Back on the attack: Romney hits Obama for spending cuts
March 1st, 2013
02:47 PM ET
1 year ago

Back on the attack: Romney hits Obama for spending cuts

(CNN) – Is it 2013–or 2012 again?

Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney blasted President Barack Obama over the forced, across-the-board spending cuts–known in Washington as the sequester–scheduled to kick in Friday.

"Well, no one can think that's been a success for the president. He didn't think the sequester would happen. It is happening," Romney said in part of an interview that aired Friday on Fox News. "But to date, what we've seen is the president out campaigning to the American people, doing rallies around the country, flying around the country, and berating Republicans. And blaming and pointing. Now what does that do? That causes the Republicans to retrench and then put up a wall and fight back. It's a very natural human emotion."

Romney has almost entirely stayed out of the spotlight since he lost the presidential race in November. The comments mark the first time the former Massachusetts governor has publicly criticized the president since the election. Romney met privately with Obama at the White House in late November, but few details about their conversation were released.

The Fox News interview, which will air in full on Sunday, came the same day Obama again charged Congressional Republicans with failing to compromise and work with Democrats to craft a deficit-reduction deal.

Republicans, in turn, say they already compromised on the issue when Congress passed a fiscal cliff bill two months ago that included an increase in tax rates. House Speaker John Boehner reiterated Friday the real focus should be on spending reductions, not more tax reform.

In preparation for the budget slashing, the Immigration Customs and Enforcement decided to release hundreds of "low-risk, non-criminal detainees" this week in order to keep detention levels within the agency's overall budget. The White House said the decision was made without its knowledge or input.

Asked about the decision, Romney said: "I think the president has to act in the interest of the country."

"And that means if we need an aircraft carrier in the Gulf - and I believe we do, I thought we needed one more - he should do it," he continued. "I think if there are people who are incarcerated, he should make sure that we're able to keep them in jail."

Romney further chalked up the move to a political ploy.

"Look, it's politics. It's, 'OK, How do we do something that will get a headline that will make it look like those terrible Republicans aren't willing to come together?"

Read more: Campaign was a 'roller coaster,' Romney says


Filed under: Debt • Deficit • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (139 Responses)
  1. livingston

    We didn't care what he said when he was trying to buy the Presidency and we don't care what he says now. If anyone did care – he would have won. His opinion is of no consequence.

    March 1, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. MaryM

    Romney, the lying loser, opens his mouth and lies again.

    March 1, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. Keith

    Sore loser!

    March 1, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  4. MaryM

    "you people make me laugh" Ann is that you again with your "you people" comment

    March 1, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. Monomachos

    Romney is spot on. Obama is the one who said during the debates that sequestration "would not happen" and it is to this that he is referring, so he is correct in saying that it isn't good for the president. He is also correct in observing that the president spend all his time in campaign rallies bashing republicans. This is not how one negotiates or makes a deal. Romney would have got the two sides talking – he would have handled this much better and its too bad that a majority of people believed all the negative propaganda about him and did not recognize that he is the one who has the skill set to get things done. As for the Cayman Island comments – they apply to the president and to his new treasury secretary as well – both have money there, but the Obama campaign hid that from you.

    March 1, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  6. Roger

    Don't criticize a man because he achieved financial success. He obviously has a winning formula that could have helped the US. Obama the community leader doesn't understand how to behave as a CEO and thus we are in the economical condition we are in. To get on television and use the scar tactic the sky is falling in is evident that Obama is way over his head. For all you who voted him in, live with the consequences. You will feel them.

    March 1, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. Grow up

    Obama has been quoted as saying "The Republicans won't agree to tax hikes. That's why this is happening."
    Obamacare just raised taxes so much that thousands of people are out of work. He takes vacations that cost the country tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars (who pays for the Secret Sevice, Air Force 1, etc, while he's in HI hmm?) He spends millions on campaign funds for pushing his agendas, even bussing protesters in. He's increased the national debt more than any TWO presidents before him, and he blames the GoP because they won't roll over and let him take more taxpayer dollars for his plans?

    Maybe he should actually look at cutting some funding instead of just blaming the other side for refusing to play his game any more.

    March 1, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. DustyOnes

    Obama is a liar and a fraud.

    March 1, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. Kat

    Mr. Romney - go back to where ever you've been. You have nothing to say worth listening to.
    I'm sure not even your 47% want to here from you.
    I CERTAINLY DON'T.

    March 1, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. Tim

    More sour grapes from a complete loser. All the money in the world will not buy you honor, Willard.

    March 1, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  11. max

    of course mittens goes to faux noise channel … softball Q & A to and loser … no class from either one of them

    March 1, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. BCW

    I suggest Romney to visit ALaska. Then he can see Russia from Sarah Plain's house.
    He needs to go far away from the lower 48 states.

    March 1, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. KC

    Dude take a page from Palin and disappear....

    March 1, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. don in albuquerque

    @Grow Up-Your post is laughable in its lack of truth.

    March 1, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
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