September 2nd, 2012
10:12 AM ET
6 years ago

Gibbs: No 'disappointment' among 2008 supporters, though enthusiasm lags

Washington (CNN) – Republicans' attempts to target disillusioned supporters of President Barack Obama won't work, a top adviser to the president said Sunday.

"I don't think that there is voter disappointment," Robert Gibbs, an Obama campaign senior adviser, said on CNN's "State of the Union." "The voters understand that we have been through a traumatic economic experience in the country, unlike anything that we have ever seen."

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Throughout last week's three-day convention, Republicans repeatedly argued that despite Obama's appealing personal attributes, voters shouldn't feel bad about voting against him. They specifically went after voters who supported Obama in 2008, arguing his soaring rhetoric and lofty campaign promises haven't led to an improved economic outlook.

"President Obama is the kind of politician who puts promises on the record, and then calls that the record," Paul Ryan, the GOP vice-presidential nominee, said in his speech. "But we are four years into this presidency. The issue is not the economy as Barack Obama inherited it, not the economy as he envisions it, but this economy as we are living it."

Mitt Romney followed suit, saying in his speech that Obama's promise of "hope and change" had a powerful appeal, but that four years later had amounted to little.

"If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn't you feel that way now that he's President Obama?" Romney asked. "You know there's something wrong with the kind of job he's done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him."

Gibbs, speaking to CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley, said no one in Obama's campaign "is sitting up here saying this is 2008" in terms of voter enthusiasm.

"What has happened since the election in 2008 and right now, again, is this huge economic calamity caused by a series of bad decisions that were made before the president ever got there," Gibbs continued.

He said recent Republican economic proposals are simply a new version of a plan that has proven to be flawed.

"In Tampa, we saw nothing but insults and old slogans and tired old ideas," Gibbs said. "In Charlotte, the president is going to focus on a plan to provide the middle class in this country necessary and needed security by investing in research and innovation."

The former White House press secretary was echoing the president's remarks in Iowa on Saturday, when the Democratic incumbent told a crowd at a campaign rally that the Republican convention might as well have been viewed on a black and white TV.

"It was a rerun. We'd seen it before," Obama said of the Republicans' economic agenda.

Obama's speech formally accepting the Democratic presidential nomination, scheduled for Thursday, will contain essential elements that Gibbs claimed Romney omitted.

"The Mitt Romney speech was about two people: Mitt Romney and Barack Obama," Gibbs said. "President Obama's speech will be about the 300 million people who live in America."

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Ritt Mommey left a mess in MA. Under his leadership, MA went from 33rd in job creation to 47th, he outsourced MA government jobs to India, created a $2 billion deficit, raised taxes over 700 times, and left with approval ratings barely better than the current GOP congressional ratings. He was a failure as leader in MA, and wants to bring his failed leadership to America.

    September 2, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    It is hard to drain the republican economic disaster swamp, when you are surrounded by republican pythons in congress. Imagine how much better we would be as a country if any republican would have voted to put America first.

    September 2, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  3. Are you kidding me?

    The GOP is a total disgrace. They wasted the last 3 years crying and whining because they last in the 2008 election. They think they are entitled to the white house by doing nothing for the people who voted our president into office. They need an injection of common sense mixed with a huge dose of maturity.

    September 2, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Most of Mittens' wealth at Bain, came from government bailouts. He refuses to release his taxes, his foreign and domestic donors, and he lost the records of the recipients from $1.5 billion government bailout of the Salt Lake Olympics. People need to know about his foreign accounts, how he managed to get $100 million in an IRA, his records as governor of MA.

    September 2, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  5. Anonymous

    This disappointed in Obama talk is just too funny. Not sure what the "disappointed" Obama supporters think they will get with a President Romney.

    Guess not voting in 2010 woke folks up from their la la land of dreams and fairy tales long enough to see the damage THEY created by allowing others to vote in those who actually did vote against the "pouting stay at homes" best interests (and mine) time and time again these past two years. Don't blame Obama ... blame yourselves.

    Guess they think Mitt Romney is going to really, really be their "friend", too. Or, they're gonna wait for Hillary to save the day in 2020.

    September 2, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. Are you kidding me?

    The dissapointment I have is with the GOP. Obstructionism is not leadership or any way to represent the people. The GOP need to learn how to compromise

    September 2, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    In a time of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the republicans in congress and the senate vowed to obstruct every program of President Obama, that would get us out of the Bush republican near depression. By any definition, that would be treason, and the republicans should be tried and convicted.

    September 2, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. Ta111

    Gibbs should change his name to fibs. There are millions of disappointed voters out there. I talk to them every day. Go see the movie- the hope and the change if you want to see disappointed voters.

    September 2, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. Pat

    Everyone needs to listen to what President Obama says next week. I mean, really listen to what he says. What is he going to do about job creation? What is he going to do about the deficit? What is he going to do about troops overseas? Does he give specifics or does he dance around the issues? This country need definitive answers, not just political buzz words. Which makes better sense, putting more money into green energies that haven't provided on their promises or expanding the oil and gas we have here in the U.S? Do you think businesses will create more jobs with or without Obamacare? Do you think it makes more sense to create jobs or put people on welfare? Will this country be better off with more government or less government? These are questions everyone needs to be asking themselves because this election comes with consequences, real consequences.

    September 2, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  10. Pat

    Are you kidding me? How can it be obstructionism when the democrats had the house, the senate and the president for two years?

    September 2, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. Pat

    Wire Palladin, S. F. You run off at the mouth. Where is the concrete proof of what you say? Obama has run up $5 trillion in debt. Any deficit in MA fails by comparision. You're just blowing smoke and you know it.

    September 2, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    How is it that right wingnuts think that the democrats had the senate for two years. For four months the president had 58 senators, an independent and Lieberman and that is not a super majority.

    September 2, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. Four and The Door

    "What has happened since the election in 2008 and right now, again, is this huge economic calamity caused by a series of bad decisions that were made before the president ever got there," Gibbs continued.
    Wrong. GWB did not promise "jobs jobs jobs jobs " ( exact quote from Nancy Pelosi) to get an $830 billion spending bill passed in 2009 when everyone else in the country was cutting back. Obama's style of leadership is to pass blame and continue along a losing path of bad ideas. We cannot afford more bad ideas. We...need...results. Romney/ Ryan 2012.

    September 2, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    When Bush lied, people died. Yet he is an amateur compared to the lying of Mittens and Ayn Ryan.

    September 2, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  15. Carlos Murphy

    Saddened that so little was able to be accomplished against deliberate obstructionism and propaganda. The insane filibusters from the GOP which brought the Senate to a stand-still and the lies that the Democrats were in charge of a system intended to provide the minority party with a voice (filibuster and other techniques).

    Hope the tea-party non-compromisers will become a bad memory like George Bush and trickle-down economics.

    September 2, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  16. bb

    It is amazing how much President Obama has been able to accomplish in his first term given the mess left behind from the preivous republican administration for him to clean up, the turncoats within his own party, and the teapots trying to undermine him at every turn. I'm more enthusiastic than ever to vote the teapots out and get a congress that will work with President Obama.

    September 2, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  17. Bren

    Gibbs, Obama and the liberals are crazy if they do not think that there are millions of voters disappointed in Obama. I have many friends/family members who are Democrats, and I hear it from them on a daily basis. They are not only disappointed in Obama--they hate Obama, Pelosi, and the rest of the merry band of leftist loons. They said that they hate what Obama/Pelosi have done to the economy, country, and the Democratic Party. They are not sure if they will vote for Romney yet. But, if they do not vote for Romney, they will definitely be staying home. They said that they may never vote again the rest of their lives, unless the Democratic Party begins to purge the Party of the leftist nuts.

    September 2, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  18. Randy, San Francisco

    The GOP/Tea Party ticket of Romney and Ryan made the choice for disappointed supporters of President Obama clear and easy. Re-elect President Obama. GOP/Tea Party zealots like to re-write history or ignore the facts. The House has been under control of the GOP/Tea Party since the mid-term elections of 2010. Speaker Boehner could not deliver votes on budget compromises because of intransigent just say NO Tea Party politicians.

    September 2, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  19. BWooster

    All this talk about "Obamacare taking money away from new jobs". Hav you ever tried to get health insurance outside of through an employer? I'm just saying, there aren't enough jobs on the planet to resolve the kind of bills you're going to get hit with if you have the temerity to get, say, cancer when you're uninsured.

    September 2, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. Independent Voter

    After almost 4 years of failed promises & lies, America has now become wise to Obama & the DNC.

    We have witnessed all of these lies & failed medical care system and no longer can support this level of Failed Leadership.

    How can we move "Forward" when you have driven up our national Debt by $6 TRILLION and NOTHING to show for it?

    How can we look "Forward" to the future when over 23 Million people are looking for work when the President is busy playing over 100 rounds of golf on the taxpayers dime?

    I would have more respect for Pres. Obama if he resigned and moved back to Chicago.

    He does not represent the concerns of the America's middle-class taxpayers.

    September 2, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  21. BWooster

    Oh, also, the Republicans keep harping on the sound bite that "if you're not still excited about Obama today, something's wrong". Well, I thought this was the party of "family values". Would they offer that kind of advice to a married couple? Oh, wait. Pat Robertson already did when he advised spouses of Alzheimer's patients to get a divorce.

    September 2, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  22. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Pat – You are just blowing Beck's talking points, and you know it. You need anger management. Have a nice Labor Day, the middle class workers earned it for you.

    September 2, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  23. Mike Bates

    Unlike some, I'm not "disappointed" with Obama. I never expected the unqualified Leftist to accomplish anything good. For America, anyway.

    September 2, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  24. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    You would think that 50 million uninsured people would be angry with the GOP, or that 155 million women would be upset with the GOP attack on women's rights, or that 80 million seniors would be unhappy with the GOP voucher medicare plan, or 25 million college students would be unhappy with the GOP. I guess that is OK is you promise more tax cuts to the wealthy.

    September 2, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  25. vic , nashville ,tn

    Today morning very good and tough questions , Democrat didn’t have clear answer but
    Obama will win
    Voters we don’t want here every day “you built it” Obama had control of congress for 2 years enough
    Our corporation sitting on trillions of dollars , Same time India and China giving government loans to investors even after past 9 months bad GDP records they are focusing on 2020
    Here GOP talking the past

    September 2, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
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