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. diridi

    Because he knows Perry is an idiot....that's all.......

    August 17, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. maggie

    I am personally sick of listening to Romney. We know how he feels about Obama and anyone willing to consider voting for him likely feels the same way. Why isn't he more focused on what he brings to the table?

    August 17, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. Erik

    Every candidate in the primary would say the same things about Obama. Romney needs to concentrate on winning the primary before he can take on Obama, and he's not going to do that by ignoring his competition.

    August 17, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  4. Sniffit

    "Romney tries to keep focus on Obama, not Perry"

    And CNN tries to keep focus on GOP candidates and their ideological nonsense talking points, not on people talking about real solutions.

    August 17, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  5. Sniffit

    BTW, I will not say that he is weird.

    August 17, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Speaking in the vernacular, this is going to get 'tired' real soon.

    August 17, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. Ex-GOP Con

    Romney's and idiot. ALL the GOPTEA candidates are attacking Obama. The GOPTEA birthers hate Obama. We get. Why would they choose YOU Romney over Rick Bush or Bachmann? They're both Christians. You're going to lose the primary and lost it bad if you don't start swinging at your rivals. You have plenty of time to Obama bash afterwards.

    August 17, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. JOE

    We should send all thes pointless, misinformed and delusional republican candidates to the fronline in Afghanistan. Particularly to look for land mines.

    August 17, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. Bob

    If I were dumb as dirt I would not want the focus on me either!

    August 17, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "I welcome Gov. Perry. If others want to get in, terrific. The water's fine. There are opportunities for debate and discussion," said Romney
    Yes, okay, fine're NOT debating OR discussing. All every one of you is doing is blah, blah, blah Obama, blah.
    Very informative for the voters, and the world at large.
    Obama 2012

    August 17, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  11. darien

    Ron Paul for president. These other politicians are evil.

    August 17, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  12. AZ DEM

    Romney is obsessed with gaining the nomination..I'm not sure his party is all the way behind him the far right is going to love Rick Perry. Its going to be hard for Romney to do well in the conservative south and midwest. For a guy who said he couldnt wait to debate Obama at the 1st GOP debate he better be more conscious of the next 5 debates he has coming up with the people trying to knock him out the race.

    August 17, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    You're running FROM discussing Perry's record, Bachmann is running from discussing YOUR record, Perry is running from discussing Bat$hit's record, NOONE is discussing Sanitarium's record.
    I've never seen people run so much and stay in one place, saying NOTHING.

    August 17, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  14. FM

    Romney is making exactly the same mistake Pawlenty did. He came to realise it when it was too late and where is he now?

    August 17, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  15. logic in LA

    I may not be a great strategist, but it would seem that ignoring a tree laying in the road should be paid attention to before you worry about the curve ahead. Ask Hillary.
    Looking at it another way- If Romney can't see that ignoring Perry is not a sound move, how will he handle problems of this country? Probably like a Republican and thinks that you can reduce debt by reducing income.

    August 17, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. carrotroot

    I don't like either Romney or Perry, but if I had to choose between the two I would choose Perry because he seems to have a little more integrity than Romney.

    August 17, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. Tony 140

    Way to go Mitt. Keep the focus on the real target. Oops – is that too violent? I guess not in that BHO's re-election mission is to "Kill Romney". Yes, please debate all your challengers but remember the goal of the Dems is to take the sight (Oops, there I go again with those gun references.) off the man and his failed policies and arrogance. Do not give them anything to help divert attention away from BHO. Good luck on your run.

    August 17, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. DannyCali

    Mr. Romney, you need to take your side first before come to President Obama if not you going to loss to Mr. Perry big time again, I think you already learn this last time man.

    August 17, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  19. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban

    If I'm the president, day one of my term I will be working to get Americans jobs again."
    As CEO of Bain Capital, I find that hard to believe Willard. BTW Willard, don't think that we've forgotten about Romneycare. The President was proud to stand behind his biggest legislative achievement, and you're running away like a coward from yours. WUSS!!!

    August 17, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  20. The Elephant in The Room


    This is the kind of haughty arrogance that will prevent people from voting for you. You haven`t won the nomination and yet you are alraeady measuring the drapes for the Whitehouse.

    What amkes you think we want someone that supports Obamacare by any other name?

    August 17, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  21. REG in AZ

    All the Republicans / Tea Party do is talk; constantly yapping while blocking and faulting all efforts and while catering to the few, their strong supporters, and providing nothing but rhetoric to con the majority and manipulate public opinion. In football they call it “trash mouth”, and that is what it is here ... “trash mouth” talking to disguise their neglect and their total focus on their political agenda aimed to benefit only the few, Bush-Cheney style; literally being “puppets” for Special Interests and the influential, powerful and extremely wealthy few, who “pull their strings”. If you think differently, then you have just been intimidated by “trash mouth” talking.

    August 17, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  22. Ohio man

    Maybe this is a way for Mitt not to 4get what he says this time and won't have to flip flop ..

    August 17, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  23. bb

    Mitt is starting to look haggard lately. And 'ignoring Perry while keeping his focus on Obama' - Not really. He's just trying to skate by on his gray temples alone. He has no agendas to put out there. And his track record as governor of Mass. was pitiful. He has nothing and so he is saying nothing. Looks like a weak excuse for a candidate to me. Even Pawlenty, who is about as weak as a candidate can get actually put more ideas out there. Romney's got nothing.

    August 17, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  24. Four and The Door

    Boehner has shown it in the House. Romney is showing it on the campaign trail. National politics can be done with class and a focus on issues. Can someone let the DNC and Obama Administration in on the 'secret'?

    August 17, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  25. vic , nashville ,tn

    Group GOP ers and their donors not happy they are saying none of above

    Still they want Indiana governor Mitch Daniels run for white house I totally agree with them

    August 17, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
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