August 19th, 2007
11:56 AM ET
15 years ago

Romney critical of Democratic debate

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

(CNN)–GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said Sunday's debate between the Democratic presidential candidates was not much of a debate.

"Today's Democrat presidential candidates debate can be best summed up as bumbling gang tackle on one Democrat with almost no experience but lots of wrong ideas by several Democrats with a long history of experience pushing the very same, old, wrong ideas," he said in a release from his campaign.

At the debate Sunday in Des Moines, Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama worked to counter suggestions from his fellow competitors that he is too inexperienced for the job.

- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Iowa • Mitt Romney • Race to '08
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Maria, Houston

    Every time I see so called "experienced" candidates throwing shots at Barack Obama I wonder what's the trade off – what posts in future administration were they promised to do dirty job for Hillary?.. as for Mr. Romney, he probably just needs to divert attention from his ridiculous comments about his sons not fighting in Iraq.
    Just a thought: John Kennedy was 43 when he was elected president.He remains one of the most inspiring U.S. Presidents.What was his "executive" experience?

    August 19, 2007 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. Cable King Pittsburgh Pa

    I wouldn't even buy a "new" car from the Mittster

    Rock oN!

    August 19, 2007 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  3. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Posted By Ann : August 19, 2007 4:24 pm.

    I consider myself asked, he is an exceptional human being, good family man, outstanding businessman, smart and the best part is that he has no problem hammering this President when he disagrees with him.

    Easily the best Republican candidate and along with Joe Biden for the Democrats, would make an excellent next President.

    I agree with him on many things, but not all, frankly the only person I agree with on everything is me...

    August 19, 2007 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  4. Keith Guice, Franklin, Tn

    Mitt Light aka" that's a good candidate for you. Keeping in step with the Republican mantra of attack the opposition. I am so sick of all the divisiveness. Mitt has accomplished "what" in politics. I think the Repubs bite the dust in this one.

    August 19, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  5. John, Austin Texas


    Just an FYI Mitt was not the owner of the night club. The daughter that was missing was the daughter of one of his employees in Boston. She had been in New York and went to some night club and went missing. When Mitt found out he shut down his office and flew to New York and brought several of his employees with him to help search for this girl. Because of his efforts they were able to find the girl. I am pretty sure that if I told my work my daughter was missing all they would do is give me a card. It takes real integrity and character do do what he did. Next time make sure you know the facts before you speak about somthing.


    August 19, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  6. Mark, Princeton, NJ

    To Steve, TX

    As for the war in Iraq, I hope the country stabilizes as soon as possible and that we can gradually start bringing our troop home.

    Whatever you think of the rationale for the war, the decision we have to make today is what to do next. A failure to stabilize Iraq would lead to genocide and could spill over into a much wider regional war. We cannot afford that.

    Often, many people who argue in favor of a rapid US withdrawal say fail to consider what the costs and consequences of such an action would be. They are, unfortunately, disastrous.

    As for the volunteer army vs the draft, each has its benefits and disadvantages. I agree with your point that politicians could be more likely to drag us into wars if they knew their families would not be affected. On the other hand, a volunteer army allows us to have a smaller, better-trained force composed of people who want to serve their country. It is probably easier to fight wars with a well-prepared military than to deal with all the draft issues. It also gives us more flexibility to intervene when we see a problem – just think about all the political hand-wringing we'd have to go through if we had to act against an argent threat but also needed to use the draft. Little would get done. And in a time of unconventional and asymmetric warfare (as opposed to the earlier clashes of large, conventional armies), that is pretty dangerous.

    The net benefits of a volunteer army, in my opinion, outweigh the net benefits of the draft. But if draft was reinstated (which is quite unlikely) and I was called upon to serve, I would.

    This, btw, will be my last post in this thread – not because I don't think we're having an interesting conversation (we are!) but because I need to get other things done today and I've spent enough time on the web. 🙂

    In any case, it's been a pleasure and I wish you all the best.

    August 19, 2007 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  7. Eddie, Beavercreek, Ohio

    Next thing you know the Romney supporters will be talking about how voters are allowed to ask question when 'Ask Mitt' comes to town. Only a slight problem, you have to be Mormon or a vetted volunteer to asked a question.

    Several of the people on a conference call in a State where my sister lives heard the ground rules and when asked questions about them were told that's the way it is.

    At one event his campaign claimed 4500 when it was 350 people there and some real Republican activists walked out at the Ask Mitt event when all the questions were softball.

    Mitt has experience to be President? Guess if we want a flip flopper that compares his sons supporting his run for President with serving in the military, he would qualify.

    August 19, 2007 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  8. Brad - Dixon, CA

    In response to David from Salinas, CA...

    Joe Biden has more foreign policy experience in his index finger than Senator Clinton, or any of the Democratic Nominees. So if foreign policy is important to you (and I hope it is) then why defend Clinton? You've got the wrong person for the job.

    I'm glad Mitt Romney has come out to call the Democratic Debates what they really are: a load of nonsense.

    August 19, 2007 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  9. Ron Nebraska

    The media takes no hesitation in labeling Obama inexperienced, reminds me of how they negatively portrayed Al Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004. So one must wonder why they do not attack and keep in front of the people Romneys documented flip flopping? Must be that old 'liberal bias' at work again I guess.

    August 19, 2007 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  10. Bill Kilpatrick, Lakeland, Florida

    At first, Romney's switch to the offense – taking on all of the Democrats en masse – seems about as much a foible as Barack Obama's knee-jerk agreement to meet with a list of rogue nations during his first year in office.

    But in the world of politics, Romney has just hit a solid single, if not a double or triple.

    For far too long, Romney has been tagged "the Mormon candidate." It's a label he can't win with. His initial response was to pull a JFK and say he doesn't take questions about religion, but standing mute has only created a mystery.

    And why? Because nice-guy Mitt, the affable Republican-next-door, is so easily forgettable that the only way he'd stand out is as "the Mormon candidate."

    So now Mitt is learning to stand out, to be a flavor, to kick up a storm if he must, so that people will have something to grab onto other than "Mitt the Mormon."

    Of course, starting a brawl with all of the Democratic candidates may not be the answer. The world already has one Bill O'Reilly. It doensn't need more. But if Romney can find these openings in which to stand out, he might have a chance of doing more than financing barbecues in Iowa.

    August 19, 2007 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  11. David, Salinas, CA

    Brad of Dixon, CA writes:

    “In response to David from Salinas, CA…
    Joe Biden has more foreign policy experience in his index finger than Senator Clinton, or any of the Democratic Nominees. So if foreign policy is important to you (and I hope it is) then why defend Clinton?”


    I defended Senator Clinton because I admire her and she was unfairly attacked. However, if you look at the postings under the Biden story on this page you’ll see I praised his foreign policy positions as well, and even posted a link to his web site. I think he’d make a great President.

    I am still undecided but I am delighted with the quality of the Democratic field. I see no point in attacking fellow Democrats.

    Let’s save the criticism for those that deserve it: the failed incumbent administration and the highly unqualified Republican candidates who support Bush’s irresponsible Iraq policy.

    Thanks for your comment.

    August 19, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  12. John Johnston, Signal Mountain, Tennessee

    I like how Romney crafts his comments. He speaks in a gentlemanly way when he criticizes and does not hit harshly or unfairly. He seems like a strong man, well grounded and with an enviable track record as a husband and Father. He is also intelligent and very articulate. I am liking him more and more as I hear him speak.

    August 19, 2007 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  13. Cable King Pittsburgh Pa

    Gotta love the guy who says if called upon he'd serve – now there's a patriot . . . when he feels he has no choice!

    Rock oN!

    August 19, 2007 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  14. Bill, Reston, VA

    I think it was the wrong idea to strap your dog in a crate on top of the family truckster and take a long road trip, Clark Griswold, er, Romney. You'll never get my vote.

    August 19, 2007 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  15. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Dear Jake, you have only one vote, how do you know million people's mind? I see, you are Republican. Also where did you get that idea "Mitt accomplished more than Hillary? Are you talking about success of faith, business or governor? We are talking about PRESIDENTIAL QUALIFICATION.
    Maria, Obama wishes but there's no comparison between JK and BO. SORRY!

    August 19, 2007 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  16. Jim, Providence, RI

    When Glove learns how to take care of a dog I will listen to what he has to say. Until then, his opinions aren't worth the gum on the sole of my shoe.

    August 19, 2007 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  17. Chelsea Anne Garen, Vista, CA

    Romney, you are inexpereince candidate. For the domestic and international issues, it is so complicated for you ! May be you can only take care of your family business and become a very rich man again. And you won't win people's voters.

    August 19, 2007 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  18. lavelle

    I have yet to see a republican debate that was actually that a "debate" its normally a bunch of name calling, Bill Clinton hating,and pretty much the same crap that this country has been doing for the past 8 years and thats nothing! I wonder when mitt will actually say something that has to do with changing this country

    August 19, 2007 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  19. sonny c. v.p.,la.

    How did Mitt vote on the Evolution question?

    August 19, 2007 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  20. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    Wow! Evan, Boca Raton... I've been following your thread as well and noticed you just love to attack people with different views from yours. Chill! Everyone is entitled to their opinion – including you. Now for your questions, maybe I can help. For a long list of Governor Romney's accomplishments please visit his website: You know what else? Unlike Hillary's healthcare proposal, Governor Romney's actually passed here in Massachusetts.

    Eddie, OH... Romney's Mormon faith is just old news. We all know that he is a proud member of his church.

    August 19, 2007 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  21. Jon, Boston, MA

    Wait wait wait wait. Romney was governor of a state for four years, the latter part of which was spent pre-campaigning for president rather than governing, and he has the balls to criticize others' experience? And ROMNEY criticizing DEMOCRATS' ideas? The insanity of it is borne out by recent history, facts, and popular sentiment, which is in agreement with Dems on every issue. CNN, please don't publish this drivel.

    August 19, 2007 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  22. Wayne Radcliffe, Las Vegas, NV

    Mitt Romney is the ultimate chameleon who'll say anything and pander to anyone in order to get elected. Run for senator in Massachusetts and you're pro-choice, run for president as a Republican and you're pro-life. I'm afraid I can't take the "life-long" hunter seriously.

    August 19, 2007 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  23. TC Plainfield, IL

    Mitt Romney should worry about his own short-comings. He has to answer the flip flop charges. In this age of Youtube and the Daily Show, its hard hide the embarassing statements from the past. Then, he has to decide how much distance to put between himself and George Bush. Does he really try to defend the last seven years of ineptitude? Finally, there's the war in Iraq. If George Bush gets his way and we are still in the middle of this quagmire next year, it will be the number one issue in the election. It will also be the number one issue in the exit polls in November of '08. Romney is on the losing end of that discussion.

    August 19, 2007 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  24. susan, salem NH

    All you Mitt fans should check out his record as Governor of Massachusetts, as this one four year term is the sum total of his experience in politics.

    During Romney's tenure he raised property taxes and corporate taxes (hurt middle-class and workers) while attempting to cut the top state income tax rate (looking out for himself and his rich friends). The voter backlash against this self-serving flip-flopper was stunning in 2006 - for the first time in 17 years, there is now a democrat governor in Mass, and he won by a landslide.

    August 19, 2007 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  25. Michael James -- Illinois

    It's patently ridiculous for anyone to claim that Obama has "...almost no experience." He has significant experience and, better yet, he is a leader with the good judgement and character needed to make good decisions. He has a record of bringing people together and inspiring people to act in a positive way; from his community organizing days in Chicago to passing ethics reform in the state of Illinois.

    With Mitt having an MBA, he should appreciate a good case study, so let's consider the case of the Iraq vote. Barack sure nailed that one, didn't he? He had the foresight to see that it was a bad move. He had the same general information we all did and he chose wisely, despite the prevailing political winds at the time.

    From what I know about the Republican candidates, I'd have to say Ron Paul is probably the only one from that group that I'd vote for. Perhaps McCain or even Huckabee, but definitely not Romney, Giuliani or the others.

    August 19, 2007 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
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