October 19th, 2012
02:15 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama diagnoses 'Romnesia'

(CNN) – After an evening of light-hearted jabs, President Barack Obama returned to his cutting criticism of rival Mitt Romney Friday, accusing the GOP nominee of forgetting the hard right positions he took during the GOP primary in order to seem more moderate.

Obama, speaking at a rally in the Northern Virginia suburb of Fairfax, told the crowd his opponent was suffering "Romnesia" after seeming to change his position on contraception, coal, equal pay, and taxes.

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"He told folks he was the ideal candidate for the tea party," Obama said of Romney's stance during the primary season. "Now suddenly he is saying 'what, who me?' He is forgetting what his own positions are and he is betting that you are too. I mean he is changing up so much, back tracking and sidestepping."

Obama said he and his supporters needed to come up with a term for "this condition he is going through," striking upon "Romnesia."

"That's what it's called," Obama declared. "Now I'm not a medical doctor. But I do want to go over some of the symptoms with you because I want to make sure nobody else catches it."

He continued using the neologism to slam Romney for what he said was a slippery set of positions, including on a set of issues important to women.

"If you say you're for equal pay for equal work but you keep refusing to say whether or not you will sign a bill that protects equal pay for equal work, you might have Romnesia," Obama said, referring to the Republican candidate's stance on the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which strengthens the ability of women to sue employers over unequal pay.

Vice President Joe Biden piled on Friday, saying at a separate event in Florida that "Romnesia" was a "bad disease."

"And it's contagious, because all of a sudden Paul Ryan, the budget hawk, the guy who introduced a whole budget plan that actually already passed, it already passed the House of Representatives. All of a sudden he doesn't remember it, he doesn't remember it," he said, referring to Romney's running mate.

Romney has yet to clearly state his position on the law, though an adviser said after the second presidential debate that Romney would not seek to repeal it as president.

Obama continued Friday, "If you say women should have access to contraceptive care, but you support legislation that would let employers deny contraceptive care, you might have a case of Romnesia. If you say you will protect a women's right to choose but you stand up in a primary debate and say you'd be delighted to sign a law outlawing that right to choose in all cases, then you have definitely got Romnesia."

Romney, who says he does not oppose contraception use in women, did voice opposition to a provision included in Obama's health care law that required employers – including Catholic colleges and hospitals – to provide contraception coverage in their insurance plans.

The Obama administration announced in February what it called a compromise to that rule in which free contraception coverage still must be offered to employees of religiously affiliated colleges and hospitals, but health insurers - rather than the employers - would have to cover the cost.

Romney promises on the campaign trail to repeal Obama's health law, including the contraception provision.

Romney's campaign recently battled back accusations the candidate is moderating his stance on reproductive rights after he said in an interview he wouldn't pursue any new abortion legislation. He later said he would seek to remove federal funding from Planned Parenthood and appoint Supreme Court justices that would support revisiting and overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision affirming a woman's right to have an abortion.

Barbara Comstock, a Virginia delegate and Romney campaign surrogate, said Obama was using his attacks on the former Massachusetts governor to mask a failed jobs record.

"When you don't have a plan to run on, you stoop to scare tactics," Comstock said.

– CNN Political Reporter Shannon Travis contributed to this report.

Also on the CNN Political Ticker

– Ryan zeroes in on energy jobs in Pennsylvania

– Poll: Races in Florida, Ohio remains tight after second debate

– Early voting opens in seven states, D.C.

– Sparring over economy in weekly addresses


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Virginia
soundoff (619 Responses)
  1. Kirk in michigan

    You kill me, obama has passed numerous bills to curb greed, help the unemployed, and much more,your candidate is a liar and a joke, who turned around the stock market? unemplyment? end the war, your so right, nothing to run on. mitt has a horribl job creation record, bad reputation on womens issues, what are you seeing that im not, and why no more tax returns?

    October 19, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. Nathan

    To the right wing morons tell me which issue you don't know Obama's stance on. Tell me what you don't understand about how Obama thinks the economy can be repaired. When you finish with that then I want you to tell me what deductions Romney is going to get rid of to offset his 5 trillion dollsr tax cut and to make up for the 2 trillion dollars in additional money he wants to spend on defense. I'm no math whiz but it looks to me that it can't be done without hitting the middle calss which I assume is most ofthe people who post on here. Funny he didn't mention anything about increasing capital gains tax to help offset the 7 trillion dollar spending spree he is seeking. Of course that would not make his super donors happy.

    October 19, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  3. T'sah from Virginia

    I am seriously LMAO – I just heard President Obama at a campaign stop stating how RobMe is suffering from "Romnesia" – The President said, "...if you come down with a case of Romnesia and you can't seem to remember the policies that are still on your website or the promises you've made over the six years you've been running for President – Here's the good news – Obamacare covers preexisting conditions!!!!"

    Wow – GOBAMA!!! I am still ROTFLMAO!!! You have to hear him say it because he has a way of telling a story... funny!

    Obama/Biden 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    October 19, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. Wanderer

    Barbara Comstock, a Virginia delegate and Romney campaign surrogate, said Obama was using his attacks on the former Massachusetts governor to mask a failed jobs record.

    "When you don't have a plan to run on, you stoop to scare tactics," Comstock said.

    This is the only way Romney's delegates and surrogates can defend Romney. They ran out of ideas of how to defend Romney.

    October 19, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. Jane

    I am a republican for life and always will be. I was at one of the primary debates and heard what Governor Romney had to say. Yes, his positions have changed but every candidate changes his or her position throughout a campaign. As a nation, we must look at the economic facts: Has the unemployment rate gone down? Yes. Are there more and more jobs available as we speak? Yes. The economy hasn't improved as much as we have hoped but that being said, it is slowly improving and that is a significant step. And if you don't believe me, listen to other Presidents and Prime Ministers from around the world. An economy needs a full recovery in order to survive not only in the short run, but the long run as well. They endorse President Obama and his strategies and initiatives that help the United States and other countries globally. They all believe President Obama is the right choice to help America regain its strength and we all should too. Therefore for the first time, I am voting for Obama in 2012.

    October 19, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. tabeth

    If Romney is a democrat, let him support Obama. The bible says a double minded person is unstable in all his ways

    October 19, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. MiBigAl

    Is it "Romnesia" or "Cranial Rectalitis"?

    October 19, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. Name Madrep

    Obama is running scared. No plan, just rhetoric.

    October 19, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. Ancient Texan

    DOG1- It's real clear you do not have the foggiest concept about business works, or struggles to survive. NO business man is going to hire extra help when he is barely getting by and keeping his business afloat, just just to insure that the administration that has been ANTI-BUSINESS from the word go gets another chance to finish sinking their ship.

    October 19, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. Yomi Olalere

    Most of these Republicans have got one thing in common – Romnesia and Mittemia.

    October 19, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. Anne

    why don't you check your agenda Mr. President? For instance, make an effort and analyze how the story evolved with the Benghazi event. All you do on the campaign trail is to throw funny words about Romney. Yeah, you and Axelrod invented a new one - you must be so proud of yourself. But you are supposed to talk about your 4-year record, remember?

    October 19, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. Eric

    Here goes Obama, the schoolyard bully is at it again. Grow up Barack!

    October 19, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "Fair is Fair

    Sniffit

    "And thanks a bunch for screwing up the traffic around George Mason this morning. What a nightmare that was. >:("

    Thanks for pointing out what a big turnout Obama is able to achieve wherever he goes
    -–
    Yeah... a big steaming pile usually attracts a bunch of flies too."
    ====

    Thanks for pointing out that the GOP/Teatrolls consider half of America to be nothing more than "flies."

    October 19, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. ptw

    Wait...REPUBLICANS complaining about scare tactics? From the Kenyan-Muslim-Unamerican-Socialist-Marxist-Communist-Terrorist who's coming for your guns so he can take your religion away? THAT guy?

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. And I thought the "Romnesia" jokes were funny!

    October 19, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    I love when people come on a scream that everything the President has done is a failure, and the ONLY cure is to put a man whose wealth has been dreived from the same practices that drove the coutnry into the ditch in the first place. Besides, the aristocrats have shown time and time again that they consdier themselves to be the sole providers of solutions and truth, and that no one is entitled to know their business or question their decisions. From a husband who cannot take a position and stick with it, a wife who declared that "those people" were not entitled to know about how they earned their money, to the Crown Prince who expressed his desire to punch a sitting president for daring to question the veracity of his pater who is a serial liar: is this what the GOP thinks we deserve? Rafalca will probaly be grazing on the front lawn of the White House, if they have their way. What a collection of sorry excuses they are. This president has done everything possible to set the foundation for a better country, and Romney tries to make himself out to be a victim because he's being told he has to be accountable? What a pathetic collection of un-American parasites.

    October 19, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. spartan74

    All Romney and Ryan do is criticize. Neither one of them can or will explain their so called plans for the economy, taxes or jobs. They attack the president but offer no alternative or solutions of their own. They say they're going to do all these great things but refuse to tell us how they're going to accomplish them until after they're elected.

    It's common knowledge that Romney has flip flopped on so many issues that no one is really sure what his position truly is on anything. He's proven over and over that he's willing to say anything to anyone if he thinks it'll get him elected. Truth has never been a prerequisite for any of his statements. He even lies about his lies.

    Romnesia is an excellent description for his pathological liar condition.

    October 19, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  17. HunterPSU

    B.O. is becoming like the little kid that thinks it is funny to call names when he is mad at someone..B.o. you are the President...try to act like it. Remember if you win..you need to govern. Act like the leader of the free world. Not some chicago gangsta

    October 19, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    If you say you will protect a women's right to choose but you stand up in a primary debate and say you'd be delighted to sign a law outlawing that right to choose in all cases, then you have definitely got Romnesia
    -------------------------------------------------
    True.
    I like the President's Jeff Foxworthy-like approach to pointing out Romney's tendency to LIE because he doesn't have the spine to stand by his true extremist positions when facing the American electorate. Yet in when he is amongst his base it is a totally different story.
    Tagg your father is a LIAR, and you threatened the President of the United States. The fact that you're a filthy rich trailer trash-acting turd shouldn't keep the Secret Service from knocking on your door.
    Obama 2012.

    October 19, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  19. Mark L M

    Well, our president has spent the last 4 year creating an Obamanation.

    6 trillion in deficit spending
    gas prices doubled
    high unempoyment
    47 million on food stamps
    lower average pay
    1 trillion per year in welfare payments
    divisive and non transparent
    Weak on foreign policy.

    October 19, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  20. Kim Macduff

    As in the Little Richard song Romney is "slippin' and a sliddin', peepin' and a hidin' " and some of Romney's supporters should tell him "We're gonna be your fool no more"

    October 19, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  21. freedom

    This is so small-minded. Not worthy of a president. Creating "trendy" names for your opponent? Seems desperate – and again, small-minded.

    October 19, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  22. Fair is Fair

    "Thanks for pointing out that the GOP/Teatrolls consider half of America to be nothing more than "flies."
    ------
    I love the smell of desperation on a crisp but rainy New England autumn day. What's the matter, Sniffy? Don't like the numbers from Real Clear Politics lately?

    October 19, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  23. MP in VA

    "When you don't have a plan to run on, you stoop to scare tactics," Comstock said. Ironically, this is all I hear from the Right, and for them to use this repeatedly ad nauseum, only proves to me that they aren't listening to even what their side is saying. It's not just "Romnesia" is a collective GOP case of CRS.

    October 19, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. GetSmartUSA

    If you ask Americans to trust you on you tax plans with no specifics, but you will not trust Americans with you tax returns for the last 10 years (against your father's principle), then you definitely have #Romnesia!

    October 19, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Is it "Romnesia" or "Cranial Rectalitis"?
    -------------------------------------------------
    I think the Moron analpore is suffering from both.

    October 19, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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