Look at words over wardrobe, Romney says
September 28th, 2012
05:10 PM ET
2 years ago

Look at words over wardrobe, Romney says

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney suggested Friday that the audience pay closer attention to what he says, rather than what he wears when he takes to the debate stage next week.

"I know that in debates there's always interest in the theatrics if you will and the one-liners, the jokes, and who wore what color tie and so forth," he said.

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But blue or red, striped or solid, Romney said he is "looking forward to the debates" and hopes the audience will tune in with a critical ear.

"I think that despite all of the interest in those types of matters that the American people will listen carefully to the conversation that's held over three debates and the forth, with the vice presidential debate, and they'll decide who can help their family, who will be able to get our economy going in the way it could be going," he said, expressing his hope that "they'll make their decision based on what they believe is in the best interest of the country and their own family"

"I expect to be able to describe that in a way people will understand," Romney continued, "and if they do, I'll get elected."

Asked about the importance of the first debate - to be held next Wednesday - the GOP candidate said he "can't tell you how important it'll be" but predicted it would help voters "make a more informed choice."

Longtime Romney adviser Beth Myers sought to set expectations for the candidate's debate performance in a campaign memo obtained by CNN on Thursday, writing that the opponent - President Barack Obama - is "widely regarded as one of the most talented political communicators in modern history."

Obama will "use his ample rhetorical gifts and debating experience to one end: attacking Mitt Romney," Myers wrote. "We fully expect a 90-minute attack ad aimed at tearing down his opponent."

Romney also spoke by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday after attending a fundraiser and campaign rally in Pennsylvania. Romney told reporters aboard his plane that the two spoke about his assessment of where the red line ought to be drawn and my own views with regards to Iran."

Initially, Romney ignored questions about the debates and his call with Netanyahu, instead passing out beef jerky to the reporters aboard his charter flight.

"Guys. It's just - all we've got here is beef jerky," he joked after a reporter asked him a question about his earlier phone call with the Israeli prime minister. "That's all we've got."

Before turning more serious, a reporter suggested that the GOP candidate might bring some of the beef jerky onstage with him at the first debate in Denver.

Romney laughed. "That's a good idea," he said.

– CNN's Rachel Streitfeld and Peter Hamby contributed to this report


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

    "I expect to be able to describe that in a way people will understand," Romney continued, "and if they do, I'll get elected."

    Poor Willard Mitt Romney. Still playing the fool. He had well over a decade to make his case, and here he is suggesting one debate is going to do what his many other years of conversations with America couldn't. Quite the snob he is in all but suggesting that Americans are incapable of making up their minds without first being lied to over the years by none other than Mitt Romney. Who, now, and for whatever reason, wants us forget all we've already heard and from this day forth just take him at his word. I really don't like this guy AT ALL. He reeks of superiority mumble jumble.

    September 28, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. Borderless

    Enough people in the middle of the political spectrum are going to be swayed to give Obama a second term. To those people I say, remember these words as they will come back to haunt you:

    "After this election, I will have a lot more flexibility."–President Obama

    September 28, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  3. Anthony

    People will pay attention to your words, as long as you say something meaningful in those words. Please, give us some details. How can you cut taxes and the deficit at the same time? Since the Bush tax cuts have not created jobs, why will more tax cuts for rich people like you create jobs? Why don't the rich people just keep the money, or put the money in Swiss bank accounts or offshore tax havens?

    September 28, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  4. Jeckers

    What? He had over a decade to make his case? What case are you referring to? I don't see any place that he is suggesting that "Americans are incapable of making up their minds without first being lied to over the years...." other than your post. No one says you have to like the guy and, frankly, you don't have to vote for him.

    But to say that he wants us to forget all we've already heard and from this day forth, just take him at his word – it sounds like you have your politicians confused. The only one I can remember making promise and promise without the delivery – is our illustrious Obama.

    September 28, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    Does this mean–he does not want to wear any clothes at all????? Idiot.

    September 28, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  6. Wes B.

    Everyone talks about Obama being this amazing speaker. And he is with a pre-written teleprompter speech. But in debates, he's hardly eloquent.

    I'm a fan of Obama overall. Romney's comments are just trying to lower people's expectations of him...and boost expectations of Obama. Seems silly and a waste of time.

    But I do agree with Romney that people need to listen to WHAT the candidates are saying. (Also, it would be helpful to know when they are lying and when they are telling the truth when they spout all their supposed facts.)

    Usually the best person wins. I have faith in my country to elect the better candidate.

    September 28, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. Confused Citizen

    Romney does not see the need to change out of his 'replacement referee' outfit just for the debates.

    September 28, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  8. Babyboomer

    Honestly, I couldn't tell you who's worn what to any debate I've ever watched but I do remember quite a bit of what they've said. I won't be looking at what color tie either of the men running for election wear but I will be listening very carefully to what they say and the hidden meanings behind those words. Frankly, I don't think Mr. Romney gives the people of America nearly enough credit...

    September 28, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  9. MUGger

    Oooh, look - Beef jerky! The snack of champions!

    September 28, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  10. Horatio Smith

    Both of these imbeciles are bad for America. They're both just words. Words that don't match actions.

    Gary Johnson has two governorships to prove he is the best candidate in this election!

    Gary Johnson is serious about cutting the deficit! He is serious about civil liberties! He is serious about ending the wars! He is serious about creating economic prosperity, ending the IRS, and ending the Fed!

    Gary Johnson has political convictions that these two could only dream of.

    Wake up America. We don't need another 4 years of the status quo bordering on financial collapse and economic catatastrophe. We have issues that need solved NOW.

    September 28, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. jw

    Robne' Words! Hell? He and Fox News have him and GOP party running on prelude that they are going create all these jobs. They just had the chance with the Veteran's Jobs Bill, and what did they do? They Voted NO!!! BS thats what they offer. what happened to all those jobs we voted for in 2010?

    September 28, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. Rick McDaniel

    Sorry......words, like with Obama, are simply "empty".

    Show me the details, show me the actions, show me the stuff that has substance. I am tired of empty rhetoric from politicians, who have no intention of living up to any of it!'

    All we got from Obama was total disappointment, debt, and stupidity. Anyone who wants my vote, has to have more than empty rhetoric.

    September 28, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  13. DennisKalita

    Buyer’s Remorse doesn’t tell half of it. Mitt is like a windshield wiper going from yes to no on all positions. I’ve never seen a politician this bad and seriously question if he has a sociopath personality. Mitt is a dangerous choice for America!

    September 28, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  14. Dennis1020

    Mitt, I hate to tell you this, but "wardrobe" is the least of your problems.

    September 28, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  15. gary

    Didnot his words get him laughed at by your poor people? But his words win the admiration of our rich guys.

    September 28, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  16. Ann

    Everybody knows that Mr. Obama will put on a show.. angry look, intellectual look, big smile, pauses, raising the voice.. you know, the Jeremiah Wright style. Of course he will try to seduce the audience with this 'wardrobe' and many will fall for it. Some may even listen to his words .. and may believe him .. again.

    September 28, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  17. 2020

    He may wear his birthday suit with a USA tie, you just never know this guy

    September 28, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  18. Dennis Kalita

    Buyer’s Remorse doesn’t tell half of it. Mitt – whatever he wears – is like a windshield wiper going from yes to no on all positions. I’ve never seen a politician this bad and seriously question if he has a sociopath personality. Mitt is a dangerous choice for America!

    September 28, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  19. sayer

    He thinks we are so stupid that he has to tell us not to vote based on what they wear. Thanks for the tip, Mitt. Where did they get this guy?

    September 28, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  20. SusieTX

    This is really sad. "Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies." Beef jerky it is.

    September 28, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  21. Woman In California

    Since when does the audience pay more attention to what a MAN is wearing? Willard is falling apart and he's acting more and more like a nervous house wife. We'll be paying attention alright, only to see what lies he's going to tell and how he plans to "change" Washington. I'm looking for to Willard suddenly becoming ill, just so he doesn't have to stand on stage and front the man he's lied about for four years. I wouldn't miss this for the world. Get ready folks and watch it with others so you can ALL laugh at him.

    September 28, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  22. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Oh count on it Mitt! Words over wardrobe? Deal!! After all it's your WORDS that have been your undoing so far...

    September 28, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  23. Thomas

    @Borderless
    Enough people in the middle of the political spectrum are going to be swayed to give Obama a second term. To those people I say, remember these words as they will come back to haunt you:

    "After this election, I will have a lot more flexibility."–President Obama

    -

    I would hope he would after running against Romney, and all the true non patriots who wanted to make Obama a one term President .

    Please don't give me your fear based rhetorical speculation .
    And I won't remind you that you supported GW Bush for two terms .

    September 28, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  24. rs

    If this is how Mr. Romney has prepared to debate Mr. romney, perhaps it isn't too late for he and Ann to come up with some sort of alternative plans for the evening.

    September 28, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  25. Romney Said Let Them Eat Cake

    Good grief Romney we already know what you think about half the country.

    September 28, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
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