Romney doubles down over debt
July 12th, 2011
04:29 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney doubles down over debt

(CNN) - Mitt Romney, the frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination, responded Tuesday to criticism that he has been too quiet during the debt ceiling negotiations, largely reiterating his position in the debate.

"We cannot lose sight of the need to move the President toward meaningful fiscal responsibility," Romney said in a statement to CNN. "A vote on raising the debt ceiling has to be accompanied by a major effort to restructure and reduce the size of government."

But the comments from the former Massachusetts governor were coupled with his usual jabs at the president, this time over government spending.

"I've never seen an enterprise in more desperate need of a turnaround than the U.S. government," Romney said.

Romney was also one of six GOP contenders to sign the "Cut, Cap Balance Pledge," which opposes any debt limit increase unless there are substantial cuts, enforceable spending caps and a Balanced Budget Amendment.

As the perceived frontrunner, Romney has leveled most of his criticism at President Obama instead of other Republicans, but some other White House hopefuls, polling below Romney, said he has avoided the debt ceiling issue.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania said the current debate in Washington is about "what kind of leadership you're going to show."

"If you're running for president, you've got to show how you would handle a situation like this," Santorum said in an interview <a href="(Monday.

Alex Conant, a spokesman for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, hit Romney following his comments Tuesday.

"Conservatives around the country are speaking out against raising the debt ceiling, yet Governor Romney has been largely absent from this debate, just as he was during the health care debate when he was sidelined by his record in Massachusetts," Conant said.

Filed under: 2012 • Congress • Debt • Deficit • Mitt Romney • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. logic in LA

    We know what he did as a businessman. So do we look forward to him selling off our monuments, Federal buildings and states to raise money? If he truly understood business he would know that raising prices, in this case taxes is the only way to solve a debt problem when you have no other resource to bring in cash.
    Wake up America and pay your fair share to out government.

    July 12, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  2. John

    Well first of all the Conservative are not running this Country and they are not enough of them to get anybody Elected. And any body that Is all Ready In the House or Senate should be signing a Pledge to any GROUP OF People no matter what GROUP IT IS. Because any body all Ready IN the HOUSE or SENATE have all ready took and Swear to a OATH OF OFFICE. and In that OATH IN say they will do what ever Is In America Best Interest. And letting America default on It Dept Is not IN America best Interest. And any body In the House and Senate that sign this Pledge should be brought Ethics Charges against each and ever one of them. Because the broke the OATH they took when they took OFFICE.

    July 12, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. master11

    From Sen. Obama’s Floor Speech, March 20, 2006:

    The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now d...epend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

    Obama in his own words still holds true today.

    July 12, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. Jilli

    Huntsman is right – the only pledges politicians should be beholden to is the pledge to honor the constitution and the pledge to his wife. Any other "pledge" is sheer nonsense.

    July 12, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    So romneycare, what does the President need to do that corporations (and you yourself) are not doing already?
    Let's see, buy a company, fire all the Americans and get rid of their jobs and send them overseas.
    Yes, maybe that is what the President should do . . . . . starting with you send all your lunatics out of the country or off planet might be better.

    July 12, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  6. Indy

    I cant take Romney seriously, he is unemployed because no corporation wants him and that is a a very good indicator that he is a failure at positive business operations. Sure he is good at dismantling business's and firing everyone while making profits but that is not what America needs right now and neither is someone that cant even get a job, and expects to go from unemployed to President of the United States of America.

    July 12, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  7. Jersey

    lndy,great comment a million is unemployed its called retired, when you have millions you don't have to work, learn the facts before start on what defines the term unemployed, couple houses, gov, turned around olympics, sounds like he sits around

    July 12, 2011 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    Check out how Romney's security staff in Boston, MA is treating parents trying to drop off their little kids at tennis camp. Go ahead...look into it.

    July 12, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  9. Rick 7809

    So Mr. Romney, how do you have a major effort to restructure and reduce government in 3 weeks when all your side does is say no.

    July 12, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  10. Danel

    Are you sure about that Mitt? You may change your mind tomorrow depending on where the wind blows. This is your chance to chage your mind.. 1, 2, 3, 4....

    July 12, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  11. LegendRx

    The less Romney says, the less changes of him flip-flopping. Avoid talk-n and keep walk-n. Coward!!!!!

    July 12, 2011 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  12. Tim

    Romney is no front runner...

    July 12, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  13. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem with what Romney wants to do is that he wants to cut funding for programs that help those in need. He doesn't think that the government should be helping its citizens. I happen to disagree with that because there is no charity that can help everyone as well and as far and wide as the federal government.

    July 12, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Mitt's a good man but he's running with the wrong group, a group of haters who will never support him because he's Mormon.

    July 12, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  15. What Most of Us Are Thinking

    None of these GOP candidates are credible. Not a one. All of the fake outrage at Obama has grown old.

    Romney, you can't downsize the US economy and if you goal is downsizing the Federal Government, that's not going to do jack for the country.

    July 12, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  16. Phillydan

    As posted above by Jill, she is absolutely right. Signing pledges is very stupid.for any politician regardless of party to sign.

    This whole "no new tax issue" is what is destroying how our Country operates. The easy thing to do is say that I won't raise taxes. Yes, most people are going to like that. But most of these same people want to have good highways to drive on, good education with lowered class room sizes for their kids, they want good police and fire protection. They want clean air and water. You get the picture. Then we should all pay what is needed to have a balanced budget. We certainly can put caps on increased spending tied to the growth of GDP. We do need a flatter and more efficient tax structure that will prevent people from trying to avoid taxes. We should have a Corporate tax structure that has a lower rate but no loopholes. There is no need for a loophole that allows John Paulsen to make five Billion dollars and is taxed at a 15% rate.

    Spend no time signing pledges but spend the time to balance the budget with a mix of spending cuts and increased tax revenues. the mix does not have to be 50/50, 70/30 is a start. Having a balanced budget will do more to grow the economy than not wanting to raise some taxes for fear it will stunt the growth of the economy. That is not borne out by the evidence.

    July 12, 2011 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  17. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on America

    America can't afford Romney's "turnaround" cure, which history tells us involves massive layoffs. He's just another corrupt corporate cultist who believes deregulation and tax cuts for the filthy rich solve all problems. History of course says otherwise, but apparently Mittens can't be bothered with pesky little things like facts.

    July 12, 2011 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  18. Peter s

    Mitt, moving towards fiscal responsibility start with cutting 4 trillion not 2! look this is just another proof of bringing President Obama down, the midterm Republican is not working so, they turn to bullying the seniors?. Its just plain hypocritical and poor judgement!!!

    July 12, 2011 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |