February 18th, 2010
02:49 PM ET
13 years ago

Romney's verdict: Obama has failed

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/18/art.romney.cpac.gi.jpg caption="Mitt Romney spoke Thursday at CPAC."]Washington (CNN) - The current president has been in the Oval Office for just over a year, but former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has already issued his verdict: Obama has failed.

"President Obama fails to understand America," Romney told the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington during a detailed speech that listed the myriad ways the new administration has made the country worse.

Romney mentioned the recent political difficulties of the Republican party, but he said "2009 was the president's turn to suffer losses, and not just at the ballot box, but also in bill after bill in Congress, and most importantly, in his failure to reignite the economy."

He said Obama has come up short at nearly every turn during his brief time in office: Senate Democrats stood in the way of his agenda, the unemployment rate grew, and Scott Brown gave Republicans the crucial final vote to block his attempt at health care reform.

The once and possibly future presidential candidate even called on Brown to introduce him to the CPAC crowd, a surprise appearance that brought wide-eyed conference-goers to their feet. One young woman was spotted later talking excitedly into her cell phone: "Scott Brown AND Dick Cheney showed up and we saw them both in person!"

Brown claimed to have driven his now famous pick-up truck to the event, held at a Washington hotel, and praised Romney for encouraging him to keep fighting for his beliefs in the traditionally Democratic state of Massachusetts.

He said Romney was "the first guy to push me along to encourage me to make a difference."

Romney, perhaps making a nod to his sometimes troubled relationship with the party's conservative wing, acknowledged that he and his fellow Massachusetts Republicans have "been understandably regarded somewhat suspiciously in gatherings like this" but celebrated Brown's special election victory along with the audience.

Though Romney did not shy away from standing up for President Bush during his own campaign in 2008 - particularly on national security matters – he offered some of his warmest words yet for the 43rd president.

"I am convinced that history will judge President Bush far more kindly" than President Obama, Romney said. "He pulled us from a deepening recession following the attack of 9-11, he overcame teachers unions to test school children and evaluate schools, he took down the Taliban, waged a war against the jihadists, and was not afraid to call it what it is, a war, and he kept us safe."

Romney added that he respects "the loyalty and indefatigable defense of truth that comes from our 'I don't give a damn' Vice President Dick Cheney."

Updated 6:30 p.m. : Brad Woodhouse, Communications Director for the Democratic National Committee, issued a statement in response to Romney's remarks Thursday:

"Mitt Romney's address to CPAC today – and the overwhelming greeting that attendees gave to Dick Cheney – makes one thing perfectly clear: the Republican Party still pines for the very leadership that bankrupted this country financially, with their reckless economic policies, and ethically, with their allegiance to special interests over the American people. And that's what real failure looks like."

Filed under: CPAC • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (212 Responses)
  1. mjm

    "Republican Party still pines for the very leadership that bankrupted this country financially, with their reckless economic policies...."

    They can say that all they want, but Bush had 5.4% unemployment. No one in history had a better unemployment record. That's with 911 and Katrina.....beat that Obama.

    I'm still waiting for the liberals to show us how it's done....so far we have 9-10% unemployment and 3-4 trillion spent in 1 year.

    Not a good start.....unless you destination is failure.

    I wouldn't through around the term "special interests" while liberals are in the pockets of unions either.

    February 18, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  2. tonyt

    Romney, The Economy Collapsed under who's 8 Year Watch,
    Hint it Wasn't Obama!

    February 18, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  3. micky

    9 more months and its all over for you dems thank god madam speaker your a joke. your party has destroyed america why dont you and all your followers pack your bags and move in with chaves if thats the kind of life you want im sure he will take you.

    February 18, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  4. Doesntdrinkdakoolaid

    Mitt is right on. Obama doesnt understand that America isnt stupid and that socialism ideology does not match our wants. He has created a worst America with over spending. Were in a deficit but he wants to increase spending? Come on people how can a president constantly blame the other administration? Hes not a true leader at all. Find me someone that understands basic economics and what the american people want. But because I dont like obama or bash his policies that must make me a tea party racist...

    February 18, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  5. reality check

    What has Romney done to help with the economy? Where are the republican ideas to help get things moving? Where's the apologies for the failure of past policies that got us into this mess and what would he do differant in the future? I think I'll stick with a proven leader like President Obama, then take a chance on a empty shirt like Mitt.

    February 18, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |

    This guys an idiot. He's preaching to 11% of the country and thinks it's where the country is. The country is behind the President (one thing this guy will never be), not the 11% teabaggers. But that's a good place for them to stay. The GOP thinks they are going to pick up seats in the fall, but what they have no clue about is that they are going lose seats, another shocker that they won't be able to understand. I guess when they hear those voices in their heads they think there's a crowd behind them.

    February 18, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  7. Kathy a Nurse

    Oh really this guy is so delusional. Can't he see it is the american people who are hurting and we do not care about the competative nature of the republican party. This is NOT a football game. You are playing with our lives. Not all the people are dumb enough to fall for this. WE need jobs, healthcare after your rich buddies have sent there money to offshore accounts and moved coorporations overseas.

    February 18, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  8. m smith

    And the unemployment grew because of? Mr. sun tan has spent to much time watching reruns of Big Love apparently he is less in tune to the American people than the President. One more millionair repo who is more concerned about big business than the American people. Gee let's stand back for 4 years and complaine . Why try to help?? These are the patriots who love this country? Give me a break. The less you do to help fix our country the less likely I will ever vote for you or your party of NO.

    February 18, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  9. tonyt

    The Party Of Hyp·o·crites!

    February 18, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  10. chris l

    i agree OBOZO is a complete failure along with all the radical Libs in congress

    February 18, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  11. so rich even obama couldn't hurt me but you middle class folk should worry

    yeah what does this financially brilliant man know about the economy right libtards.... oh ya he's mormon too... you know the ones who have 5 wives right libtards

    February 18, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  12. darryn davis

    He is a not the hot thing no more BROWN is in his party so he 5 back Palin,Dick C,Minn governer,BobbyJ,and the devil him self rush.

    February 18, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
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