September 7th, 2012
12:45 PM ET
6 years ago

Romney fires back with 'straight talk'

Sioux City, Iowa (CNN) – Mitt Romney fired back against Democrats Friday, the morning after being skewered by the president and top party officials on the closing night of the Democratic National Convention.

The GOP nominee, who emerged Friday from five days spent largely behind closed doors preparing for the upcoming presidential debates, accused President Obama of using his convention speech to recycle old promises instead of offering new ideas to turn around the economy.

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"There's certainly nothing that he said last night that gives the American people confidence he knows what he would do to create jobs or build a stronger economy," Romney told reporters during a press conference on an airport tarmac in Sioux City. "I think that the message from last night was that the president's plan is four more years of the four last years, and I don't think the American people want four more years of the four last years."

While political pundits overwhelmingly gave Democrats kudos for holding a livelier convention, Romney immediately claimed the political advantage Friday with the release of new unemployment numbers that showed the economy was stagnant.

He expressed satisfaction in his own convention, held in Tampa, Florida a week earlier, even though it did not result in a substantial bump in the polls.

"I'm very pleased that people got to know me better," Romney said in response to a question about his small bounce in the polls. "Those that took the time to watch and to listen in depth to the things that were said in the convention, I think, got a better picture of what I stand for and what I'd do to get America working again."

The Republican nominee – who on Wednesday told reporters he did not plan to watch the president's convention address – slapped back at Obama over a dig on Romney's foreign trip this summer.

On Thursday Obama quipped that his opponent "might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing" given the uproar he caused in London this July by publicly questioning whether the city was prepared to hold the Olympics.

Romney turned that jab around Friday by echoing his Republican predecessor, Sen. John McCain.

"I'm very pleased that my Olympic experience allows me to talk about the Olympics in a straight talk manner," Romney said. "And I think it would be appropriate if the president would talk to China in a straight talk manner."

Romney also faced more questions about why he did not mention the war in Afghanistan during his own convention speech. He repeated the same response he gave a day earlier, pointing to his speech at the American Legion convention in Indianapolis the day before he took the convention floor.

"I took time out from our convention to go to the American legion and speak to our veterans and speak about our commitment in Afghanistan and elsewhere," Romney said. "The president apparently didn't have time to go to the American legion as I did."

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Mitt Romney
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Squigman

    Straight talk, from a lying tax cheat. Nice try.

    September 7, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. REG in AZ

    Romney is actually incapable of "straight talk" and that is a real shame because then the people have nothing to go by other than deception and distraction.

    September 7, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. Amobius

    Of course the jobs report shows stagnation. Remind me again how many jobs bills the republicans have gotten through since running on job creation in 2010?

    September 7, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. The Elephant in the Room

    Mitt, there is certainly nothing that you have done or said in the past 8 years that makes me TRUST YOU.

    You`ve bragged about working on public policy in back room deals. Combine this with your complete lack of specific ACTION PLANS with details that Thinking voters can evaluate and nobody wants to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    Show us your income tax returns and your secretive off-shore bank accounts and then maybe you`ll have some credibility.

    September 7, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  5. Eric

    For better or worse, Mitt Romney is no longer the 'presumptive' nominee. After Tampa he should be shown as the Republican nominee.

    September 7, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  6. BlkPwr817

    To bad he didn't give us any "straight talk" when he had his chance at the GOP convention. Not to mention the fact that he neglected to thank the men & women who serve our country. It's too late now Mitt...Obama 2012

    September 7, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. Milton K. Wiah

    Mitt Romney, poor answer. Not even 00.8% of Americans know that you were there speaking.
    To fail to acknowledge the war oversea was gave mistake and should apologize for it.

    September 7, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  8. Ken

    "I'm very pleased that people got to know me better," Romney said. Yes, we did get to know you better and we don't like what we learned anymore now than we did before your convention.

    September 7, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  9. Hunter

    "Presumptive" nominee? Have you been writing that so long that you can't stop? They did just have a convention to nominate him, you know.

    September 7, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. crush

    I'll take a repeat of the last four years, even with snail like growth, over a return to the policies of the 8 years that got us here.

    September 7, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  11. M

    Sorry Mittens, visiting the American Legion is NOT the same as honoring our service men and women before the nation, which you utterly failed to do so during your acceptance speech at the RNC convention.

    September 7, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  12. Lisa in GA

    Mitt is such a farce, I do not forsee Mitt winning in Nov.. he has a steeper hill to climb than Obama.. and the more he speaks.. err not speak on the issues important to most... I guess that is why he received a 1 percent bumb.. guess that many people really still does not know the real Mitt.. or the several Mitt's....

    September 7, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. Marry

    "There's certainly nothing that Romney said at the GOP convention that gives the American people confidence he knows (or wants to tell us) what he would do to create jobs or build a stronger economy," would fit very nicely! The GOP has proven that after their talk about JOBS, JOBS, JOBS in 2010 nothing happened besides sabotaging everything that would have helped to create jobs! Well when the ONLY goal is to make the President “fail” you are of cause busy…(since the President is bright and brilliant enough to work despite these GOP/TP obstructionists!) Where are the tax-returns????
    All smart people will vote a strait “D” ticket on Nov. 2012 to stop the GOP lies!

    September 7, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. Duck Fallas

    Romney and Ryan are the cutest May-October couple since Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson.

    September 7, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. bethjoyce

    What would you expect of Romney. If this is the best he can do, Obama did a great job last night!!

    September 7, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. demwit

    The debt is not a problem and the private sector is doing fine. America has turned the corner. Trust me I too have hope.

    September 7, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. linda

    If you think going to the American Legion shows your suport for the Veterans and our men and women in the military and not even mention them at your convention makes you a man worthy to lead and be Commander In are wrong......the only reason WHEN he does talk about our military men and women is because he's going to get us into a War with Iran, Syria, North Korea and he's going to need all you men and women to fight more of the War's the Republicans like to get us into.....thats the only reason he acknowledges our military....that's why they want to give more money to the Penagon so they can prepare us for the New War's they plan on getting us into......and strip away our Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, education, Healthcare to pay for it.......Yet he never fought in Vietnam, where was he during that War? Has any of his sons served in the Military? NO and they won't.....daddy has enough money to keep them out......but your sons and daughters will serve and die.....this man has NO Foreign Experience.........keep him out of the White House

    September 7, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. The Unsub

    My Message to Mitt:

    Hey, you seem like a nice father, and a man of faith who is very wealthy. But you are not the guy for the job right now. Even your fellow republicans feel the same way. This is not an attack, but the truth shared by more than 51% of Americans. I do believe that the election will be close, but you WILL lose.

    September 7, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  19. blue19

    Romney, like th rest of the GOP, seem to have a very short and selective memory. They have forgotten that the policies Romney/Paul are proposing were the policies in place when the economy collapsed (Thank you Bush/Cheney). They also seem to not realize that the world economy right now is in trouble. Europe is on life support and China, India and Brazil all have economies that are slowing quicker than expected.

    September 7, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. jaimie

    Romneyhood ........... Give to the Rich take from the poor

    September 7, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. jaimie

    Romney and Ryan ............ Laurel and Hardy of the 21st century

    September 7, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. California Gary

    Straight talk from Romney? That'll be the day! The man wouldn't know straight talk if it walked up and slapped him in the face.

    September 7, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. gt

    why does obama hate business so much....we need jiobs so bad....people are hurting and all he does is to tell the american people how are it is going to be....where is the good news.. the hope...dont see it ...

    September 7, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. rjones4b

    All you need to know…
    Jobs: In the last 52 years Republicans created 24 million jobs, Democrats created 42 million! When Bush left office country was LOSING 750,000 jobs per month, under Obama we’ve seen 30 straight months of private sector job GROWTH!
    Spending/Debt: Under Obama the national debt has increased 40% (which is bad), under Bush it increased 89% (which is way worse)!
    Not hard to see what party does a better job handling the economy.

    September 7, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. Pander Bear

    Straight talk – out of both sides of his mouth.

    September 7, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
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