September 17th, 2010
09:31 AM ET
10 years ago

2012 Watch: Romney to take tough line against Obama

Romney will get tough on President Obama during a speech in Washington Friday.

Romney will get tough on President Obama during a speech in Washington Friday.

Washington (CNN) - Expect some tough language Friday from past and probable future presidential hopeful Mitt Romney when he speaks before a national conference of conservative activists.

The former Massachusetts governor is expected to aim much of his pointed remarks towards the White House and Democratic leaders in Congress when he address the Values Voters Summit, which is being held in the nation's capital. Over the past year, the 2008 GOP presidential candidate's been quite critical of President Barack Obama.

"Welcome to the Nancy Pelosi-Harry Reid-President Obama farewell party. This has been a pretty tough year for those three - their numbers have gone down the chute faster than a Jet Blue flight attendant," says Romney, according to excerpts released prior to his speech.

Romney is also expected to criticize the Democrats for their economic agenda, saying, "We have had governments declare war on poverty and a war on drugs, but this is the first time our government has declared war on free enterprise."

Also speaking at the two-day gathering are Republican Sens. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and other leading figures in the conservative movement.

And fresh off her upset victory over longtime moderate Republican Rep. Mike Castle in Tuesday's GOP Senate primary in Delaware, Republican nominee Christine O'Donnell will also speak at the fifth annual Value Voters Summit.

As in years past, the results of a GOP presidential straw poll will be released at the end of the conference. Huckabee won last year's straw poll.


This President and his fellow-travelers in Congress implemented the most anti-growth, anti-investment, anti-jobs measures we've seen in our lifetimes. He called it ambitious. It was reckless. He scared employers, so jobs are scarce. The uncertainty and lack of predictability he created has caused businesses to shrink from spending and from hiring. He hasn't helped end the crisis, he made it deeper, longer and more painful. We have had governments declare war on poverty and a war on drugs, but this is the first time our government has declared war on free enterprise.

The White House tries to argue that their stimulus has helped. That's a bit like saying that squirting water from a garden hose helps put out a forest fire. The question is not whether it helped a little, but rather, did it do the job, or do as well as it could have. And the answer is a resounding "no." 8% predicted unemployment became 10%. Since the Obama stimulus was passed, 127,000 government jobs have been created, but more than 2.4 million private sector jobs have been lost. In Ohio, more than one in ten people are out of work. In California, the unemployment rate has hovered around 12% for more than a year. There are now nearly 15 million Americans that are out of work: if they stood in a single unemployment line, it would stretch from the coast of California to Washington D.C. and then back again! If that's their vaunted "recovery summer," heaven help us from their recovery winter!


The President's foreign policy has not compensated for his failure at home. Under his engagement policy, North Korea has tested nuclear weapons, launched long range missiles, and sunk a South Korean ship. And Iran has funded Yemeni insurgents, armed terrorists, and accelerated its nuclear program. He gave Russians their number one foreign policy objective-abandonment of our Eastern Europe missile defense-and got nothing in return. He insulted Israel at the United Nations and forgot to mention that Hamas has launched thousands of rockets into that country. Our success in Iraq is in spite of his policy preferences and thanks to those of his predecessor, George W. Bush. And his strategy in Afghanistan has been needlessly muddled by announcing a withdrawal date, unfortunately putting domestic politics ahead of national purpose. Yes, we have serious enemies and growing threats around the world. Unfortunately, we have an Administration whose idea of a rogue state is Arizona.


This room is filled every year by citizens-modern patriots–who are passionate about America's values. These values include the sanctity of life and the preservation of marriage. But the Obama Administration has taken its assault to even more American values. The American people have finally seen Obama liberalism for what it is; they have seen the counterfeit values that underlie it, and they want none of it!The liberals' values include spending and borrowing in behalf of my generation even though it will bankrupt my children's and grandchildren's generations. They believe that the rule of law should be subordinate to their view of the greater good.They believe that government knows best how to care for your health - not you, not your doctor.They believe that the rewards of success should be taken from the person who created them and given to those who did not.They believe that workers shouldn't have the right to vote by secret ballot as to whether or not they want a union.And even though one half of the children in our cities do not graduate from high school, they believe that parental choice and teacher accountability should bow to the interests of union bosses.


The Obama Administration promised that they would "fundamentally change the way Washington works." They misled us. They are trying to change the way America works, And we must not let them! This Administration does not lack for confidence. But confidence in yourself is not the same as confidence in your country. And believing in the power of government is not the same as believing in the power of the governed.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Values Voter Summit
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Clwyd

    Mitt is a right wing religious nut. His words mean nothing except to the Members of the Party Of No who can figure out what is written on the tablets he found and says he can read!!

    September 17, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  2. Dave

    Guess what Mitt: You aren't conservative enough. You just don't have the cred with the tea party activists and the Palin/Beck/Hannity/Red State/etc. clowns. There is absolutely no way you are going to get the republican nomination in 2012. You did your version of Obamacare in Mass. and it is going to come back to haunt you. You are a fat rich cat that they don't like. You are part of the establishment that they are against. You aren't nutty enough, right wing enough, evangelical enough, conservative enough and you have entertained thoughts in the past of talking with democrats about solving problems (HEAVEN FORBID!). You are done.

    September 17, 2010 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  3. Sam's yer uncle

    Mitt cheered on and backed up the Bush policies that got this country into this mess, so why should we start trusting his judgement about anything now? Under Bush I had 8 years of steadily watching my investments tank and unemployment go up, and now I hear Republicans touting the same policies that caused all that disaster. They can't be trusted anymore.

    If you need proof that conservative policies don't work, just look at the American South: we've been electing conservatives for decades and we lag the rest of the country in every way. Conservativism just does not work, and its track record proves it.

    September 17, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  4. dont care what you Demoncrates say

    Romney got my vote this time around

    September 17, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  5. Bill Taylor

    He is mindless. I guess he forgot who got us into this mess. We the voters may be silent now, but November will surprise many. Going backwards have never proven successful. Just wait and see!!

    September 17, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  6. Florida Joe

    I'll just bet the Whitehouse is shaking in their boots because Mitt is "gonna talk tough"............Mitt is just a money grabber that made his $$ robbing hard working Americans of their jobs buy buying and dismanteling them...........Come on Mitt BRING IT ON.....I'll take Obama in a debate with you ANY DAY.........Mitt needs to worry about the Moron from Alaska stealing his spotlight.............

    September 17, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  7. BlackBarbie

    If the only way you can win is to attack Obama , then go ahead and help yourself, it will get old soon, know this... no matter what you say or what you do, Barack H Obama has the true and living God on his side, and you can't beat that!

    September 17, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  8. Mike Moderate

    Let's see.....Romney is taking shots at Obama.....that's nothing new.

    This twerp has been running for President for six years running....what an airhead!

    Show us some more of those good ol' negative GOP values

    September 17, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  9. shadysider

    That was a great line, Mitt, but you're gonna have to bring the crazy if you want to win the GOP nomination. Y'know...death panels, socialism, our president is anti-American, etc. The nutjobs making up the base of the GOP/Tea Parties will accept nothing less.

    September 17, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. Riley

    President Romney, take it to Obama. Obama is CLUELESS!

    September 17, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  11. America Shrugged

    Yes, Romney knows all about free enterprise. Put him in the WH, and it's all over for middle class america. If the American people can't figure out how we got to this place, this economic horror, they deserve losing their SS, Medicare and any gov protection we might have against those with the money that would harm or take advantage of us without them.

    September 17, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  12. griffbos

    Mitt first has to get pass Sarah Palin a feat that will not come easy.........

    September 17, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  13. Eric

    Sorry, Mitt... you're a RINO. This is no longer "send a RINO to DC season." You missed that one back in 2000 and 2004.

    September 17, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  14. Sniffit

    "Romney to take tough line against Obama"

    Again with the "as if it isn't already the case" headline? Yawn. wake me when Captain Hairdo has new talking points.

    September 17, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. Jilli

    My respnse to Mitts "tough line"....BBBBWWWAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!

    Words of wisdom (HA!!) from yet another republican also-ran.

    September 17, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  16. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    Same crap, different day. All critisms and no solutions. Sounds like Mitt just had a meeting with his 'bosses' the 'billionaire' neo-conservative Koch Brothers. Romney a Republican? Nope, he's a Libertarian just like his bosses. He is also delusional and a danger to America. History will show this to be true.

    September 17, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Mr. Romney, shame on you, people in this country paint you unacceptable because they hate Mormons and Glenn Beck can't change that no matter how hard he tries.

    September 17, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  18. T'SAH from Virginia

    Oh well "Mitt Hominy" – the war on POVERTY, failed – the WAR on DRUGS is failing also (have you checked the latest numbers) – and what you are calling 'free enterprise" is the WEALTHY with TAX CUTS!!!

    RAG on – DOG on – HATE on... But what’s NOT mentioned in all of your 'riff raff' are SOLUTIONS and SUGGESTIONS on how YOU would do BETTER!!!

    DEMOCRATS – STATE the CASE – UNITE the BASE and WIN this RACE in November 2010!!! Make some NOISE!!

    T'SAH from Virginia – the Liberal – approves this message!

    September 17, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  19. Sofar

    Well, everything in this article is true, obama and this congress have been a dismal failure and have put burdens on this country we may never recover from. Their bid to turn it into a welfare nation under total government control is moving right along.

    September 17, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  20. Canuck

    If America hands power back to the Republicans the world will look on in disbelief and horror – how short would your memory have to be???

    September 17, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  21. Granny Griper

    Is his religion going to play into his politics? Is he not a mormon?
    They say Obama is a muslim which we no for a FACT he is not, but we do know Mitt is a mormon

    September 17, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  22. Jerry - Florida

    Someone has to. NObama's lapdogs are not going to do it.

    This man is a patriot!

    Wow! And, I a m a life-long Democrat!

    Again, WOW!!!

    September 17, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  23. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Apparently Romney isn't fully remembering that much of the recession happened under George W. Bush. It will take some time to get everything back to where it was. To think it could be corrected in just a few months is naive to say the least. To say that Obama and others aren't for the country is disingenous and spiteful.

    September 17, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  24. Emma

    Stupid Romney again.........I declare his hair gets darker everyday as he ages everyday!

    September 17, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  25. Dave

    Sounds like the typical Romney hypocrisy/flip-flopping. I'm sure the drooling idiots at the Values Voter Summit will eat it right up...

    September 17, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
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