Romney tries to keep focus on Obama, not Perry
August 17th, 2011
10:52 AM ET
11 years ago

Romney tries to keep focus on Obama, not Perry

(CNN) - Listen to Mitt Romney, and it's plain to see that the former Massachusetts governor is running against President Barack Obama rather than any of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination.

For a third straight day on the campaign trail, Romney, answering reporters questions following a campaign event Wednesday morning in Berlin, New Hampshire, focused his attacks on the president and tried his best to not to discuss the other GOP White House hopefuls, including the newest candidate in the contest, Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Reacting to news that Obama will speak to the nation in early September about a new package of initiatives designed to grow the economy and create jobs, Romney said "he (President Obama) and his academic and political friends don't understand what it takes to get this economy going again. And it's a too little, too late, but we appreciate the fact that he's trying to devote some time to it and not just be on the bus tour and not just vacationing at Martha's Vineyard but giving some thought of the American people. I would have thought he would have done that from day one. If I'm the president, day one of my term I will be working to get Americans jobs again."

For months Romney has been extremely critical of the president's efforts on the economy and on creating jobs, and in the past few days he's also criticized Obama's upcoming vacation on Martha's Vineyard, a resort island off Romney's home state of Massachusetts.

But for a second straight day, Romney, who's making his second bid for the White House, wasn't as receptive about answering questions regarding Perry, and his controversial comments on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and "treason."

"I don't have any new comments on the Fed in regards to Rick Perry's comments," Romney told reporters, adding that "I'm not looking to be in a give and take with Governor Perry. He's expressing his views, I expressed my views and my record. He's a fine guy, a fine governor. We'll get a chance to debate and we'll probably get a good chance for contrasting views at that point."

Romney's been trying to run a general election campaign during the caucus and primary season. His strategy appears to have been relatively successful so far, as he's perceived as the front runner thanks to national polling and fundraising, but Perry's entrance into the race will make maintaining his strategy more difficult.

Wednesday morning he touted his standing in the battle for the GOP nomination, saying "I'm really pleased with the support in this race. The people who have gotten behind my effort and encouraged me in this race, the people across the country as well as the financial support I've received have given me the where with all to run a campaign right to the very end and to make sure I get the delegates needed to win the nomination."

When asked about late entries into the GOP race, he said "you know it's still a bit of an open field. that's a good thing. I welcome folks in, the more the merrier."

"I welcome Gov. Perry. If others want to get in, terrific. The water's fine. There are opportunities for debate and discussion," said Romney, adding that "you're going to see ups and downs in polls and in support, in endorsements and in money fund-raising and so forth, but, you know, in the final analysis, it's going to boil down to a careful consideration who ought to be the next president and I think I will do pretty darn well and I expect to win."

- Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PSteinhauserCNN

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Rick Perry
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. coy4one

    Be careful Romney! It might be considered treason for you to ignore Perry...

    August 17, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  2. thomas

    CNN , love the Photo of Mitts Mormon flag barrier?

    August 17, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  3. L4Legend

    All the tea/gop will be reduced to the lowest terms when the issue of national defense, immigration, and other intelligent discussions come up. They don't have answers.

    August 17, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. MiddleOfTheRoad

    Let's dump Obama and replace him with........ah.....never mind.

    August 17, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |

    The teabaggers have a plan for Romney to repeat 2008. Wingnuts are terrified but they have no control over their monster so they hope to ride Rick Bush to victory in 2012.

    August 17, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
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