January 7th, 2008
04:45 PM ET
15 years ago

Romney: I can 'post up against Barack Obama'

The CNN Ticker

Romney is embracing Barack Obama's campaign theme.

STRATHAM, New Hampshire (CNN) ­ - Mitt Romney has been shifting his message to focus on change following the emergence of Barack Obama as the Democratic frontrunner.

Romney said Republicans need a nominee who can compete with Obama.

"I think Republican voters who, like myself, were virtually certain that Hillary Clinton would be the nominee have now begun to rethink Hillary Clinton may not be the nominee," Romney told reporters here.

He said Obama's message of change has "put Hillary Clinton on her heels" and that if the Illinois senator becomes the nominee, then Romney's rival Sen. John McCain will be the wrong standard-bearer for Republicans.

"Frankly, I don't think Senator McCain, despite his service and his length of experience that that's going to be able to stand up to the message that Barack Obama has brought forward," he said.

"We better think about somebody who can stand up with a message and go toe to toe with [Obama]," Romney said, adding that he can "post up against" Obama.

Romney senior adviser Ron Kaufman said Obama " demolished three senators in Iowa" and will "demolish" Clinton in New Hampshire, "so clearly having a senator against him is not a good idea."

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. Gil - California

    Mr. Romney, you are not the candidate to get people to abandon their party to give you their vote. The only way you would have a chance as the Republican nominee would be if you were against Hillary, and that is not even a certain thing.

    January 7, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  2. Gary

    Got to give Mitt some credit for being politically clever. The best way to win New Hampshire for the Romney team is to put up a ' who has the best shot against Obama' campaign and ride Obama's current wave of Democratic support.

    January 7, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  3. BR-New York City

    Romney changes his tone whenever and whatever the topic maybe at that time. But, I am here to tell him that he doesn't stand a snowball in...against any candidate. Republican or Democrat...period.

    January 7, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. Jim

    Obama would wreck you Mitt, give up on your basketball analogies he might just call you out on them and embarrass you more than you do yourself with your flipflops.

    January 7, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  5. Iowa Republican

    Romney is realistic. Nobody from Washington is going to change the way things are done. We don't need another career politician – we need change. Mitt Romney has a clear track record of fixing problems, unlike his competition. Simply look at the records and forget the flashy talk and all. Past performance will tell you what to expect in the future. Mitt Romney is just the person America needs as our next president.

    January 7, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  6. Another Steve

    I'm sorry Mitt, but I expect most here would say your not even in the same league as Obama. Toe to toe your not gonna measure up. Obama is the one who can defeat any Republican challenger. I'm even an independent and just don't see any other option than Obama.

    January 7, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. Wayne, Greenville TX

    Eagerly awaiting the demolishing of that useless blowhard, Mitt Romney.

    January 7, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  8. Lev Klinemann, Redondo Beach CA

    You couldn't win your old governor seat again Mitt.
    Fake smile, a fake tan, and a flip-floppy record, the Republicans themeselves will eat you alive.

    Even if you had as much money as Bil Gates you couldn't buy this election.

    So just give it a rest and driver home, but remember dont tie your dog to the roof of your car this time.

    January 7, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. Hank

    Although I like Obama, Mitt has got my vote.

    January 7, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I say to Romney, give it your best shot. Obama believes in everybody getting their fair chance.

    January 7, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  11. Allie

    Amen Mitt!
    I love you, your honesty, your politics.
    Go all the way man!!

    January 7, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  12. Darth Vadik, Diamond Bar CA

    Obama has the power of such inspiration that he can make a grown man weep, Mitt.

    What do you have, a bunch of money, and a stuffy nose...

    ...and why the heck is you nose so stuffy all the time, are you snorting something white, just asking?

    January 7, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  13. J

    The media and the dems know that McCain's last chance is in NH so they are trying to encourage voters with their polls that McCain has it won but the truth will be told at the ballet box tomorrow. If Mitt wins then the real conservatives and independents will have been heard.
    The media and dems would like McCain to be the winner and nominee in 08′. They know that another senior senator (Bob Dole -1996) who is very pro-war would get crushed by Obama. Mitt is the only hope for lower taxes, solving the illegal aliens and not wasting the victory in Iraq. Pulling out of Iraq in 12 months because of a campaign promise (Obama/Oprah) is not good for America.
    Please do not let McCain team up again with Kennedy to let illegals pay a fine to stay in the USA!
    Mitt and Rudy could have a very good chance to beat Obama/Oprah.

    January 7, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  14. Mark

    While I am for MItt, if a democrat wins the presidency I would prefer Oboma over Hillary...both liberals, but Hillary is such a lightening rod that NOTHING would get done in congress/white house.
    Having said that, I think Mitt could beat Hillary easier than Oboma.
    So...go Hillary and Mitt for now.
    Come February...go Mitt!!!!

    January 7, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  15. Makeba, Houston TX

    Yeah, can't wait to see him answer for his ML King comments during adebate with Barack!

    January 7, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  16. Cat, Costa Mesa, CA

    I would ask this to those who criticize Mitt for this comment... Is he right? Honestly, and I don't mean is he right about beating Obama, but is he right about being the only candidate who can got "toe to toe" with him? I think so. Would Huckabee have a chance? No way. Most of the country has seen beyond the likeable preacher and past that, there's not a whole lot. McCain has been in Washingtin too long and lacks the ability and sense to make the proper changes! Everyone else? Blah.
    I think if it comes down to Obama and Mitt this country will see an awesome election! Mitt is the corporate outsider with the experience of change and resolution, Obama brings new ideals and a fresh look at the issues. Even Democrats have to admit...it could get interesting!

    January 7, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  17. Jr., California

    If you think that Mitt can run a country because he ran a business, you've got another thing comin'.

    I have an uncle that sells Amway, can he run the country?

    January 7, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  18. Wayne, Greenville TX

    Makeba, Houston TX January 7, 2008 5:44 pm ET

    Yeah, can't wait to see him answer for his ML King comments during adebate with Barack!

    I'm still waiting for his answer about having his family dog ride on top of the family car on a 12-hour trip from Massachusetts to Canada.....

    January 7, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  19. Brian

    Well Duh, of course your the only candidate who can beat Obama, NO ONE else can or will. McCain has totally lost my vote due to his ignorance and name calling. That's not professionalism. Also, I want a president who will change and adapt to circumstances for the better, if that is why you have changed your mind on certain issues, then GOOD! DO IT! Your apt to do what it takes, you've worked the hardest, and are the most capable!

    January 7, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  20. Charles

    I liked Huckabee's line at the debate "We are all created equal" and then on the other face exudes so much religious bigotry and "christian" hypocricy against Romney, I definetly believe Romney to be more christian and much more presidential!

    January 7, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  21. Dan, TX

    McCain is the only one who could possibly challenge Obama and that is very unlikely. The democratic candidate is going to win this election. This primary race is going to determine the next president. Obama, Clinton and Edwards still all are in this. No republican could possibly win this if Obama is the candidate. He just picks up too much of the independent vote.

    January 7, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  22. Manfred

    Is "Mitt" short for "Mittens"? Somebody told me that...

    January 7, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  23. Dave, California

    Loving the personal attacks against Romney. It just means that no one has anything to say regarding his politics. He must be doing something right!!

    Romney '08

    January 7, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  24. bob

    Stepford candidate Mitt is so trasparently phony, the only person he can fool is his own beloved image in the mirror. He'll be a huge disaster for the Republican party as the Dems (and independents and even some Repubs) will not tire of replaying over and over his many iterations as a politician: the pro-choice Mitt vs. the pro-life Mitt, the gay-friendly Mitt vs. the gay bashing Mitt, the kept-man-in-the-salon Mitt vs. the huntin' Mitt who became NRA member a month before he anounced his candidacy. McMcain is the American original in the Republican field, and if the Repubs can't see that and go for Mr. Fabio Romney, they will lose big time against any Democrat.

    January 7, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. Sean

    Obama is wiping the floor with everyone. Say hello to the first Black President!

    January 7, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
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