Romney says he's 'kind of' partisan
September 25th, 2012
01:02 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney says he's 'kind of' partisan

(CNN) – Mitt Romney joked Tuesday about being "terribly partisan" during a question and answer session devoted to the subject of education.

Romney said as president, he wouldn't prevent teachers from going on strike, as they recently did in Chicago. But the GOP presidential nominee said he thought the influence of teachers' unions on the Democratic Party was bad for policy.

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"I don't mean to be terribly partisan, but I kind of am," Romney said, according to written pool reports.

In the session, sponsored by NBC, Romney was asked if all children in America should be afforded the type of education Romney himself received at Cranbrook, the private prep school in Michigan.

The candidate said tuition figures don't always equate with the quality of education.

"I reject the idea that everybody has to have, if you will, a Harvard-expense level degree to be successful," Romney said.

Earlier Tuesday, President Barack Obama took aim at Romney for his education policies, saying his rival was vilifying teachers.

"Governor Romney and a number of folks try to politicize the issue and do a lot of teacher-bashing. When I meet teachers all across the country, so devoted and dedicated to their kids, and what we've tried to do is actually break through this left-right, conservative – liberal gridlock," Obama said on NBC's "Today."

The two presidential candidates have long been at odds over some aspects of education policy, with Romney claiming Obama is too concerned with placating teachers' unions, which are major sources of Democratic campaign cash, and Obama saying Romney is wrong on his position that smaller class sizes aren't necessarily advantageous to better learning.

Romney reiterated that point Tuesday, saying in the education forum that neither class size nor the money spent per student was the deciding factor in a good education.

"It was the quality of teachers," Romney said, saying if he becomes president he wouldn't try to run schools from the White House.

"Mitt Romney's education rhetoric today may have sounded nice, but it doesn't square with his record or policies, which are informed by the mistaken belief that we can somehow improve our schools while cutting their budgets and laying off teachers," Lis Smith, an Obama campaign spokeswoman, wrote in a statement.

"Cutting education to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires might make sense in Mitt Romney's world, but it's not a recipe for growing the economy or strengthening the middle class," Smith added.

CNN's Kevin Liptak and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Education • Mitt Romney
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. don

    In the summer he was "severly conservative". Mitt please sep away from the etch a sketch

    September 25, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. Thomas

    is Mitt using the etch a sketch or the mistyic eight ball today ?

    September 25, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. Tony

    Romney said that he was "severely conservative" earlier this year. Now he is "kind of partisan." Pretty soon he will be "pretty much not standing for anything at all." Wait, that has already happened.

    September 25, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Al-NY,NY

    But the GOP presidential nominee said he thought the influence of teachers' unions on the Democratic Party was bad for policy
    -----------–

    the influence of oil companies, the NRA, bible-thumpers is "bad for policy" too Flip

    September 25, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. Pete

    Romney partisan,you kidding me,talk to past employees in the Massachusetts state house or democratic reps who had to work with him,partisan as well as dictator.He failed the Olympics,he failed the Massachusetts constituents and now he's trying to become president thus failing America,we don't and won't vote for such extremism,he'll be gone after the debates,good redence....

    September 25, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  6. Borderless

    I think we can forgive Romney for being kind of partisan after having the most divisive president in more than a generation tearing our nation apart and turning his own countrymen against each other for the last four years.

    September 25, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  7. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Quality of teachers... and participation of parents... and attitude of students.... and support of the community...

    September 25, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  8. Facts don't Lie

    Would love to see Mitt of today debate Mitt of a couple of years back over his ER comment where he is on BOTH sides of the issue.

    September 25, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  9. truth hurts

    "Governor Romney and a number of folks try to politicize the issue and do a lot of teacher-bashing. When I meet teachers all across the country, so devoted and dedicated to their kids, and what we've tried to do is actually break through this left-right, conservative – liberal gridlock," Obama said on NBC's "Today."
    ==========================================================================================

    Yeah, Obama and the Democrats weren't touching that teacher strike in Chicago with a ten foot pole! I guess when teachers strike and hurt hundreds of thousands of kids, and their parents, it isn't something you want to be associated with, even when they ARE one of your biggest campaign donors. And the strike was over their job security, as if they needed more. It was VERY clear those teachers weren't devoted and dedicated to their kids. It was all about protecting all of their jobs, even the bad ones.

    September 25, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  10. Dwan J

    Here he goes again!!!!! Mitt is like watching a tennis match of a person playing against himself switching back and forth on both sides of the table. People need to understand that certain people are not voting for Mitt Romney. They are just VOTING AGAINST OBAMA. One of us could have ran and got the votes!!!!

    September 25, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    Partisan is a bad word for hm actually. In order to be partisan, one would need to have solid, static, defined core principles and beliefs. He has none of that. Rather, he's just a self-serving, opportunistic, nihilist grifter who says whatever he thinks is required to appease the immediate audience. It's hard to call that "partisan" in the truest sense, altho I suppose the functional result is the same.

    September 25, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. v_mag

    "But the GOP presidential nominee said he thought the influence of teachers' unions on the Democratic Party was bad for policy."
    --
    So you have unions, made up of working people, their power severely limited by the courts and government preferences for big business, influencing the Democratic Party. It's a problem for Mittler.

    On the other hand, you have oil companies writing their own regulations under Bush. You have Wall St. banks running amok due to lack of regulation under Bush. You have every big business and international corporation funding candidates and whispering in the ears of legislators, but Rob-money doesn't think that is worth mentioning.

    In other words, it's fine to beat down the workers and serve champagne and caviar to the rich guys. And that's all a-okay with Mittler. That's Repugnant values for you.

    September 25, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  13. blue19

    union influence = bad, NRA, big usiness and evangelical influence = good. Fip flop Mitt cn't stay consistant on a single issue, refuses to provide details on any of his platform and refuses to show how he used the tax system to avoid paying millions in taxes with foreign accounts. Funny, it's the same system that created the 47% moochers and victims.

    September 25, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  14. ghostriter

    Funny how republicans aren't even hiding from it anymore. They don't really hate unions. They hate that unions tend to support democrats.

    Basically, republicans are against anything that is not 110% in lockstep with them or not their ideas or goes against their ideas. NPR, Dept of Education, unions, etc. Not only are they against them, but they will use political power to beat them into submission. So when Romney offers ideas on reforming education, I think of his ideas to reform Medicare, SS, and his new moves on Planned Parenthood.

    September 25, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  15. FrankinSD

    So Romney thinks that it is the President's job to dive into local school district labor disputes. Some small government conservative. Sounds like a right-wing totalitarian to me.

    September 25, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  16. DarqueSide

    First he was pro-choice, then he became 'severely conservative', now he's 'terribly partisan'? I think he's just severely terrible.

    September 25, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  17. jane

    !Borderless: "tearing our nation apart and turning his countrymen against each other From 2001 through 2008". There, I fixed it for you.

    September 25, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  18. curious

    Romney and the republicans talk economy, but their true agenda are social issues. One only has to look at Wisconsin to see the real picture.

    September 25, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  19. Publius Novus

    "'I reject the idea that everybody has to have, if you will, a Harvard-expense level degree to be successful,' Romney said." That's right, Mitt. As long as you and yours can get one. How many executives from South Boston Community College did you hire at Bain, Mitt?

    September 25, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  20. Biased Reality

    I'll agree with Romney, that quality teachers are the most important factor in education. We also have to acknowledge that not all teachers are of great quality, because most of them never had an opportunity to receive a quality education themselves. Most of us have to settle for what we could ever hope to afford, and with people like Mitt in the world, that would be very few of us.

    @Borderless – Reality check – Our divisions started way back in the early 90's, it just continues to escalate because of iideologues like yourself, and your liberal counter-parts.

    September 25, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. Alex

    Borderless – Romney is 47% and still you say he is not divisive. Actually, I found republicans the most divisive in every thing from Abortion to foreign relations. As a result of republicans view of their way the high way and dump other has gotten us to this state.

    Remember when Bush left – everybody in world hated us due to our dividing policy and that we are right.

    This is quite event from Olympics and Israel comments of Romney in foreign trip.
    So don't get carried away by the false propoganda for Republicans. They are the most divisive – where they want to say why rich should bear the burden of rest of the country. Actually the taxes on rich have come down a lot in last 50 years and outside US nearly every country has a tax policy where rich people pay significantly higher taxes.

    Even in early voting – republicans are try to fight people to do early voting as data shows people of color would do more early voting

    September 25, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  22. wgf

    "Romney said as president, he wouldn't prevent teachers from going on strike, as they recently did in Chicago."

    Well that's good - because the federal government would have absolutely no standing to prevent a Chicago teachers strike.

    "I reject the idea that everybody has to have, if you will, a Harvard-expense level degree to be successful,"

    Well, that's obvious. In fact one does not need a college degree at all to be successful. But I think it's fairly obvious that your chances for opportunities are much better if you're graduating from Harvard, rather than Southwest Podunk Community College. When you graduate from Harvard, you graduate fully connected.

    I would be very curious as to how Romney defines "successful".

    But of course the question was about his private high school, and whether everyone should have a secondary education that was equivalent to his. Asked a different way: Does he believe that if he went to high school in South Central his life would have followed the same trajectory ? The answer is obviously NO (and not just for him). But would he pretend or believe it was YES ?

    September 25, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  23. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    It's OK for Romney to say he's "kinda partisan" as long as he wasn't standing in the same spot when he said he was "terribly partisan", now that I would have a problem with. LOL

    September 25, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  24. Borderless

    !Jane: Bush made unpopular decisions and a majority of the country disliked him for it. Obama divided our country and identified entire demographics as enemies all for his own narcissistic ambition. Fixed it for you. You're welcome.

    September 25, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  25. Norma Vessels

    I wish people would make up their mind .. first, they want Government to stay out of their business, state business ... then they fuss because our President doesn't run to a teachers' Union dispute and interfere with their rights to labor justice. Which is it .. do you or don't you. Geeesh!

    September 25, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
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