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. Tom

    And those of you who say Romney has no shot are dangerously out of touch with reality. Whether you like him or not, he polls neck and neck with Obama in the hypotheticals. To say he has no shot is a self-dillusion, and a dangerous one if you oppose him. If Obama isn't taking the man for granted (see: the ads against Romney the DNC puts out every two days) then neither should you. He is the only legitimate threat to the white house, and should be handled as such.

    October 21, 2011 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  2. Chuk

    You have no chance, flip-flopper.

    October 21, 2011 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  3. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    That is why I am encouraging all of my Democratic friends to change their affiliations to Republican so they can vote for either Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain or Rick Perry in their state primaries and caucuses!

    October 21, 2011 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  4. PA_outof work

    a Half Glass of water can beat Obama in the 2012 election, Sure Ronmey has a good shot at being president.

    October 21, 2011 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  5. Ivywoods

    My, my, talk about being stupid...hey, Mittens, you don't even have your party's nod yet...are you sure you can get pass the ones carrying the Bibles and saying that you are part of a cult? Since you are almost claiming a win next Novmber, you better hope they start to read that Bible before next year, or you will look like the arrogant fool we already know you actually are....

    October 21, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  6. Greg

    Americans will not vote for a Mormon or a right wing extremist!

    October 21, 2011 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  7. nagrom

    Let's see he said a good SHOT Doesn't that bode evil like Sarah Palin who is always talking about shooting something or someone? And I am from MASS Ask Mr Infrastructure how much the BIG DIG has cost the state so far. Try Billions. And guess what. The underneath portion of the tunnel is sinking because no one firmed up the base of the street. Now they are talking about drilling an putting cement in order to shore things up before they collapse. And don't get me started on leaking walls and falling lights. Under MR Repukes watch. Oh and don't get me started on his closing corporations and sending jobs overseas. The list goes on. Does anyone really want the liar in the White House? Not me for sure.

    October 21, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  8. samb

    every time romney says stimulus his magic underwear shocks him!

    October 21, 2011 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Lynda/Minnesota observed:
    How original of Romney to decry President Obama "infrastructure" as wasted stimulus ... while at the same time promoting Romney "infrastructure" as job creation.
    Good call. Infrastructure spending was in the 2009 Recovery Act, which Romney repeatedly says failed.

    I think Gov. Rommey overstepped the party line with his infrastructure remarks. The party line is to rebuild infrastructure in abroad, not at home. Mitt was a bit early with those remarks by about 10 months and a GOTP nomination. That is something a GOTP should be saying next year this time to appeal to moderates and independents. Not now.

    October 21, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  10. Tired of the nonsense

    Obama will be president for another four years.
    He'll keep trying to undo the damage the GOP has done to this country.
    Hopefully, by the end of his next administration, the GOP will have learned how NOT to be the dark side of the Force.

    October 21, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  11. Randy, San Francisco

    Romney will lose moderate and independent votes as he moves further right to appease Tea Party and social conservative extremists.

    October 21, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  12. Andrew

    Take a poll, Mitt! Hold a stone to your forehead and tell us the future! Get a lizard to tell us the future!

    October 21, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  13. Brad5013

    Precipitation of action proliferates negation of economy . . .

    October 21, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  14. CT artist

    American's are overly critical of people. I feel bad for Mitt and Barack. Both these guys are under the magnifying glass 24/7. I am afraid America is going in a bad direction, not because of the candidates, rather the media reporting every word, every move, every breath according to their desired outcomes. This article is one of those which attracts anti-repub comments and widens the gap of disunity in our country. I voted Barrack Obama in 2008. I may or may not in 2012. Right now, I am leaning toward Mitt. Looking forward to seeing the two debate.

    October 21, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  15. Skitownrefugee

    Look Romney – Up here in Maine we have lots of wells for domestic water and if the well looses its prime, you've got to find some water somewhere and prime the pump – and that's what these stimulus bills are all about. So if at first you don't succeed, you try and try again because you need the water that's down in the well to survive. Maybe the Obama administration's first gallon didn't bring the water to the surface – so you don't give up and say – "Nobody use any water". What you do is give it another shot and another shot and another shot until it flows again. Doing nothing more than criticizing the president sure isn't going to solve anything.

    In addition, how can you (Romney) go around saying that Obama doesn't understand economics? He's been president for 33 months now and he's a damn smart guy. 33 months as president has got to be equal to a PHD in the subject – no? Actually being president for that long equals a PHD in lots of disciplines.

    October 21, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  16. JLFuller

    No one is going to do anything if we don't nominate someone who beat Obama. If we don't Obama will continue with his wealth redistribution plans and he will keep making his cronies rich with your tax money. Most of the voters find the Libertarian revolution extreme and too awful to contemplate. We want someone to fix the economy and shrink governement not start a revolution.

    October 21, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  17. us1776

    I'm sorry, but America is not going to elect Clark Griswold as president.


    October 21, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  18. w l jones

    The stimulus bill must be working you do not see anybody walking around hunger like 1929 and early 30s. All the cars and truck on every street and highways mean people have money in there pocket. Enough said.

    October 21, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  19. Al-NY,NY

    The dinosaurs will return before Mittens becomes POTUS. He doesn't even have the nomination, and will not likely get it since he belongs to a cult (to bother the thumpers) and is a big spend, socialized medicine RINO (to the T-B party). Hey MItt, get the nod first before you start checking out the china patterns

    October 21, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  20. Robert - Atlanta

    A friend of mine and coworker, a very nice man, republican and Baptist deacon, said recently ALL Mormons are going to Hell. Period.

    I’ve never heard him say a bad word about anyone else. But, the religious right in this country will NEVER vote for Romney! Period.

    October 21, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  21. 99%er

    Heaven help the working man............. We`ll be back to the old company stores & company housing so common prior to the rise of unions.

    October 21, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  22. Drummer

    So Mitt thinks:
    Stimulus to put people to work fixing infrastructure = bad
    Toll booths so that the people pay to put themselves to work fixing infrastructure = good

    October 21, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  23. Roger

    If the Republicans want to have a chance of electing someone they need to get rid of this current group of losers and find someone with even a minute chance of going up against President Obama. It would be a most interesting convention if the delegates refuted all the candidates and drafted someone! Now that would make for an exciting race. Right now, my vote goes to President Obama. He is clearly the only choice.

    October 21, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  24. Maria

    My vote will not go to a man whose true colors are never seen. This flip floppers', ideas blow in which ever direction the wind blows. He makes statements of convenience, not ones carefully thought though, and he thinks the people in town halls are idiots. This insensitivity to middle America is fatal for all who act this way in 2012....and by the way don't count chickens before they are hatched......just saying

    October 21, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  25. Wall Street Crime Victim

    There were so many lies in MItten's statements it's hard to know where to begin.

    October 21, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
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