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. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Yes indeed Ohio Man, internet hug for Maikl, Four, et al ((((–)))).

    August 17, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. BeverlyNC

    As soon as America figures out Perry is a stupider version of Bush Jr – he will be gone. The people of TX hate him and he has told nothing but lies about his jobs record, economic record, etc from TX. TX is near the bottom of all states on education, graduation rates, and all his jobs are minumum wage and from companies he bribed to move to TX – that is not job creation that helps our nation or people to be able to survive. TX has the worst unemployment rate in the southwest. Even Karl Rove hates Perry so that spells the end of his Republican career right there.

    Romney should be worried about Obama since Romeny did everything Obama has done for the nation when Romney was Gov of MA. Same healthcare plan that the people of MA love and it has lowered healthcare costs. Same jobs programs. Same views on taking care of People. Same views on protecting Social Security and Medicare......that is until he decided to flip-flop on all his actual beliefs and lie to the extremist Republicans so they would like him. Who knows what Romney really believes? Who knows what kind of leader he would be? He thinks corporations matter more than PEOPLE. He just made that clear to voters in Iowa this past week. He is NOT a leader and just a totaly out-of-touch billionaire pretending to be a real person. That's why he is so stiff and always making idiotic remarks. He has NO CLUE how real working Americans live, what we need, nor does he care. Romney is a big ZERO.

    August 17, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Four wrote:
    How about Downgrade Obama? His spending doesn't slow down until he hears from the debt rating agencies. He's like the cook who uses the smoke detector for a timer.
    Why attack the man's character? With juvenile jokes, no less. I have not heard one idea from conservatives that will actually create a climate for jobs growth here in the US. All that conservative members of Congress have done for nearly 3 years has been to obstruct. Do you like the payroll tax cut? Republicans in Congress don't. It might increase consumer spending which would stimulate the economy. So that makes it a "bad" idea?

    August 17, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  4. Indy

    Romneys Resume in an interview for a job

    What have you done for the last five years ? I have travelled the country bashing the President of the United States
    Did you get paid for this job ? Yes people from everywhere sent me millions of dollars to travel all expenses paid and I said the same thing over and over and over and over
    Who is your boss ? Joseph Smith
    You have said GE is a person, what is his or her first name ? Duh I dont know
    Who creates jobs in America ? Corporations and Governors
    Whos fault is that there are no jobs ? The Presidents
    Don't call us we'll call you

    August 17, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. w l jones

    We have a problem on color in this country there are very few black skin people as well white skin people in our country. Why do not we all be American and leave it at that...Bless.

    August 17, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    I don't know who let the Tea Party dogs out, but I guarantee you they are regretting it now. Even Karl Rove has crawled out into the public eye to denounce the Tea Party mind set.

    August 17, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. GOP hates Middle Class

    Four and The Door

    GOP hates Middle Class
    No solutions Mittens? RomneyCare Mittens?...
    How about Downgrade Obama? His spending doesn't slow down until he hears from the debt rating agencies. He's like the cook who uses the smoke detector for a timer.
    I knew our resident dittohead would chime in with more useless tripe.
    We have a Tea tax now, thanks to your uncompromising rookie fools. I guess putting those wars on the books equates to spending for you, I call it fiscal conservatism 😉 Can you post some letters you sent to your local Congressperson back when W was shattering a surplus at record speed, I'd love to see your history of deficit hawkishness, or did you subscribe to Cheney's "deficits don't matter" theory. Do tell.
    Now riddle me this Capt. Rethug talking point, at what other point in our history were taxes lowered to fund for war? Keep searching, that should keep you busy.

    August 17, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  8. Tea Party Mike

    I agree with Romney when he talks about Obama's suppsed new jobs package he will present in a speech. Romney is right, Obama and his political friends do not know what it takes to get this economy going again. The proof is in what Obama is talking about including in his package. From what I am hearing, it will fall short of what businesses are saying is needed.
    If Obama is serious about a new jobs bill, he will have to compromise with House and Senate Republicans who will want to add tax reform for business that will get rid of a lot of tax loop holes but also lower taxes to a level competive in the global economy. This will lower taxes for most businesses and raise them for some like GE that paid no taxes at all on 14 billion in profits. Also Obama will have to compormise on getting rid of a lot of regulations that are holding business back from expanding and adding more jobs. Including new regulations in Obamacare. If Obama is serious about getting a new jobs bill passed he will have to compromise with Republicans or Romney or some other Republican who knows how to creatre jobs will be the next President.

    August 17, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Get Them ... wrote:
    Be a man obama, quit with the racism towards Whites or you may get what you dont want, a race war and as you were told before, the whites own most the guns and the war you start is one your type could not win, be advised, cease being a black racists against whites.
    Obama's opponents have been playing the race card all along. I hear people on Fox News saying, "He hates white people." You hear nearly all of his critics saying, "He's not one of us." People have questioned facets of this President that no other President has had to endure in US history. People want to see his transcripts from college. People want to see his birth certificate. People question his wealth. The race card has been played since before the Big Bang. Big Bang, you say? Nov. 4. 2008 is when the Big Bang occurred. Get over it.

    August 17, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Rudy NYC who wrote:
    Why attack the man's character? With juvenile jokes, no less.
    Steady Rudy, I feel you. Realize that based on the factual content of his posts they are nothing more than a cry for attention, a la Sarah Palin. That is why I generally choose to ignore them.

    August 17, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. ABM

    His focus is on corporations and what he can do to help them – not the people.


    August 17, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. FactCheck

    Boehner has shown it in the House.


    And it worked out oh so well for your 401Ks didn't they, binky?

    August 17, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "Romneys Resume in an interview for a job"

    Hahaha...Romney would never interview for a real job.

    August 17, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Of course not. Mittens is running like the Presidential Candidate instead of someone running as a nominee. The others are saying "Obama Bad, Me Good" while Mittens is outlining what he would actually do. The fun thing is as Perry, Bachmann and Santorum fight tooth and nail for the same group of religious fundamentalist, ultra-right conservatives, Romney is building a corps of followers who are no longer seduced by Tea Party idiocy. As the Republican nominating process this session will not be winner-take-all primaries there will probably not be a clear-cut winner going into the convention (unless those who do drop out pledge their candidates to someone else). I can see the three above mentioned fighting tooth and nail in Iowa and South Carolina, but failing badly in New Hampshire and Florida. Their failures in Florida will be especially spectacular given their anti-immigrant, jingoistic tirades. By the end of Super Tuesday, Bachmann and Santorum will probably be out of it, leaving Perry to fight for the Republican Nomination against the only candidate who could actually beat Obama in a National Election – Romney. Unfortunately for Mittens, the Republican Right Wing will be so disappointed with their Party's nominee that they stay home on Election Day, giving the reelection to the President! Either that or Perry grabs the Nomination by disqualifying any Republican delegate with an IQ over 70, or is not a Fundamentalist Christian, and goes on to lose the General Election in a manner that would put the Goldwater-Johnson debacle of '64, the Nixon-McGovern fiasco of '72 or the Bush-Dukakis '88 catastrophe to shame!

    August 17, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. In order for 15 MILLION to find a job, only ONE must LOSE his.... Fire Obama in 2012

    All that conservative members of Congress have done for nearly 3 years has been to obstruct.
    What kind of fiction are you wriiting in here? Republicans have controlled the House for 7 MONTHS. During that time they have passed bill after bill that the Democrat controlled Senate has refused to act upon most of the time or if they do act, they vote no. Prior to that, the Democrats controlled ALL OF GOVERNMENT. So if there was any obstruction during those 2 years, the Democrats are the reason for it.

    Are you living on the same planet as the rest of us???

    August 17, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    Seems as if Romney's adopting the *Pawlenty for President - It's All About Me And What I Want* play-story. He might want to reconsider ... it got Pawlenty no where fast. I myself would like to know WHY Romney is running for president, what his goals for America are, and what actions he'll be taking to make certain that whatever his goals might be are actually being laid out beyond political campaign rhetoric. In other words, what it is about being President of the United States and the leader of it's diverse citizenry which motivates Romney most. So far, it's all about Mitt and his egocentric *I want* ... *I think* ... *I am*. A bit too much *me*, *me*, *me* for - well - ME.

    August 17, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. Steve

    Blah, blah, blah.

    That's as good as any comment here.

    August 17, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. ted

    The GOP leadership, both RNC and Boner/McClownell, abdicated responsibility for their platform and message to the TeaParty and see where that got them. They were hamstrung and unable to negotiate a reasonable debt and deficit agreement with Obama. They had to give in to the TeaBaggers and their wrongheadedness on the subject so that they could garner support.
    Obama/Biden 2012

    August 17, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    The people have heard enough criticism of Obama over the past 3 years. They would rather hear someone talk about the positives. That's how you get elected President in the post-Bush era. Fear mongering and juvenile character bashing just ain't cuttin' it anymore. The people are in despair and they do not care to have anymore heaped upon them; physically or metaphorically.

    August 17, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  20. Straight Shooter

    I must have missed it – did Romney state what his plan for jobs or the economy was?

    August 17, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  21. nagrom

    George Bush created jobs! He started two wars and GE and other large war machine corporations Boeing etc. hired many people to build machines and bombs. Because of this he gave all these corporations tax breaks. Now that Obama is winding down the war, jobs are becoming scarce. And now Obama wants corporations to once again pick up the slack to even out the pain the middle class is suffering from being laid off and downgraded. Of course, Republicans blame him for the deficit and unemployment but where did all this begin??? Try Bush and the Republicans. Where does it end? Repukes.

    August 17, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  22. NewsGeek

    Well, you can't get to Obama without winning the family feud. Focus on first thing first Romney, before it gets too late.

    August 17, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. Diego

    Obama has a dreadful record so he is an easy target. Say what you will about Perry but he has made it happen in Texas. They created 37% of all the jobs in the country. Obama's policies have set the country back and its an easy case to make because unless your an out of touch billionare or just don't have to earn a living you can feel it.

    August 17, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  24. Four and The Door

    Rudy NYC
    I have not heard one idea from conservatives that will actually create a climate for jobs growth here in the US.
    Not just an idea...they passed a bill. The Democratic Senate shot it down and Obama said he would veto it. Cut, Cap and Balance. That's one of the best things the federal government could have done to help get our economy going again. We sure saw how well massive government spending did to get everything back up and running. It didn't, and extending unemployment benefits again won't do it either. So while the DNC is out printing T-shirts satirizing Romney for being corporation-friendly, Obama is still trying to come up with a jobs plan that works. Don't tell me. More government spending bills? Fast trains and throwing money at banks?

    August 17, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  25. thomas

    Mitt ,
    why didn't any of your five sons do any military service ?

    Perry .
    how much did Enron give you to create jobs ?

    August 17, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
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