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. GaryB

    It's my observation that none of the Republican candidates has a working knowledge of how corporations work, or if they do, they are lying to the American people. Corporations don't automatically hire people if you simply cut their taxes; pretty much all legitimate studies and historical analysis bear this out. Unless a corporation has a sound business need to hire people - or the tax break is contingent on the hiring of new people, it will simply use the tax breaks to increase its net profits.

    October 21, 2011 04:34 am at 4:34 am |
  2. Jake

    Good shot at being president? Not likely. He has a better shot at getting hit by a car, hit by lightning, contracting herpes, losing a finger during a cavity search, learning to write, speaking the truth(this might be a real tough one for him), selling his soul( already done that one, right i forgot) and here's the big one...jamming a circle into a square.

    October 21, 2011 05:08 am at 5:08 am |
  3. jrcnnjr

    Don't count on it . . . Keep your day job, that is, if you have one . . .

    October 21, 2011 05:08 am at 5:08 am |
  4. pacojones

    Really? Who says so? I've crunched the numbers and no matter how you do the math they all the same thing: Loser.

    October 21, 2011 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  5. cm

    That's a good joke, LOL

    October 21, 2011 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  6. works4me

    Jobs bill didn't work... It kept us from going down the drain entirely, moron. For our President to create jobs, which is not his job, he'd have to pay for them, by raising taxes, plain and simple. The overly greedy CEOs need to open their multi-billion dollar wallets and stop forcing one employee to do the job of four in fear of being fired. Lies, greed and collusion is the only language they understand.

    October 21, 2011 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  7. Scott

    thiers a good chance that aliens will take over the earth to Milt. IF that is all the repubs can put out their, Obama is as good as reelected.

    October 21, 2011 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  8. CoporateWelfare

    He looks like the guy who'd sue you 6 mo. after a car accident despite saying everythings fine, don't worry about it. He also looks like he feels dirty around people in public, like they all come from the sewers, one thing though, if he didn't come close in 2008 (8%) what makes him think you can he can pull in 7 times the vote when your still the same candidate running for office. Mitt Romeny/Corporate Wellfare for 2012! sounds like a sinking ship to me.

    October 21, 2011 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  9. nancyke

    more like "a fat chance"

    October 21, 2011 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  10. dreucalypt

    So Romney actually favors all of the elements in President Obama's jobs bill, and only opposes it because Obama proposed it. What a hypocrite and opportunist he is!

    October 21, 2011 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  11. TomInRochNY

    Mitt has the flip-flop thing down to a science. He blasts the infrastructure/jobs bill the president proposes and at the same time says we need to spend more on infrastructure. He's the ultimate R talking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time.

    October 21, 2011 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  12. GI Joe

    ...... and I might win the lottery ..............

    October 21, 2011 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  13. Bev

    heaven help us if he becomes president our country is in critical condition we need someone who is for the middle class mitt is not he's a martha vinyards type.

    October 21, 2011 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  14. Markpro

    Sure you do Willard. But you have an even better shot at losing.

    October 21, 2011 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  15. Jon S.

    "“The Republican Party right now has attacked both its ‘neo-con’ elite and its ‘traditional-con’ elite,” said Heather Hurlburt of the National Security Network. “They sort of don’t know what they think. They don’t listen to their own people…they just don’t have a coherent worldview.”"

    And that is all there is to say about the GOP. No GOPer will be President when they are more concerned with who practices the "right" form" of christianity than anything else.

    October 21, 2011 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  16. Phil T. Listener

    The Romney – Perry battles have just started.
    This is going to almost as good as the Frazier – Ali battles.
    Maybe they'll come up with catchy names for the next few debates too, like
    Rumble in the Jungle, Thrilla in Manilla.

    Of the top three, Romney seems to be the only intelligent and sane one in the room, he's just slick for me.

    October 21, 2011 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  17. Terry

    Too much cool aid Mitt. The American people, those older Americans, the middle class, and the poor, were taken down a pathway of total bologna in 2010, and the Republican Party has done nothing to bring about job growth, or care for the people who really need help. The battle cry of "Defeat Obama-care" is now the battle cry of "Defeat Romney-care" because both plans are the same. So now, you stand with the President of the United States. What strange bedfellows healthcare has created.

    October 21, 2011 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  18. diridi

    what a prediction, are you going to astrology school? Obama is weeding out all terrorists, nasty detectors, etc, I bet GOP is backed by these guys...

    October 21, 2011 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  19. DemFL

    There is a good chance he will receive the Republicants Nomination but that's about it.......

    October 21, 2011 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  20. yoshi

    I talk to a lot of my friends about Romney and he continues to impress people. He's a sharp guy, has a solid track record. The only liability he has is Romneycare and frankly, I admire how he tried something to tackle the health care issue – most people in the US are struggling with skyrocketing health insurance costs but the lobbyists have managed to suppress this. Romney can beat Obama and FIX this country. Let's get behind him so others drop out and he can save his war chest to go after Obama. He will need it!

    October 21, 2011 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  21. Peace

    Does Romney have day dreams??? He should ask McCain. He was also dreaming the same and his dreams never came true.

    October 21, 2011 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  22. Louisiana Man

    Mittens is mimicking Obama's jobs plan verbatim. Obama's job's bill is voted down by the illustrious congress-who wants failure at every turn. Despite rallying for GWB's wars, mitt is a draft dodger-his FIVE sons also NEVER donned a uniform while simultaneously cheer leading for stupid wars. His business was to DOWNSIZE=layoffs and increase company's bottom line. He's a drone's man, alright.

    October 21, 2011 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  23. Tom

    As Romney explained in an earlier debate, while the president is focusing on infrastructure-related jobs, there is not enough planning or long-term thought on the issue. That is why the first plan was "a flash in the pan." Romney has said the focus must be on long-term "shovel-ready" jobs. Just throwing money around labeled "infrastructure" won't cut it. So, your analysis of the issue as approached by the two men is a shallow one. While they have used similar words, their described and evidenced approaches are radically different.

    October 21, 2011 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  24. beevee

    Don't get to cocky, that might be your downfall, But then youu are a politician whos says one thing todya and contradicts it the next day.

    October 21, 2011 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  25. zb

    Mitt Romney: The Phony-Flip-Flopper-In-Chief.

    (Notice he actually doesn’t even answer the question about infrastructure.)

    FACT CHECK: The Stimulus Plan DID WORK: The nation was saved from going into a depression caused by Republican Policies; the automobile industry was saved; millions of jobs were saved, the recession was ended, and the economy was actually improving until Republicans took control of the house as the Party of NO, and held the nation hostage to going bankrupt.

    A vote for Romney or any Republican/Tparty candidate is a vote for lunacy.

    October 21, 2011 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
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