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. Geri Sacramento

    Why, after the Iowa caucus, and on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, do so many people believe that Obama is a shoo-in for Democratic nominee? Good Lord, there are 48 other states after N.H., and the people of those states would like to feel they have some say in who wins. Even if Obama wins the first two, that's no guarantee the rest of the voters across our country are going to buy his pop-star, American Idol image. They just might be looking for substance over hype. Give the voters and the candidates a chance, for God's sake.

    January 7, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  2. mike

    We all to quickly forget... the real guns wont come out until August thats when we'll really know who is going to have a snowballs chance.

    January 7, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  3. G


    January 7, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  4. Marie Antoinette

    This is the first time I have ever whole heartedly followed politics. I have voted before, but this is truly my first endeavor. First I was for Hil, then John, but you gotta give it to O... He is a breath of fresh air. He speaks to the soul.

    January 7, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  5. Barber, N.

    Mitt Romney is truly the Eddie Haskel of politics.

    January 7, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  6. Gobama, NY, NY

    I would like to see Mite Rommel spend his entire fortune. LOL

    I've never seen anyone running for office so fake and unprincipled.

    Mite Rommel is very very representative of christians down they centuries: They delude themselves that they are such wonderful people because of them being religious, when the entire world is laughing at them and their hypocrisy!

    January 7, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  7. Charles

    Yeah, go Mitt.

    We need another upper-class unprincipled, shallow, Republican with good teeth and good hair to run this country. The current one in office is doing suuuuch a good job.


    January 7, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  8. Mike, Fredericksburg, VA

    Wow! Romney is down to 9% in the latest Gallup national poll. Huckabee has almost three times that amount of support. http://blogs.usatoday.com/onpolitics/2008/01/gallup-clinton.html?loc=interstitialskip

    January 7, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  9. Kyle, Illinois

    The other candidates are saying Barak doesn't have the experience needed to be president. Voters like myself (Male, white, 26, and not claiming one party or the other) don't want someone with experience. I want someone new who I feel would bring change, not more of the same. The question of drug use? Obama said "yes I inhaled, that is the point" and guess what, we know he's not a drug user, he is just a normal guy who tried it. I'd wager most people reading this know plenty of good people who have done the same. I personally never have, but I like the fact he admitted it. Barak has my vote.

    January 7, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  10. Christopher London, NYC

    McCain will plummet like a rock after New Hampshire. The Huck & McCain may have dealt semi-fatal blows to Romney in Iowa & New Hampshire. But make no mistake, McCain's best days are behind him not in front of him. The Press that fawned all over him really needs to ask whether this guy still has all of his faculties. He has made some pretty whacky statements over the last year. Laying in wait, he hasn't laid a glove on McCain...YET! The rise of Giuliani will come after New Hampshire to snuff the life out of McCain's candidacy. He is smoking crack if he does not realize that once again the GOP is using him to serve an alternate purpose. McCain is breathing his last gasp of political air.

    January 7, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  11. lambert strether

    "Post up," huh?

    Somehow, I don't think Mitt "Dog Whistle" Romney is talking only about his basketball jones, here. Or his vertical leap. What a tool.

    January 7, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  12. Matt Los Angeles, CA

    'Post up?'

    Interesting choice of words Mitt.

    Makes sense though as Barak is now the presumptive nominee and, of course, all black men understand/play basketball.

    January 7, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  13. Bryan

    Obama is going to get the Dem's nod. Which Republican can beat him?

    McCain: no. too old; too "establishment"; too Washingtonian; too status-quo; won't even get a second look from voters, given choice of Obama
    Thompson: no. too old; no energy; no passion; too far down in the polls to really matter, and he won't be coming back up
    Huckabee: no: has no ideas worth floating or comparing to Obama's; can't hold up in a debate; doesn't have a record of getting any done of any substance; his Sunday School class will be voting for Obama
    Romney - yes!!! World-class experience; strong command of the economy, of global markets; has actually implemented a health plan; has run the Olympics; has run a state; has a strong family; has values; has a history of bringing different opinions from both sides of the aisle and coming up with solutions, and more importantly, implementing them; strong debater.

    Prediction: Mitt vs Obama. Result: President Romney.
    Republicans need to realize that no other Republican candidate can go head-to-head against Obama and win. Seriously

    January 7, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  14. Matt M AZ

    The American people have seen what Republicans can do for 8 years. And this was with the Senate, House, and Presidency in their hands.

    If the American people look at this record and say "yes" to this party again, we are doomed.

    I don't care what Democrat runs against what Republican. The Republicans' claim to fame rests on their silly, time wasting impeachment of Clinton, their lockstep support for Bush's policies, two questionable elections, and Iraq. What are the fruits of their labor?

    Look around you. War. Fear. Half-truths (and not about personal peccadilloes but about war and money and the Constitution) and cronyism.

    Time's up. America's only shot at saving itself from the dustbin of history is to oust the Republican Party in 2008. Period.

    January 7, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  15. christina

    Obama is unstoppable and neither McCain nor Romney have any horsepower to win if it comes to be between him and either. The only way to win if if Democrats make the mistake of choosing some one to re-employ the old status Quo, which Americans are eager to get rid of

    January 7, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  16. Shelly

    Mitt is a great candidate for president. He is the real deal. Those who post personal attacks (his hair, his money, his persona) are exposing your shallow side.

    Those of you picking apart his religion, go ahead, put yours on the table, we can find a thousand things wrong with it. Stop with the religious bigotry. What religion is the current president? How much do you love him? Compare your life of "service" with Romney's and I'll bet you come up short. He's an incredible individual who deserves credit for his contributions.

    If you didn't know, his dad started as a "car salesman" and worked his way up from there. He paid for Mitt's education, but after that, Mitt made the millions on his own. How can you criticize him for his wealth? Have you been criticized for your hard work and rewards?

    Obama is another diamond in the rough. America really needs a great individual at the helm. Let the best one win, in the meantime, let's play fair with the criticisms.

    January 7, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  17. John Galt

    The candidate who can beat Obama would be the one who is dramatically opposed to his Big Government plans for us. As such, there's no chance for Romney, Guliani, Huckabee, Thompson, Hunter, *or* McCain. No matter how they package it, the message is based on the same rhetoric as Barrack – that government is the solution to our problems. Since Obama is a better orator, the moderates will flock to him and assure his victory.

    Unless,... unless there was a candidate who understands that government *is* the problem. *That* candidate will gain the support of the undecideds and independents, as well as the Republicans who still believe that "least is best", that a sound fiscal policy is paramount, and that we can be responsible for ourselves. Such a candidate would absolutely crush the Social/Democrats.

    Who could it be?

    Dr. Ron Paul. Send him a check.

    January 7, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  18. Robert

    To the gentleman who egregiously misrepresented the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regarding garments and salvation: the Church's actual doctrine can be found on http://www.mormon.org.

    I appreciate the civil political dialogue inspired by this election, but publicly defaming or misrepresenting a candidate's religion is indecent.

    January 7, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  19. 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. Hillary has a good resume. Where is Obama experience? On the campaign trail, and thats it.

    January 7, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  20. rgraham

    Mitt or Giuliani. The others will be peanut butter on toast and served up at brunch to Obama. Perhaps the best ticket will be Mitt and Giuliani (you choose pres.) That would be an impressive economic ticket with just enough conservatism to force the Evangelicals to start thinking more about winning and less about preaching.

    January 7, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  21. Terrence, Raleigh, NC

    Jr., California – LOL! Your comment is unacceptable and laughable. Comparing someone who sells soap to their friends door to door vs. someone who has run several multi-billion dollar corporations? That is a load of hogwash! Please rethink what you just posted. This is the guy that has turned around hundreds of companies and in the process saved countless jobs – for 25 years! Has Obama done that? This is the guy that turned around the Olympics when it was mired in corruption and no one wanted to even touch it. Has Obama done that? This the guy that as Governor turned around record deficits and finally made politicians accountable. Has Obama done that? In fact, please enlighten us as to what Obama HAS done. I actually like the guy, but you really need to think about that one a little more.


    January 7, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  22. Larry Buchas, New Britain, CT

    Obama-Mitt would be perfect.

    You go Mitt!

    January 7, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  23. AJ, IL


    Come On Mitt! I'm rooting for ya! Most of the Democrats running will eat you up. Obama will throughly trounce on. I've seen some video footage of Mitt's past debates when he ran for Governor of Mass. and Senator of Mass. He will get severely "swift-boated" by the Democratic party machine in which most the stuff would be true.

    OBAMA in '08!

    January 7, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  24. Greg

    Both Romney and Huckabee would have no chance, the christian right wont be able to get elected this cycle–there is too much hatred right now towards that wing of the Republicans. Personally I think Rudy is the only hope, precisely because he is a liberal socially.

    January 7, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  25. Amy

    The personal attacks on Mitt Romney are ridiculous. It seems like some of ya'll need to grow up a bit. You need to be looking at experience, maturity, values, and a whole host of traits that Romney has. Some of the candidates have some of the right stuff, but Romney is the ONLY candidate who fills the WHOLE bill, Republican or Democrat. Both Obama and Hillary put together still have but a mere speck of the experience, charisma, and wisdom that Romney has. It's amazing that anybody can look at them seriously.

    January 7, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
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