress – where a budget is supposed to originate.

    August 15, 2012 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  22. The Real Tom Paine

    Oops. Hey, its conservative math, folks. It's never supposed to add up.

    August 15, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  23. Under the Ryan Plan, Romney Pays 0.87% in taxes

    It's obvious when, given Mittens' budget is based on economic policies that are PROVEN FAILURES: When hell freezes over ...

    August 16, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  24. Anthony... proud tax payer

    So what Romney is saying is during his first 100 days he will RAISE the UNEMPLOYMENT levels by laying off government workers? Then he says it will take 8-10 years to balance the budget?
    Isn't that close to what Obama said, but yet Republicans still accuse him of not having it done yet, despite 100percent effort to obstruct every single piece of legislature he pushes.

    To quote Romney...
    "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."
    how does he not know his own plans???

    And he'll do it by cutting middle class programs(and lower class safety nets) while at the same time cutting taxes for the already super rich people like himself? As well as increase military spending, possibly have us in a war with Iran, if not WW3 with Iran, Russia, and China?!?

    okay.. he's flat out crazy. And if you believe this nonsense, then you are too.

    And if you think Obama doesn't have a record to run on.. then you might also believe Bin Laden isn't dead, GM is bankrupt, the SCOTUS reversed the AHCA, and the military still has DADT enacted.

    August 16, 2012 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  25. hate from the left but mostly lies

    Obama most likley forgot that when you raise taxes, you don't raise revenue levels. Accounting for this lack of foresight, we would most likley go farther underwater. Rich people will just pay more for tax reduction stratigies and accountants. For the middle class, that's bad news because the new tax burden will fall on their sholders. High tax rates may work well on paper,but just like communism, they really don't work in practice.

    August 16, 2012 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
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