Romney comes out swinging in Sunshine State
October 4th, 2011
06:21 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney comes out swinging in Sunshine State

(CNN) – Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney opened a town hall in Florida Tuesday by hitting the incumbent president on his leadership skills-but he also didn't pull any punches from GOP rival Rick Perry.

Romney said President Obama is "too heavy" on the nation's "shoulders" and criticized the president's leadership as "weighing down free enterprise."

"There is only one person that has cut Medicare," said Romney, the frontrunner once again in national polls for the 2012 Republican nomination.

"That's the president for Obamacare."

And while vowing that "Social Security is not going to change for anyone" except two young audience members in the crowd, Romney took a swing at the longest-running governor of Texas, who he's recently surged past in national polls.

"One competitor thinks [Social Security is] a Ponzi scheme…I don't agree…I will fix it."

Perry and Romney continue to duke it out for the top position in 2012 horserace polls, but Perry's debate performances and views on immigration and Social Security have taken their toll on his numbers.

But Romney's main focus in Florida was on the president.

"We've gone from 'yes we can' to 'geez, sorry, we can't,'" he said.

Romney hosted the townhall at The Villages, one of Florida's largest retirement communities–and a pit stop for presidential candidates on the campaign trail.

And Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who also represents the 20th Congressional District of Florida, was prepared for the Romney offensive.

In a conference call she offered up a rebuttal to Romney's remarks.

"Mitt Romney would carry the water for the Tea Party and would rather leave the 48 million elderly Americans across the country, including the 3.4 million in Florida, to fend for themselves in the private insurance market," she said.

"While President Obama has been focused on helping to rebuild the middle class, it's clear Republicans are still more concerned with protecting tax breaks for special interests and the wealthiest on the backs of seniors and the middle class."

Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Rick Perry
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. sara

    Well, the recession and the lost of jobs began before this president was elected....what was "weighting" down the "job creators" then. They had the Tax Cuts, regulations hasn't changed since Bush...What's the problem again, Willard? Please repeat yourself.

    October 4, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  2. Woman In California

    Personally, I want a president who is at least EMPLOYED BEFORE he becomes the POTUS. What does this jerk do all day besides bend over for his corporate buddies?

    October 4, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  3. Reggie from LA

    "He ain't heavyyyy. He's our brother". Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know too many of you hate Obama too much for him to be your brother and it's in your stupid natures for the most part. At least he tries which is more than can be said of the GOP, T Party and Dems who don't feel gratified for their votes' worth. The only reason that he hasn't been as successful as intended (and he has a great number of successes. Research it) is because it's him against everybody else. Fine job Mr. President. 2012.

    October 4, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  4. T'sah from Virginia

    ►"We've gone from 'yes we can' to 'geez, sorry, we can't,'”◄
    And thanks to my House-Buddy-PUBS – we’ll continue to SHANT!!
    “Hell NO we won’t – Create Jobs – Help the Economy – No way!!!!!”
    The 1% RULES and we’ll win on “Our Way or the Highway!!!!”

    Little does the RIGHT knows – the entire BUNCH of them are running on deceit
    Have they even noticed how the crowd is growing in almost every major city including Wall Street??
    LQQK around you, take notice – While you’re Bull-Shizzing thinking YOU’RE what this nation need!!!
    The Middle Class will struggle – YES WE CAN – TOGETHER – But we'll NO LONGER BLEED!!!

    This is all going to backfire in the Republicans FACE and I have been saying this since 2008!!!

    Obama/Biden 2012!!! It’s ON!!!

    October 4, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  5. Jerry

    Here goes NObama's lapdog (Whats-her-Man), again! Florida seniors PLEASE try and look beyond the smoke and mirrors talking points. Don't allow Whats-her-Man, or President NObama for that matter, to intimidate or scare you. I am a Florida senior. A transplant from Connecticut, and I will not take the smoke and mirrors philosophy of the NObama administration sitting down.

    Lets do our research so that we will not be fooled again! And most of all, lets not allow President NObama, his cronies and his KOOl Aid sipping supporters BUY the 2012 elections.

    And for the voters in the 20th Congressional District of Florida, PLEASE think really hard as to wether you want to send the female version of Anthony Weiner back to Washington. Florida does not really need her political rhetoric in Washington. Most of us know that President NObama's policies have failed miserably. But he and his supporters (including Whats-her-Man), and bought and his paid for administration, think all Americans are stupid. For the 2012 elections, lets show them otherwise.

    America, we can and must do better!

    Stay tuned...

    October 4, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Hard to believe that this is the same gutsy Mittens who was afraid to condemn the GOP spectator booing of an American soldier at the last teabagger debate? Mittens declares he will privatize social security, support for the Paul Ryan gut social security and medicare plan, and then show up at the Villages, then denies his previous positions. I can see why MA rejected him.

    October 4, 2011 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  7. Grow up already...

    We went from yes we can... YOU went from "we'll hinder as much as possible, no matter what or who it hurts, to regain power". Way to put party ahead of country. YOU and your ilk stink!

    October 4, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  8. Indy

    Romneys resume is going to look funny once this is all over and will be interseting what he will say in a job interview after he loses another election. When the interviewer asks what he has done for the last five years he will have to say "I was obsessed with President Obama and made a career out of lying about him" " I was running for President for five straight years before I lost twice" and now I need a job.

    October 4, 2011 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  9. Debra From Georgia

    the free enterprise that ruin our country. Him will never be our President

    October 4, 2011 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  10. w l jones

    Where the leadership skill after eight years of campaigning, new comer is neck and neck... that give one some insight into leadership. You know who have to say something about that?

    October 4, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    That is the real concern about what the tea party wants and what they want to have the federal government do (or not do). Do they not care about the programs of the past? What is their idea to help support the old that aren't being supported by charities? They seem so heartless at times.

    October 4, 2011 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  12. Darrell


    You are a funny man. You said: Romney said President Obama is "too heavy" on the nation's "shoulders" and criticized the president's leadership as "weighing down free enterprise."

    You mean the same president who helped save the Am. Automobile industry, the Am. Banking system....and Am. Capitalism...while your boy, GWB, an MBA from Harvard, nearly crashed Am. Capitalism and free enterprise.

    Another thing: US Corporations are making record profits and sitting on nearly 2 trillion dollars....again, you are a funny man.

    October 4, 2011 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  13. A Democrat in North Carolina

    America People just need to watch and pray! And listen to what each one of these candiates really stands for including President Obama, then decide who is really on their side whether you are mad with politicians now or not.

    October 5, 2011 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  14. thomas

    geez, sorry,

    No Thanks !

    October 5, 2011 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  15. SPQR

    Mitt if your intentions are genuine, how come you didn't speak up during 8 years W. Bush ?

    October 5, 2011 01:49 am at 1:49 am |