Criticizing Obama, Romney vows a different approach if he runs for president
February 11th, 2011
11:58 AM ET
9 years ago

Criticizing Obama, Romney vows a different approach if he runs for president

Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney accused President Obama Friday of being a "weak" leader and specifically questioned Obama's handling of the economic crisis and foreign affairs.

"An uncertain world has been made more dangerous by the lack of clear direction from a weak President," Romney said in a speech before the annual Conservative Political Action Conference meeting here in the nation's capital.

Romney is one of a dozen presidential candidates speaking at the three day gathering that drew about 11,000 conservatives from around the country. A former Massachusetts governor and successful businessman, Romney focused the majority of his remarks on the economy, which is likely to be his greatest strength in what will be a competitive contest for the Republican nomination.

"Let me make this very clear," Romney said, "If I decide to run for president, it won't take me two years to wake up to the job crisis threatening America. And I won't be asking Tim Geithner how the economy works or Larry Summers how to start a business."

Considered to be the frontrunner in the race for the GOP nomination, Romney's comments on a potential White House bid drew applause from some audience members. After his speech, Romney moved from the stage onto the floor and was immediately surrounded by well wishers and people hoping to get a glimpse of the governor.

Romney, who failed in his first run for the Republican nomination in 2008, is beginning to reactivate a political operation to once again run for president. Recently, Romney held meetings in New Hampshire, where he also owns a home, and has been talking to donors.

The economy is expected to be a major issue in the 2012 presidential race and Romney said the president's efforts to turn the economy around have failed.

"President Barack Obama has stood watch over the greatest job loss in modern American history," Romney said. "And that, my friends, is one inconvenient truth that will haunt this president throughout history."

On the issue of foreign policy, Romney peppered Obama with criticism for his handling of Iran, North Korea, Russia and the war in Afghanistan.

"I surely hope that at some point in the near future, the president will finally be able to construct a foreign policy, any foreign policy," Romney said.

Romney chose to steer clear of any criticism of the Obama administration's handling of Egypt. Moments after Romney closed his speech, President Hosni Mubarak stepped down.

CPAC will close tomorrow with the results of an unscientific presidential straw poll of attendees. The results will amount to nothing more than bragging rights in a battle for the GOP nomination that will be waged in neighborhoods and living rooms across the country beginning in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Filed under: 2012 • CPAC 2011 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Vic of New York

    Yeah.... Mr. "Haircut" and flip-flopping Conservative Stooge thinks he's a "strong leader".

    Dream on....

    February 11, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. Jill

    Isn't it scary when you think Romney spends a good portion of his adult life seeking to be President? What does that say about a person when they want power that much? I say no to Romney.

    February 11, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. NC

    To all that are saying obama has saved us from financial break down....where has this happened.....where are the jobs, why hasn't the housing fiasco gone away. Please do not give obama credit for the resignation of the Egyptian President. He is weak on foreign relations and are allies are seeing him to be a weak leader who can not even take care of his own country.

    February 11, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  4. cecilia

    Mr. Romney, I will say to you what is often said to women – a pretty face is just not enough to get you where you want to go. you need a little substance also – if you don't believe me, ask Ms.Palin

    February 11, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  5. Pretzel Logic

    So he's flip flopping on his flip flopping?

    February 11, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  6. Vince

    Doesn't really matter what this guy says.....have fun explaining universal healthcare in MA to hardcore Republicans.

    February 11, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. Whatever

    WHAT A BUNCH OF LIES HE HAS SPOKEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How dare he call the President "weak" because he'd rather talk to people rather than go to war with everyone (WHICH IS BANKRUPTING THIS COUNTRY)!!!!!! Another thing – the massive job losses occurred BETWEEN 2001-2008 – – EXCUSE ME but that was during GOP CONTROL under President Bush. OWN IT MITT!!!! OWN IT!!

    BE FACTUAL in your words MITT… if you show no respect YOU WILL GET NO RESPECT MITT… remember that fact!!!!!

    February 11, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  8. coach

    When is the GOP gonna realize that the more they attack a president that is steadily pulling the country out of a GOP created mess the more the American people see thru there message and the fact that they have no message. Throwing rocks at the president and offering no solutions dumb. Impress me GOP....tell me what you would do! I'm getting to the point where I'm tuning you out.

    February 11, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. Dan

    Good grief.

    If you're going to criticize someone, shouldn't you be coming from a position of strength?
    Mr Romney is known as the Waffle House for a reason.

    February 11, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. John

    This man left my state (Massachusetts) in a complete shambles. Don't let him ruin the country.

    February 11, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. Michael Q Sutton

    Yes, the little Massachusetts' educated black kid from Chicago worked quietly, chose his words carefully, sent no troops, fired no shots, and a foreign country gained another step towards freedom at $0.00 to the American taxpayer. Not a bad couple of weeks work. I wonder if this effort was as good as the "Mission Accomplished" banner in Iraq at a cost there of how many lives and trillions of good old 'China' loaned American dollars, huh?

    So, in essence, Obama by his weak actions in Eygpt at whatever costs were involved just added how much more debt to the national fiscal deficit? OK, it's true Obama's actions did not create a decline in the unemployment figures because there were no extra military defence profits to expand for more defense spending, and no more poor citizens had to be recruited into the armed forces to send more troops to defend America on Eygptian soil. This President just can't seem to catch a break to create more jobs, can he? So much for that "World Peace" Miss Universe beauty queen slogan.

    Go, Romney, Go -- as far away as possible.

    February 11, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  12. cecilia

    what bad timing for old Romney – at the end of his speech one of the most delicate foreign problems made big strides toward a peaceful resolution . must have been all the bowing and shuffling the President did, right.
    you Republicans will never understand a President or person, for that matter, like President Obama
    So let me make this very clear, when you run you will lose Mr. R

    February 11, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  13. seebofubar

    Most americans and the rest of the world realized early on that Obama is a sham, unfortunatly liberals are just a little slower than the rest of us. Don't worry, you'll come around eventually, we all grow up sooner or later.

    February 11, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  14. Glennf

    Let me see here...........Obama is trying to do too much.....................Obama is not doing enough.....................Obama is a socialist and destroying the Christian nation that America is.................................Obama is a nazi (maybe even the antichrist).........................Obama is responsible for the job losses in the United States....................If only we would listen to the Mitt Romney doctrine (he arrived here by immaculate conception yesterday) well everything will be perfect.

    February 11, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. Stephen in Bedford, TX

    Right now, among the potential list of Republican candidates, there isn't a single person that President Obama should be concerned with running against. I want Romney to run for president, I want Bachmann to run for president, I want Barbour and Gingrich and Huckabee to run. And all Democrats wants Sarah Palin to run for president.

    February 11, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. ReFascistican

    AIR, meet empty suit Mitt.

    February 11, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  17. carrotroot

    Romney has no grounds to stand on when it comes to foreign policy, especially after today.

    February 11, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  18. mgc florida

    What a sleaze this guy is. How many times has he changed positions on EVERYTHING!. Sorry Mitt oh boy your ambitions exceed you popularity!!!

    February 11, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. Susan in Arkansas

    Mr. Romney is a "suit" whose only desire is to be the President of the United States. End of story.

    February 11, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. Poser

    "President Barack Obama has stood watch over the greatest job loss in modern American history," Romney said. "

    Um, sorry Mittens but that happened in 2008 before President Obama was President. Conservatives never let facts get in the way of their talking points.

    February 11, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. TB

    While I don't agree with President Obama on everything, he DEFINATELY handled the Egyptian crisis MUCH better than a neoconservative military imperialist would have. An oppressive dictator has just resigned. He was removed by HIS OWN PEOPLE. No US troops were sent. No US troops were lost. No US tax dollars were spent. This is the way it SHOULD happen. President Obama did it RIGHT. How would Mitt Romney have handled this situation?

    February 11, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. sammieb51

    Who cares what Romney thinks? He didn't win the primaries last time, why would he win this time - he has a huge liability, the healthcare bill he passed in his state is the one the President modeled the national healthcare bill on, pretty stupid move for Obama ha? And Romney has egg on his face from it.

    February 11, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  23. AK from LI

    Does Mitt really think that the world is more dangerous because of Pres Obama. Really, when Pres Bush was in the White House, let me remind him of a little war in Iraq that was started by that administration and which led to many more terrorist organizations roaming the world on a mission to destroy our country!

    February 11, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |

    Y A W N. . . . .do all Republicans have selective memories? Job losses began in 2007. Mr. George W. Bush was the president then. By the way, I am thoroughly convinced now: GOP = AMERICAN TALIBAN.

    February 11, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  25. AZ Dem

    Looks like Romney is dealing with his OWN truths and facts which amount to a bunch of lies. However it is entertaining to see that the Republicans are still ONLY focused on attacking the president when it is their fellow GOPers that they are truly competing with to even have a SHOT at Obama's job. Say what you will NO ONE can deny that Obama has made a legitimate effort to better this country and thats A LOT more than we can say about 85% of Republicans

    February 11, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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