January 14th, 2008
03:59 PM ET
15 years ago

Romney's pitch to Michigan: It's the economy, stupid

DETROIT, Michigan (CNN) -– Republican Mitt Romney addressed the Detroit Economic Club on Monday, telling the assembled business leaders, “What Michigan is feeling will be felt by the entire nation unless we win the economic battle here.”

“Michigan is a bit like the canary in the mineshaft. What's hurting Michigan,” he continued, “will imperil the entire nation's economy."

The central focus of Romney’s pitch to Michigan voters has been getting the state out of what Romney calls a “one-state recession.” Many manufacturing plants in Michigan have either cut back their work force or shut down all together, resulting in the country’s highest unemployment rate, 7.4 percent.

“It is inexcusable to me to see these jobs going away again, and again and again,” Romney said outside a GM plant that had just announced 200 layoffs. “Where does it stop? Is there a point at which someone says ‘you know, that’s enough?’”

His plan to stimulate the economy calls for increased investment in research and development in science and technology, eliminating the savings tax, and working with homeowners to avoid foreclosures.

Crowds have been responding with applause when the Michigan-born Romney mentions his father George, a three-time Michigan governor.

A win in Michigan is has become central to Romney’s candidacy after losses in Iowa and New Hampshire, though he has said he will continue to campaign even if he isn’t victorious. Michigan holds its primary Tuesday.

Romney is locked in a tight race with primary rivals John McCain and Mike Huckabee in polls released this weekend.

- CNN Political Producer Alexander Marquardt

Filed under: Michigan • Mitt Romney
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. alex

    romney/ thompson 08!!!!!!

    January 14, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  2. Rebecca Pilgrim

    Mitt has the experience and knowledge to get this country back on track economically. He is not a Washington insider, a religious right candidate, nor a war horse. Mitt represents the epitome of diginity and intelligence, everyone knows we need a lot more of that in Washington. I am ready to VOTE for Romney to be our next president, a sucessful future depends on it.

    January 14, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  3. Jones

    I don't think that the Democrats are that concerned with Michigan, as they usually carry it anyway.

    -And Mitt lovers. I really hope that you are going to be let down on election day. Because I'm not sure that the US can handle another leader who puts church before state.

    January 14, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  4. Vote08

    I believe that "Wayne, Greenville Tx." is a wino, not to mention a really big whiner, simply put...he's a weiner and I'm not talking Oscar Mayer.

    January 15, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  5. Pedro

    Anonymous –
    Stop kidding yourself and suggesting the UAW and Big 3 are victims of some federal trade policy gone awry. The situation in Michigan has sucked for several years now – joblessness, poor new construction numbers, long term lease vacancies, and artificial growth has created the current "doom and gloom" in the state.
    Were in not for the sub-prime debacle, I'd hazard to say that the lousy Michigan economy would probably go largely unnoticed were it not for an election year.
    And those record trade deficits you speak of are a direct result of carpetbaggers like Romney convincing corporations to open shops in China where production is so much cheaper – of course there won't be anyone left to buy their products.
    If you want to point blame on the trade deficit, start looking at your non-consumables and count how many AREN'T "Made in China".

    January 15, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  6. Sam IA

    The Republican answer for keeping jobs. Work for less and lose your benefits. Yup, Let's keep traveling down that road folks.

    January 15, 2008 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  7. Tom, NY

    Don't throw your vote away for Romney. Vote Ron Paul, he's a true conservative who wants to save our soldiers lives.

    January 15, 2008 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
  8. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    The Unions did not help Michigan by pricing the auto workers out of a job. First it is $3,500.00 of your car you purchase that pays for UAW members and retirees medical cost, also the average hourly wage for the big 3 workers is $58.00/hr. I remember when I was a young enlisted man in the military (1976)and briniging home $190.00/month I watched a UAW worker who did not show the intellegence of someone with a 10th grade education and who was making $21.00/hr complaining on TV about getting let go because of foriegn imports and plant closings, i could not feel sorry for him or any other UAW. The Unions have also hurt America by road blocking schools and companies from getting rid of those who do not do their job such as bad teachers, nurses, fireman and police.

    January 15, 2008 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
  9. Jason

    Mitt Romney still can't say how he'll cut spending. He wants to continue the endless wars, he wants to divide us further with his pandering on wedge issues like abortion and gay marriage. I don't see any positives here. Tell me this: How does having another big-business guy in the White House any good for America? What does he know about the common man?

    You have to cut spendind somewhere, but Mitt keeps talking up the wars, talking up getting all the illegals out, talking up tax cuts, talking up money for job programs. Sounds like another big spending Republican.

    I'd like him better if he just said what he believed instead of the canned soundbites and shifted positions of the last 18 months or so.

    I don't trust him.
    It's the economy, stupid, is a "term of endearment" coined by James Carville during Clinton's '92 campaign. It is meant as a statement of purpose that is so completely obvious that there is no bigger issue than that one at the moment. In headlines since then, whenever a big issue stares us right in the face, you'll often see it paraphrased like "It's the war, stupid" or "It's Moral Values, stupid" and so on.

    January 15, 2008 04:18 am at 4:18 am |
  10. Mike Johnson

    I've been watching CNN's election coverage for the last 2 weeks and can hardly believe that Mitt Romney is still in the race. His name is rarely mentioned on CNN unless a coorespondent is explaining how "Romney must win... or he's out". While at the same time CNN is giving plenty of free coverage to both Huckabee and McCain?

    Earlier today for example, CNN reported that, "If Romney loses Michigan he's out and if McCain gets the win, he'll be the front runner...".

    If that's true, then how is it that Romney is currently ahead with 24 projected delegates, while Huckabee has only 18 and McCain 10? Does CNNs projection assume that McCain will win 15 or more delegates in Michigan while Romney will get absolutely zero? (both impossible)

    Even if McCain were to win Michigan, Romney would still have more projected delegates... so how is it that Romney would be out of the race, when he is still leading with more delegates?

    Confused Romney supporter

    January 15, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  11. Darrell

    Did anyone see CSPANs coverage of Romney's speech to the Detroit Economic group yesterday? Wow! I wasn't convinced Romney was the man until I heard it. The guy is a genius!

    If you are undecided, look up the speech and try to convince yourself that Romney isn't the best man for the job.

    He was also more genuine and real than I have ever seen him. Nice change Romney...maybe he is peeling back a bit of the shell.

    When it comes to the economy, McCain and Hucakbee are amateurs. When Huckabee talks about the economy he can only reference China's lead-filled products (he read about that last week in the town newspaper), and McCain only shouts mean political rhetoric (which he has honed in the do-nothing Senate). McCain would be the worst President ever! He would be in bed with Nancy Pelosi before the honeymoon was over....so much for pluralism. Huckabee would be the second worst ever...America would be a theocracy and the oval office would be a theophony hot spot. Scary.

    Give me Romney or a Democrat. Michigan is going to finally right the GOP ship today...Go Michigan!! The nation is counting on you!! Don't fall for the pundit crap and the political rhetoric. Look who is really capable of getting it done!! Romney or a Democrat.

    I am convinced that over the next four years the economy will be where America needs the most help. Romney is the only GOP candiadate that has the experience and capability to manage it.

    January 15, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  12. Lauren

    "other than lying and cheating his way into the White House…. and look how well America fared after the last idiot who did that…."

    Who are you referring to? Bill Clinton?

    Romney's smart. Harvard Business and Law, Bain & Co, saved the Olympics.

    He's wholesome (married to the same woman for what? 30 years? 5 bright, well-adjusted children)... he has my vote.

    ROMNEY '08!

    January 15, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  13. Mike Jones

    Uncle Bob's and the Clintons are at it again. I wonder what kind of "sweet" business deal Bob Johnson will get out of his naughty and distasteful attack on Senator Obama. You know Uncle Bob doesn't work for free.

    I was deeply repulsed by the Clintons' strategy of using a rich Black man to attempt to tear down Senator Obama. Great strategy " Team Billary"! That's just what this country needs. Every Black Man is a DRUG DEALER and a womanizer... Oops sounds familar Uncle Bob and Cousin Bill?

    Now, Uncle Bob has so many major business interests with his RLJ Companies (Hotels, Real Estate Development, Media, Banking, etc. headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland). He has exploited his "Blackness" to partner with White businessmen to create BET and road blocked other African Americans from creating competing Black TV networks.

    Yeah, he's a billionare. But he does not get a free pass.

    Let's hit Uncle Bob where it will hurt the most. In his "FAT" wallet. I recommending a national buycott of BET and all of RLJ's businesses. Just like the historical "Bus Buycott". Cancel your BET and remove your money from his Banks and Do NOT stay at any of his hotels (checkout google for the locations) or just avoid all Marriott Hotels.

    Go work Uncle Bob! Way to go Team Billary! Sounds like you've hit a new low. You just LOST my VOTE and support. Time for CHANGE!

    January 15, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  14. DoubtRomney

    Not my quote, but I really support it:

    "Mr. Romney, you spoke today at the Detroit Economic Club and called for 20 Billion dollars of federal funds per year to go to U.S. automobile research – I.E. to be paid to the Detroit automakers.

    Mr. Romney, currently the U.S. automakers haven't only lagged behind on technology to build gas-sipping low-pollution cars, they've thrown away what technology they had. Let's not forget that GM pioneered the practical consumer electric car, only to reposess and junk all of the units on the road once California was talked out of mandating higher pollution standards. Toyota went on to self-finance the development of "Hybrid Synergy Drive", the basis of the immensely popular Prius, the highest-MPG conventional automobile available in the U.S. today. Vehicle R&D is going to be a good investment for taxpayers only if it goes to automakers who are committed to use it. The so-called "U.S." automakers, who actually have no shortage of foreign-made parts in their vehicles, are still not up-to-speed on the technology, quality and economic practices of the Japanese. As customers we're not willing to tolerate that. We've voted with our dollars, Mr. Romney."

    January 15, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. Dave

    Can't support McCain's "Deal with it." attitude toward Michigan's recession. I am voting for someone who realizes that changes need to be made. I'm voting for Romney.

    January 15, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  16. DoubtYourself

    WHOAH... ok – to those of you who actually go through and read this thread again...

    New Folks: Cover the news without the bias. We hate you as a people – and it just makes me turn the news off at night when I know you've got your heads up your butts.

    People in this Thread: Give me a break. All of you are talking like you know these people... based purely on a limited view of their actions that you have had/heard or even invented. Some of the postings you can read through and tell exactly which article you have read in the last few days. Do you honestly think anyone is open-minded enough here to consider your posting as a valid, objective statement? Noooo – everyone knows who they want and is trying to convince everyone else.

    IT SOUNDS LIKE WE NEED A LEADER IN GOVERNMENT – because of all the children in this country... including adult-children... honestly.

    With that being said – READ THE STANCES ON THE ISSUES! Quit reading this stupid blog. Get your facts straight and learn how to make a decision by yourself.

    January 15, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
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