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. g

    dont worry mitt your stash in the cayman islands won,t be effected

    March 1, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. Jinx9to88

    If Mittens was president all the cuts would still be going thru except the defense cuts. Fact!!!

    March 1, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. Don

    Must be an election coming up some where! I here Mr.47% talking again.

    March 1, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. Grow up

    Reading the majority of these comments – No wonder why the U.S. is falling to pieces – the vast majority of you act like your a bunch of four year olds!

    What ever happened to the flat tax conversation? If you spend more you pay more in taxes. Think of the money that we would save within the IRS alone!

    March 1, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. Nathan

    Didn't we make it clear back in November that we didn't care for your opinion. Of course your criticism has nothing to do with getting your butt handed to you by Obama. Why don't you get and enjoy your stepford wife and children of the corn kids and leave the politics to those that matter.

    March 1, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. ShawnDH

    Whatever Romney. Now sashay away.

    March 1, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. Independent and Disgusted

    I cant believe the country has so many stupid people. Please explain to me why Bush owned the tax cuts but Obama doesnt own sequester. Explain to me how he just gives the okay and gets all the credit for killing bin Laden but attacks Lybia, destabilizes the country, and gets and ambassador killed but is not responsible. Just about a year ago and 70k people killed, Obama’s administration was calling Assad a reformer. There used to be a time when every president was held accountable… not this clown.

    March 1, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. Owen

    The man and the party that wants to cut the size of government are now complaining about the cuts that are going to take place? Hypocritical much? How much time has congress spent debating the issue? They have spent more time off than they have worked. Instead of talking past each other why aren't they talking to each other? Congress, specifically the House, is responsible for initiating all spending bills. Compromise is not a dirty word. They must all work together to come up with a bill that will pass the house, the senate and be signed by the president. They could have addressed the sequester with only simple bill, which would have repealed the sequester. That would have then given them time to come up with a better bill without inflicting the pain of the sequester. Instead they stuck to their talking points and did nothing. Congress will be, and should be, blamed for any harm that comes from this self inflicted wound.

    March 1, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. jim

    Romney looks like he washed out the gray.

    March 1, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. ed

    Romney if you had any brains you would become a democrat.

    March 1, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. scott

    The first sign that you are a Dictator of a Country is the Denial.
    Obama just never stops, I mean everything he does is just in your face.
    I am so happy our government is set up in such a way that we can stop someone like Obama. The founding fathers knew very well what to fear. Good luck to all, and looking forward to an Obamaless government.

    March 1, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Okay, I will concede the reasoning behind inviting Romney to CPAC. He's still more or less the de facto leader of the Republican Party. But, Romney's is not that the face that you would want out front for rebranding process. I would have thought that Romney would have been given the same "kept at arm's length" treatment that George W. Bush received.

    I think the American People are going to have a negative reaction to Ranting Romney.

    March 1, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. Kat

    President Obama and the Democrats have tried to come to the table to find a compromise on a number of occasions. The GoP refuses to hear any possible solution other than them getting 100% of what they want. Obama is in no way to blame for the GoP having a temper tantrum and refusing to govern- something they were elected to do.

    March 1, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. notahistorianbut

    I've been thinking the best thing for this country is to to let congress publish their respective budgets, including those from their fringes and let the public vote on the one they like best. Its called participatory governance. Works in smaller communities when their city councils can't seem to act like adults. People gather at libraries, schools and other public places, hash out the specifics for their budgets; present them to the city council and come away satisfied with what gets done. It would definitiely be a HUGE improvement over what congress doesn't get around to. Complaining of what the dems do (or don't) isn't any different then what the reps do (or don't). Congress is supposed to do what best for the country; NOT what's best for themselves or their party. Both sides have EQUAL responsibility for the fallout coming in the sequester. Our politicians are a joke and don't give a rip about the little guy.

    March 1, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "What ever happened to the flat tax conversation?"

    The math that shows a flat tax is horrifyingly regressive and would constitute a MASSIVE wealth-shifting tool that would redistribute the nation's wealth upwards faster than is already taking place and would greatly widen the wealth gap. THAT is what happened to it.

    March 1, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. Beverly

    It does not matter whether your are a Democrat, Republican-Tea Party, Independent we all live in the same USA. However, the Republicans never thought the Sequester they "VOTED FOR" would happen because their main job since 2009 was to make President Obama a one-term president. They did this in August, 2011, when they dam near brought the country to
    to the brink over the debt ceiling in July, 2011. They counted on the election, and not the American People. We the people have to speak again, Term Limits look very good right now, since they all have positions and not jobs.

    March 1, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. you people make me laugh

    You act like Mitt got smashed in his election. The country divided in half period. So I wanna hear what he has to say that's who. So all you lefties keep your hands out and take the crumbs your BS president will give you. He sucks as a leader and a President. You act like Rep's are upset because he's a Black Dem truth is your the racists period, if he was white these forums would be chalk full of hate mail for him. But everybody is either to scared to call him out and not go along with the flow. Wake up your the Racists period take that card and shove it tired of hearing it. If Obama was a readheaded dude from Iowa you'll would be bashing him you liars. So tired of your complaining and gift giving to this loser. Can't wait till your ceiling falls in on you then you'll realize "gees maybe it was stupid to support bad policy". The dude won't even take ownership for his proposal and you dummies support its a Rep problem. Keep your hands out and catch your crumbs.

    March 1, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "Republicans: you control 1/2 of 1 branch of government. In order to get anything done, you're going to have to compromise. Simple playground logic."

    Indeed. Instead they engage in playground politics, shouting " I know you are but what am I" and then taking their ball and going home.

    March 1, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  19. jackm7

    My dear dimwits. Romney is telling the truth. Once again, Obama is not! That a FACT!

    March 1, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  20. Dakster

    Wow....and he thinks "we are making him laugh". Guess everyone has the right to their position....even if it is ridiculous. Then again, if Romney were president, most of us probably would lose that right...especially those of us who are gay!

    March 1, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. Bryan

    That's cute, Romney thinks he matters.

    March 1, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  22. rconatser1

    " That causes the Republicans to retrench and then put up a wall and fight back. It's a very natural human emotion."

    Asking the GOP to come to the tale and negotiate is very natural..and expected in our political "leaders." But they want it their way or no way, and they got exactly that. Now, there's no one to blame but the GOP for their refusal to compromise. We are witnessing the very end of the GOP. Unfortunately, they'll do a lot of damage along the way.

    March 1, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  23. ShawnDH

    Independent and Disgusted whined: "I cant believe the country has so many stupid people. Please explain to me why Bush owned the tax cuts but Obama doesnt own sequester. Explain to me how he just gives the okay and gets all the credit for killing bin Laden but attacks Lybia, destabilizes the country, and gets and ambassador killed but is not responsible. Just about a year ago and 70k people killed, Obama’s administration was calling Assad a reformer. There used to be a time when every president was held accountable… not this clown."
    ______________________

    Of course you are completely ignoring the GOP's role in the whole sequester fiasco...Obama has offered plenty of serious and targeted cuts, but the GOP refused to compromise because of course they don't care about the deficit. They just want to destroy this country because they lost the election.

    There were at least A DOZEN embassy attacks under GW Bush...of whom you are obviously a supporter. Grow up and drop the dishonest and lazy hypocrisy.

    March 1, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "if he was white these forums would be chalk full of hate mail for him. "

    If he was white, we would never have seen this reaction from the GOP/Teatrolls, we would never have had the entire "birther" mess, we woul dnever have had to listen to claims that he's secretly a muslim or wants to establish sharia law, we would never have had to watch the GOP/Teatrolls around the country attempt to use Voter ID laws, redistricting and electoral college manipulations to suppress and dilute minority voting, we woul dnot have seen a sudden and disingenuous increase in tantrums over illegal immigration, and the astroturf Teatroll movement would never have been created as political cover for radicalizing the right wing base and moving them all further to the right, etc. etc. etc. You're gonna lose this argument...badly...

    March 1, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. MDNA = MaDge Not Applicable!

    Chris Wallace said Ann "You People" Romney was still smarting from the loss last November.

    While King and Queen Robme are free to say what is on their minds, we are free to rip open the wounds and pour more salt on them.

    If you blather on in the public arena about politics, it is open season, so NO WHINING!

    March 1, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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