Obama flips the argument, says Romney aspires for 'inside job'
September 21st, 2012
01:36 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama flips the argument, says Romney aspires for 'inside job'

(CNN) – President Barack Obama hit back against Mitt Romney's latest attack on Friday while defending his earlier argument that Washington cannot be changed from the "inside."

On Thursday, the GOP presidential nominee pounced on Obama's initial comments from a presidential forum on the Spanish-language network Univision.

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"The most important lesson I've learned is that you can't change Washington from the inside," Obama said. "You can only change it from the outside."

Within hours, Romney was on the attack. The White House hopeful peppered a Sarasota, Florida speech with references to Obama's Univision remark, saying the president had essentially given up on his 2008 ideals of "hope" and "change."

"The president today threw in the white flag of surrender again. He said he can't change Washington from inside, he can only change it from outside," Romney said to an audience of several thousand. "Well, we're going to give him that chance in November. He's going outside!"

Romney said he "couldn't believe it" when he heard reports the "president of change" had said Washington needed to be changed from the outside.

"Isn't that amazing? No wonder he's had such a hard time over the last four years," Romney said. "His first two years he had a Democratic House, Democratic Senate, he got to do whatever the heck he wanted to, but he says he can't change it from the inside. Well, I will."

It didn't take long for the president to respond. While speaking at a noontime campaign rally in Woodbridge, Virginia on Friday, Obama unleashed a series of new lines pounding Romney over the Republican's reaction.

Defending his comment, Obama argued he was saying you can't change Washington "just" from the inside and took issue with Romney's claim that the Republican nominee could get the job done, himself.

The president blasted Romney's goal as a naive "inside job."

"What kind of inside job is he talking about? Is it the job of rubber stamping the top-down, you-are-on-your-own agenda of this Republican Congress? Because if it is we don't want it. If it is the job of letting oil companies write our energy policy, we don't want it. If it's the job of outsources writing our tax code, we don't want it," Obama said, as the Virginia crowd cheered. "If it is the job of letting politicians decide who you can marry or control the health care choices that women should be able to make for themselves – we'll take a pass."

He continued; "We don't want an inside job in Washington. We want change in Washington."

- CNN's Ashley Killough, Rachel Streitfeld and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Virginia
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. ART

    Its so sad to actually see it ,but I've always heard that a drowing man will grab at a straw. I feel so sorry for that 1 percenter he will never be President.

    September 21, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. cali girl

    Robmey the Sheriff of Nothingham thinks the economy will just come back. From the infamous video he said he has no plans at all to help the economy, it will just magically get better, just like his underwear.

    September 21, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Romney needs to learn to stop acting like a damn "Parrot", repeating everything President Obama says. Romney sets himself up to be the rat caught in the trap, you'd think he'd know that by now. Whose running Romney's campaign, right now it appears the "Parrot" is in control.

    September 21, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Whoa. This is gettin' serious. Toe to Toe. Blow for Blow. The first debate shaping up to be Romney's Hail Mary.

    September 21, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    Indeed. Inside job is right. He's trying to get "hired" to do to the federal government and the middle-class exactly what he did to corporations and their employees when he was at Bain: turn a profit for extremely wealthy clients by massively reducing the workforce and raiding pension and benefits funds and, likely, paving the road to bankruptcy with middle-class scalps.

    Guess who his "clients" are when it comes to the federal gov't. Guess.

    September 21, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    Indeed. Inside job is right. He's trying to get "hired" to do to the federal government and the middle-class exactly what he did to corporations and their employees when he was at Bain: turn a profit for extremely wealthy clients by massively reducing the workforce and raiding pension and benefits funds and, likely, paving the road to bankruptcy with middle-class scalps.

    Guess who his "clients" are when it comes to the federal gov't. Guess.

    Oh, and guess what the "pension" and "benfits" funds are when it comes to the federal gov't. Guess.

    September 21, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. myviewis

    Obama is so full of it, the only thing this guy wants is to sit back and enjoy being president for another 4 years while he passes the buck to someone else or some committee ( which he has formed plenty of them ). He's so lazy and people believe all his excuses to not do the job himself.

    This whole excuse he gives for his comment is so ridiculous, it is hard to believe adults buy it ( I can see college kids buying it ).

    Bottom line, he's planning on getting everyone else to do his duties. I can see why our country is in such a disaster.

    September 21, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  8. Ancient Texan

    Romney would bring a lot of "outside" intelligence and real world experience to the table. Obama only brings redistribution, bigger government and class warfare!

    September 21, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. Yanni

    Brilliant!!!

    September 21, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  10. rosco

    Lawmakers to Obama: Get your story straight on Libya attack

    September 21, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. Eggman38

    These two make me sick...all they are doing is constantly trying to one up each others comments like a couple of testosterone driven late teen immature boys. WHERE IS THE ATTEMPT AT TALK ON THE REAL ISSUES. Time to grow up and be men.

    September 21, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. Patriot Awesome

    Oh snap!

    September 21, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Mitt is on the ropes. Election over. Obama wins.

    September 21, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. HOLY TIGHTY WHITIES WILLARD

    I'll take a pass.

    September 21, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  15. myviewis

    If Obama can't change Washington from the inside then Obama surrender the chair of president for 2013-2016 and come back to the outside with the rest of us.

    September 21, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  16. kayla

    previews of coming attraction

    September 21, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  17. Joan in MS

    Change will only happen if there is a change in the Congress. EVERY house member (i.e., all freshman GOP/teaparties) are up for reelection in November. The teaparty was just a so-called "grassroots" mirage for the big money interests trying to control this country. Don't be fooled ... THROW them ALL out!!

    September 21, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. v_mag

    "The president today threw in the white flag of surrender again."
    --
    Rob-money, sweetheart, at least try to get the metaphor right. It's either "throw in the towel" or "raise the white flag". Like so many things in life, Mittler, you can't have it both ways. I know you think you can lower taxes AND balance the budget, but you can't. You think you can reduce the size of government AND put a federal agent in every bedroom to enforce your idea of marriage and control contraception, but you can't. You can try to favor Israel in all things AND bring peace to the middle east, but it will not work.

    Mittler, your money doesn't fix every problem in the real world. Sometimes, it makes problems worse, like with Bush's wars, which you supported. Sometimes, you have to apply rationality and logic rather than be carried along by the shifting sands of an Etch-a-Sketch.

    September 21, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. pat pat

    This guy is a joke already! It's a shame that the first black president turned out to be a joke!

    September 21, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  20. Woman In California

    Romney said he "couldn't believe it" when he heard reports the "president of change" had said Washington needed to be changed from the outside.

    ---–

    Neither can you believe YOU WILL NEVER BE PRESIDENT but that doesn't stop you from hustling donations while you continue to hide your money in off shore accounts. Does it?

    Now where is your desperate housewife, to remind us of how grateful we should all be that you for want to help those you call "victims"?

    September 21, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. Tony

    You go Mr President tell it like it is let these reignocans ( ignorant republicans) know that we are not going back we are moving forward. and no one is going to be left behind people do not be fooled these rethuglikkklans remember they 2000 to 2008 attached to these years bush and see what you come with do we want to go back there i don't think so Obama/Biden 2012 Hilary/Michelle2016-2024

    September 21, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  22. PaulCat

    "Obama / Biden 2012"

    September 21, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  23. Alger Dave

    Obama has abandoned any hope of a positive, hopeful campaign approach and has exchanged it for name calling, fear mongering and straw grasping. Since change is no longer an option for Obama, let's move 'forward' with Romney.

    September 21, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  24. Obama's America 2016

    Can you get a little more pathetic Obama?

    Apparently not.

    September 21, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  25. anonoymous

    Tax cheat needs to get his own material. Mr Obama kills him when he tries to twist his words. OBAMA 2012

    September 21, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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