January 22nd, 2008
04:21 PM ET
15 years ago

Romney stakes claim, candidacy on economic message

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/22/art.romney0122.ap.jpg caption="Romney is focusing on an economic appeal to voters."]NAPLES, Florida (CNN) – The banner with the new slogan said it all, ‘ECONOMIC TURNAROUND.’ Tuesday’s news of the Federal Reserve’s emergency interest rate cut and nervous markets provided the ideal news peg for Mitt Romney’s economy-centric message to Florida’s primary voters.

“I think actually that what we're seeing in the stock market today is only one peek at what's been happening for some time in the overall economy,” Romney told reporters at a stop in Coral Springs. “We have some intractable problems that Washington has not been willing to solve.”

Romney began plugging his economy-in-peril message to voters in Michigan, a state with the country’s highest unemployment rate and an auto industry in deep trouble. But the role of Washington outsider with the financial experience to get America’s economy back on track is clearly one he feels comfortable with.

He is quick to remind audiences and the press of his 25 years in the private sector as a consultant and venture capitalist and caps off speeches telling crowds that it’s time for a president who’s had a job in the “real economy.”

Asked to characterize chief rival John McCain’s economic experience, he refused, saying, “I don’t think I would,” preferring to focus on own resume.

Rate cuts, market woes and the president’s stimulus package allow Romney’s talk of slashing taxes, investing in research and development and dealing with the housing crisis – all elements of his own stimulus package - to be particularly timely.

And he uses it as the bedrock of his stump speech, arguing that a strong economy will result in better schools, better health care and a stronger military.

The campaign trail this year is flush with solutions for the sputtering economy, but Romney has made his plan a central issue of his campaign.

Will his message resonate in Florida? “I must admit this is going to be a very tight race, it's going to be a very close race and it's going to be fun right down to the wire,” predicts Romney.

- CNN Political Producer Alexander Marquardt

Filed under: Mitt Romney
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. robert, pasadena, ca

    This is exactly what we need. A president in Washington with real world experience. A vote for any other candidate is simply a vote for the status quo. Go Mitt!

    January 22, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  2. kay

    I too will vote for Romney. Our state is after Feb 5. so hope he does well on Super Tues.

    January 22, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  3. Cody, NE

    Cutting taxes is going to make the recession way worse. Go to school Romney.

    January 22, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  4. AJ, Iowa City, IA

    If there is a anyone now who can turn the economy around, it is Mitt!!!!

    Romney '08!!!!!!

    January 22, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  5. Sasi Romney

    I believe Mitt has the business acumen needed to pull us out of this awful economic crises George of Arabia has reaped upon this country.

    January 23, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  6. David in New York

    WOW, It would be great to have a President with REAL SKILLS. A President that could actually handle the issues of the Ecomony and put the Country on firm financial ground. If the Economy is in sound condition then everything else will fall into place...Strong Military, Better Schools, Stronger Families. Mitt Romney has all the Experience and will Set a POSITIVE EXAMPLE to the YOUTH of the Country. He has my full support! Go MITT!!!!!

    January 23, 2008 04:26 am at 4:26 am |
  7. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    The rich are different from the rest of us. They have more money. And sometimes, less brains. Go figure.

    January 23, 2008 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  8. BC

    Romney is winning the Republican base. If anyone undecided will listen with an open mind to Mitt speak, it will only take a few minutes to see that he is brilliant. The dems and media know that Mitt would crush any liberal socialist on the dem side in a one on one debate. Thus the dems and media are still talking up the Huckster and other losers.

    Romney is a moderate conservative across the board. He is smart on the economy, opposes amnesty, is pro-family, and is intelligent enough to handle the war and not quickly leave after we have won.

    Romney has a very good chance on winning the presidency. Maybe Rudy or Fred will agree to be his VP and the dems will be in troubled waters.

    January 23, 2008 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  9. Neutral No More

    Hmmmm. Didn't GWB run as a Washington "outsider" who had business experience as well as experience in running a state? How has that worked for us?

    January 23, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  10. Steve

    Mitt has already laid out the best plan offered by any candidate to attack the recession. I wish it would get more coverage.

    January 23, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  11. David...Nevada

    It's the economy, taxes and taking home more of your money. Not the war or national security. Sorry McAmnesty, I dont trust you or your fiscal resume'
    Mitt for responsible economics and immigration.

    January 23, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  12. Evelyn/ Michigan

    Many years ago, during his candidacy, John F. Kennedy had a similar message.
    If I remember correctly, he said that lowering taxes would put more money in
    the hands of consumers, therefore more spending, therefore more jobs. It makes
    economic sense. Go Mitt!

    January 23, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  13. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I would like to know how Romney really expects to get anything done in Congress. I haven't heard anything mentioned about how well he worked with the legislature in MA. How well did he do or was it gridlock? That is important since he won't be a CEO just dictating orders to go here and do this. If Romney wants to convince me, then he needs to tell me how he is going to make government a little more streamlined and how well he is going to work with Congress. Part of the problem is that Congress (under both parties) has spent far too much. How could he control that remembering that the line item veto is unconstitutional?

    January 23, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  14. Celestina

    One more thing...

    He was able to work the MA legistature which was mostly democrats... He was able to get a lot of things through their thick heads! I applaud him on this... and I am positive the same thing will happen in WA. He knows how to sell his ideas. So that's something we need...

    PS: Don't forget to vote for Mitt... and you will thank yourself for doing America a favor. (smiles)

    January 23, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. jyfranca

    i like romney,who let the dog out...He is flexible he can live with any person without difficult,those who criticize him that he changes position often are wrong.Romney is a kind of politician who can work with anybody at any time

    January 23, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. Jeremiah Grant, Phoenix AZ

    S.B. Stein – I'll answer your question. He must have managed to work across the aisle because he accomplished quite a bit in arguably one of the most liberal states in the country.

    He balanced their budget ($3B deficit when he took office) without raising taxes. Imagine that in Taxachussetts. To do so he had to cut spending and gov't employees. You can imagine how that would go over, yet he was obviously successful at working with both sides to make it happen.

    He put in place a system whereby everybody could have health insurance–without creating a huge handout or socialist medicine program that is the Democratic panacea to health care.

    He increased the pipeline of businesses wanting to do business in MA. That was a slow ship, no doubt. He inherited not only a dry pipeline, but a flood of businesses leaving due to the poor business environment in MA.

    There's a reason why Romney is as rich as he is. He is a hard worker that is very talented at executive management. He's intelligent. He knows how to tackle large problems, set an agenda, establish priorities, put the right people in place, bring together competing interests, and execute to deliver RESULTS.

    He's done it in business. He's done it in MA. He did it with the SLC Olympics. He'll do it in Washington.


    January 23, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. BA

    I just read a really scary story that the NY Times wrote yesterday about Rudy Guliani. Yes, New York, the city that he came from and has experience in managing. He is a total bully and sore loser when it come to anybody crossing him. He has not tried to work with anyone! He has wrecked sereal lives because somebody stood up to him. We don't need bullying in Washington! If you think about it, he only has experience in being a Mayor. Is he really trying to jump up to being president?
    McCain is not a Republican and yes he is too old to be president. He wants to give you the truth and the facts? There they are, he is 72 years old! That IS old. There are reasons that the retirement age is 65. He will be seven years beyond that if he is elected. If I were him, I too, would want to live in a big white house before I died or retired. (In his case which ever comes first) He was a courageous war hero, we all give him that. That doesn't give him the qualifications to go and be president. I would support him to be the Secretary of Defense. He has a lot of democratic ideas and that is why the media loves him. I think that they will shoot themselves in the foot if McCain actually get elected. McCain has had his chance of 27 years in Washington and look what good he has done. NOTHING!
    Romney is the canidate to vote for. He is organized, experienced, caring, family valued, well balanced, and most importantly different from anything Washington has ever seen. He has the experience that is going to get our country out of this crisis we are in. In MA, he made it a priority to make sure that he fulfilled all of his campaign promises. He has done it before, he will do it again. Come on media people, do yourselves a favor and get behind the one true conservative republican canidate, MITT ROMNEY!

    January 23, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  18. Albert Brechtefeld

    Amen to that Jeremiah. You said it all. Now Mitt got my vote.

    January 23, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  19. Dontbuyit

    This dude needs to get out of the race and put his resume into GM or Ford where they need him more. He'll say anything to get elected never mind if he gets in office. We've had enough of that for the past 7 years with an M.B.A. as "Commander in Chief"

    January 23, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |