Romney: ‘There’s a good shot I might become the next president’
October 20th, 2011
10:01 PM ET
9 years ago

Romney: ‘There’s a good shot I might become the next president’

Treynor, Iowa (CNN) – Mitt Romney on Thursday said he has a "good shot" at becoming president.

At an economic roundtable of business leaders in Treynor, Iowa, the candidate began the question-and-answer session by saying: “Your topics are at your choosing. But there’s a good shot I might become the next president of the United States. It’s not a sure thing, but it’s a good shot.”

Romney continued: “And if I am, I will benefit by having heard from you, your thoughts about what we can do better to encourage your enterprise, or enterprise generally, both on a short-term basis and long term.”

His meeting with business leaders was his second stop of the day in Iowa. Earlier, he campaigned in Sioux City. And after the economic roundtable, Romney met with voters at the Chamber of Commerce in Council Bluffs.

Though Romney has done scant campaigning in the Hawkeye State during this political cycle – this was his first visit since August – polls for Iowa have shown him either leading or maintaining a strong showing.

During his appearances, the former Massachusetts governor waded into myriad issues.

For example, in Treynor, Romney sounded familiar criticism of the Obama administration. “I’m concerned that our current leadership in Washington doesn’t have a fundamental understanding of how our economy works,” he said.

The candidate also reiterated his opposition to the president’s $447 billion jobs bill.

“He’s promoting a stimulus bill,” Romney said. “Look, the first one he put in place three years ago didn’t work. I don’t know why we’d vote for another one. Or agree to another one.”

Though Romney blasted the president’s plan - he did speak glowingly about the need to improve the nation's deteriorating infrastructure. Ironically, that is one central component of the president’s jobs bill.

It happened after Romney received a question from a man in the audience who said he spent most of his work life in the highway contracting industry.

“The first stimulus bill, we built a lot of stimulus projects,” the man said. “As you know, they were a flash in the pan. Now we’re back to the way it was before. I guess one problem we have in our industry is not constant funding of that.”

The man then asked Romney: “I just want to know what your views were on infrastructure, maintenance and development?”

“One of the things you have to have for an economy to work is an ample infrastructure,” Romney responded. “And our infrastructure is antiquated."

Romney continued: “I know in my state of Massachusetts, when I came in they told me we had 550 structurally deficient bridges. I said, ‘You gotta be kidding me. Five hundred and fifty structurally deficient bridges?’ And so we doubled our budget to work on our bridges, from $100 million a year to $200 million a year. But we got a lot more to do in this country to bring our infrastructure up to speed. And I’m looking at a series of proposals, to find ways – whether through public/private partnerships, whether through a special series of revenue streams such as tolls and so forth, to be able to make the investment we’ve got to make in our infrastructure.”

The candidate added: “We’ve got to find a way to rebuild our bridges, to rebuild the roads that were built in the 1950s and 1960s under the Eisenhower interstate highway system, and we’re going to have to improve many of our infrastructure projects.”

That language is not far off from language the president has recently used to promote his jobs plan.

For example, on September 22, Obama visited an old bridge spanning Ohio and Kentucky to talk about the nation’s deteriorating infrastructure.

"There's no reason to stand in the way of more jobs," the president said. "Mr. [House Speaker John] Boehner, Mr. [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell, help us rebuild this bridge. Help us rebuild America. Help us put this country back to work. Pass this jobs bill right away."

At other times, the president also has pushed the need to rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

Follow Shannon Travis on twitter: @ShanTravisCNN

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Jobs • Mitt Romney
soundoff (254 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens takes both sides, no spending for jobs, but a need to replace our deteriorating infrastructure.

    October 20, 2011 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If Mittens keeps putting his hands on Perry, he might need wooden teeth like George Washington.

    October 20, 2011 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  3. af

    Not so fast Romny, the people, the midle class have also their own word. Your Math is:

    (corporation + big enterprise ) – Midle class = Big profit.

    October 20, 2011 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I can hear it now, Anderson, help me, these people are picking on me. Spineless puppet for the Kochs.

    October 20, 2011 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  5. Wallace

    Did Romney just speak in support of rebuilding our infrastructure and then speak against it all in the same breath? Imagine that.

    October 20, 2011 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  6. Lisa

    Good luck with that, Mitt. The Republicans in the Senate just defeated another jobs measure. Keep it up and the Republicans will be wandering the desert for another generation.

    October 20, 2011 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  7. Isaac

    Sure he has a good chance at becoming the next president... when Obama's second term is up and he's running against Biden. I seriously doubt the man can even win his home state at this point. Romney only says what is prudent for him at the moment. You can't trust a word he says.

    October 20, 2011 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  8. NoTags

    If Mitt gets the GOP nomination his election as POTUS will be determined by how many States use Diebold voting machines.

    October 20, 2011 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  9. jimzcarz

    Judging from the amount of posts..I don't think your chances are too good bud...Save your money..
    just a thought..
    San Jose

    October 20, 2011 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  10. Pat in IL

    Of the Republican slate, Romney is theonly one who is intelligent and not nuts, so almost certainly, he will be their candidate. I am an Obama fan for some of the same reasons. It will be interesting to hear two intelligent men debate. The current "debates" are a joke.

    October 20, 2011 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  11. Mary Driver

    This whole story and his statement just shows you how out of touch this man is! He's a pretty idiot though!

    October 20, 2011 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  12. El Kababa

    Who cares which Conservative is nominated? They are interchangeable.

    October 20, 2011 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  13. Whome

    Mitt Romney on Thursday said he has a "good shot" at becoming president. Bet me.

    October 20, 2011 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  14. maf

    Oops! Spoke too soon!! Maybe he'll have to "walk back" his comments from tonight! The GOP is really good at trying to take back words uttered without THINKING!

    October 20, 2011 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  15. JBS

    I am very sure that the Republicans will steal Obamas idea to improve happened before.

    October 20, 2011 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  16. Liz the First

    He has a good shot at losing to Obama. the American people are now seeing what the rethugs are all about and it's not pretty. trashing the economy to make our president look bad, systematically disenfranchising voters all over the country to resolve the nonexistent problem of voter fraud. they've proved beyond a shadow of a doubt they have no respect for democracy. they're incapable of governing and have no interest in governing. they want to rule, for the benefit of the rulers. that's not America!!!!!!!!!

    October 20, 2011 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  17. Oscar

    This is not listed an op-ed piece yet it twists a report on Romney's campaign into a glowing tribute to Barack Obama. Is it any wonder that the main stream media is so distrusted? Journalism in America is indeed dead.

    October 20, 2011 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  18. T'sah from Virginia

    ►“We’ve got to find a way to rebuild our bridges, to rebuild the roads that were built in the 1950s and 1960s under the Eisenhower interstate highway system...◄

    Plagiarizing will get you NOWHERE!! Romney is so stuck on flip-flopping and trying to be like everyone else around him, he forgets where he heard what he is repeating!!!! And if it was Eisenhower who last built the bridges in his state, then why can't it be President Obama – with his JOBS PLAN – fix the bridges NOW!!!

    Jeez – and these morons got voters BELIEVING them!! No Romney, you will NOT be the next President of the United States!!!

    Obama 2012

    October 20, 2011 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  19. GOP = Greed Over People

    You still have not gotten out of the woods of the south and those back water baptists, Mittens, so, do not get too arrogant too fast. Although I do agree you appear to be the most sane GOP offering but I am afraid the southern baptists are going to offer you up to the lions in the arena.

    October 20, 2011 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  20. Ha Ha !

    This is too funny ! Hey Romney ! I too have a good shot at becoming the next President ! Will that actually happen ? Heck NO ! Will it happen for you Romney ? The same answer for you applies here , HECK NO !!!!!!!!!!

    October 20, 2011 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  21. T Ruiz

    After Tuesdays debate, I am completely onboard with Mitt for 2012. Perry..You lost my support. Please stop wasting the nations time.

    October 20, 2011 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    It is unfortunate that what Romney says would help the economy is exactly what the President has been pushing for the last three years. What is worse, the President's plan did not fail, in fact it has been beneficial in that it has prevented a second great depression and kept our economy afloat. The worst thing Romney has said is that just because ONE piece of legislation has, in his very shallow opinion, not worked, that we should automatically not approve anything the President puts forth. This is pathetic.

    October 20, 2011 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  23. Squigman

    Not with my vote, you wont.

    October 20, 2011 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  24. logic in LA

    If Obama cannot turn it around, his comment is correct. there is no one else on that side that has a shot.

    October 20, 2011 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  25. Yikes!

    Not in this lifetime!

    October 20, 2011 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
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