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. Chet

    Mitt Romney said that his family inspired him to seek the Presidency. Because of his wealth isn't their future secure? What vanity!

    Wanting to serve America and our people should be his motivation. That's the vibe I get from McCain, Huckabee and Obama.

    January 7, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  2. Sterling

    Wayne, your comparing selling Amway to heading the Olympics, running the State of Massachusetts, being Vice President at Bain & Company and founding Bain Capital?

    Go Mitt. You have the experience, knowledge and expertise to lead this nation! I support you!

    January 7, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  3. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Anybody think that Obama gets so much support from republicans because they see him as unelectable in the general and want democrats to lose? I don't see the rationale of these so-called McCain/Obama fence sitters. One is pro-war and pro-life and one is neither. Without these republicans does Obama really have so much support?

    January 7, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. J~

    Why do we as Americans always talk about how we want change and then elect someone who has been in the status quo for so long? America look to those who have really made change and quit listening to all the media hype and silly blogs.

    As citizens we do an awful job of sifting the facts out of the muck flying around (apparently spending a few hours researching the voting records and accomplishments of each candidate, not just one, is too exhausting for us). We let our own personal views and senses of entitlement muddy the water and then wonder why nothing every really gets done when we vote in the same type of stale politicians, Democrat or Republican.

    If you want change quit voting for politicians from Washington and bring in someone from the outside. You need someone who doesn't care about the "system" or for that matter a 2nd term. Someone could stir things up pretty good in 4 years if they really wanted to make change rather than worry about being re-elected.

    January 7, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  5. Mike

    Might I point out...

    RealClearPolitics National Head-to-Head Polls Average

    Romney vs. Clinton
    CLINTON +4.8%

    McCain vs. Clinton
    MCCAIN +5.0%

    Romney vs. Obama
    OBAMA +12.2%

    McCain vs. Obama

    The choice is clear

    January 7, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  6. TJ

    Interesting, many postings from California all against Mitt. Go figure, not too many liberal dems or illegal alliens in that state. Seems obvious that there are mostly Dems on this board posting against Mitt.

    If Mccain wins in NH the media and Dems are already saying that Mitt hould quit.
    All of this attention and fear of Mitt really indicates that the Dem and media really are a afraid of Mitt. Yeah and he has money and that scares them too. The Clintons and Obama/Oprah have plenty of money too but not a word about them spending more than Mitt did in Iowa.

    January 7, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  7. Jeff

    Is it me, or does Mitt Romney look like the preacher dad from 7th Heaven?

    January 7, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  8. Anonymous, Upstate, NY

    Mitt practices opportunism, not politics. You're in the wrong game Mittster!

    January 7, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  9. Forrest

    Wow words fail to express the idiocy in the statement that because Obama has demolished 3 senators in Iowa is a reason to not put a senator against Obama.

    Mr. Romney, do not forget that Obama has also demolished Bill Richardson, a GOVERNOR.

    January 7, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  10. Erin - Democrat

    People see someone like Gov. Romney and right away they want to tear him down and discredit his sincerity. He's too perfect. You know what? He IS too perfect. He lives by those principals that he has learned through his upbringing and it shows in every aspect of his life. Are people really skeptical of Romney's sincerity or are they just petrified that they could somehow be asked to live up to the standard Mitt Romney sets? The biggest name they can find to throw at him is "Flipper". Ooooh.... that is what you call a politician when you can't find any other flaws. Everyone is crying that they want a leader for change, yet when they see a candidate that is intelligent enough and brave enough to know that our opinions must evolve as we learn, experience and grow they try to demean his character with the crazy name-calling. Do you really want a person leading this, the greatest of all nations who can't examine every aspect and option, who has never progressed in any of their views since they were 20 years old in fear that someone, someday might say that they "flip-flopped"?? That is one of the most hypocritical views of all.

    You want to accuse Romney of dedication to issues? Let's look first at his personal life – seems pretty solid on a LOT of levels there... How about his persistence out on this trail? He has been campaigning longer and harder and in circles around any of the other candidates. That is another obvious reason why the other candidates want to take him down. He has upped the expectation here too. He seems to be the only Republican that could handle such physical demands as well! He has done most of this with his own money. I know, you are going to complain about all of his money – well I think I would rather have a person working on our economy that could make that kind of money for themselves than someone of average income, wouldn't you? Besides, he doesn't owe all of the "favors" the other men will to all the “campaign contributors“.

    Mitt Romney has superior presence, drive, dedication, sincerity, values, ability and intellect to all to of the other candidates. He is the kind of man that our children as well as world leaders can look to with respect. Remember the time when a truly great man could become President of these United States? We need another Eisenhower of Roosevelt. If Romney is not elected because of people’s pettiness and ignorance, it will be a tragic loss for our country.

    January 7, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  11. Sérgio, Porto, Portugal

    My god, if Mitt Romney wins over ANY of the Democrats.....it will be like Bush going over Gore again!

    How can people have opted for Bush instead of Gore? Due to his flawless record? His intelligence?

    January 7, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  12. Tim

    Don't be so fast to write off Hillary as the Democrat nominee. Obama says he's the candidate for change but the real candidate for change is Hillary Clinton. Hillary has the experience to be president. illary has a good resume. Where is Obama experience?

    January 7, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  13. Don

    Anyone who thinks that Romney could be elected president needs to go to youtube.com and type "Mormon underwear" in the search box. No joke! The Mormon church has issued Mitt (and all Mormons who have been married in the temple) special secret underwear that they are never to remove. They believe that the underwear have special powers and will protect the wearer. Seriously, I am not kidding. Check it for yourself. This mandate can be found in the Mormons official Doctrines and Covenants. Add this to Mitt believing he will become God and get his own planet with a harem some day and to his believing that our current God lives on planet Kalob with his own harem and you have an unelectable candidate. The Republicans are being too kind about this. That will come back to bite them if Mitt wins. The Democrats will tear him to shreds. I'm sure that Mitt means well and is a nice guy but if the Republicans elect him, they have just put a Democrat in the White House.

    January 7, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  14. Steve, New Hampshire

    Romney is going to beat old, tired McCain, then he's going to trounce Obama, the most inexperienced candidate in either field.

    I'm a New Hampshire independent and you've got my vote Mitt!

    January 7, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  15. Sean, Detroit

    Obama is our generations Muhammed Ali: He'll beat down every "great white hope" he steps into the ring with! Why does Romney think he's so qualified for the job as president anyways? Just because Mitt ran a company doesnt mean he'd be able to run a country. Just look at G.W. Bush, he ran numerous companies (into the ground) before becoming prez. Now he's run the country into the ground too! The last thing we need is another big business man in the white house. I think Obama/Edwards would be a very strong leadership team for America. I cant wait until they announce that they've joined forces. (fingers crossed!)

    January 7, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  16. Matt

    Perhaps Romney should take another look at that Iowa poll- Obama also beat a governor pretty handily there, and will do so again in NH.

    January 7, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  17. Wayne

    The canadate who can keep the economy strong or make it grow while protecting the freedom and interests of all Americans at home and overseas should be the next president of the United States. Either Republican or Democrat in the end we all have to work together in a bypartisian way to achieve what is best for the world.

    January 7, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  18. Mike in SF

    Mitten, I can't wait until John McCain slaps that fake flip floppy smile off your face!
    Jez, Romney, what a blowhard!!

    January 7, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  19. Cole, Lexington MA

    McCain would get demolished by Obama. No contest. Romney would be the best candidate to run against him. McCain is way too much of a warmonger – he would certainly be painted as such in a national election. And, for a country that is tired of war, that will be a big, big turn-off. Romney is the best candidate from either party to bring America back economically. Vote with your pocketbook in minds America – vote for Romney.

    January 7, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  20. Porter

    Obama and Romney are indeed the candidates of change... If by "change" you mean different people from the usual DC crowd. If you mean different ideas, well I'm afraid they've got nothing.

    January 7, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  21. rolly

    The post up comment is just a joke about his height. Huckabee can joke about shooting those who so not vote for him. Romney can not catch a break. People who begrudge him his fortune and feel he does not want to serve America have not studied his life.

    January 7, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  22. kay. newport beach, calif.

    You won't have long to wait Wayne...Romney's demise is surely imminent. The only big trait of this man, is his gigantic ego. How would you describe a man with no apparent core values, and absolutely no empathy...for either man or beast.

    January 7, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  23. Steve, TN

    Mitt has it right. No Amnesty, private healthcare, successful Iraq strategy. He has specific plans for dealing with problems. So far, all Obama has done is dodge every question with generalities. I have no clue what this guy would do as President. He has no plans, just frivolous and fundamentally flawed ideas. I guess that appeals to democrats who just want the government to run their lives and pay their welfare.

    And to the person that said running a business has nothing to do with running a country. The world is run by business. It's the most global facilitator. Read history, the dissemination of culture and intelligence has been spread by commerce. And it's still important today. Businessmen aren't the richest people in the world by accident. Their smart people. Mitt ran one of the largest consulting firms in the world. He turned many companies around and made them successful. That's what America needs. A smart leader with the brains to fix our broken programs. Mitt has the experience. Obama has nothing to show except the water behind his ears. Think before you vote blindly for the babbling Obama. Elect someone with a plan. Mitt Romney all the way!!

    January 7, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  24. John, New York, NY

    Wishful thinking, Mitt. Obama is genuine, warm, and earnest. You come off staged, distant, and willing to change your views on a dime.

    January 7, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  25. Mindy Chatsworth, California

    Dave, California –

    The reason there are so many personal attack on Mitt Romney is because there is so much to attack. He is phony, a liar, a hypocrite, a flip-flopper (hey I thought you Repubs hated that in a candidate!), changes positions to suit the political winds (abortion anyone?). I could go on and on. It's fun when there is such a wealth of characteristics and qualities to attack.

    Oh and let's not forget how he spent 8 million dollars of his money and couldn't defeat a Baptist minister without a cent! Hah! What a businessman. So now this pathetic panderer is trying to jump on the Obama bandwagon and get a free ride. Are there no limits to how low he can stoop to achieve his political ambitions? He has no beliefs or convictions. He is a used car salesman in better clothes.

    Toe to toe, my foot! Mitt, you are having delusions of grandeur again. Remember, you came in second to a preacher who doesn't even believe in evolution! Now you are fighting for your political life in New Hampshire. Please, send this man packing. No, wait, nominate this two faced ignoramus and then we Democrats can bury him in the general election.

    January 7, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
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