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. Dan

    @The Real Tom Paine......."He does not have a clue as to how real people live"
    Neither does our 'Nobel Peach Prize President (who by the way has launched more missiles than ALL Nobel Peace Prize winners combined) couldn't care less about "how the real people live". So, what's your point.

    October 21, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Kathleen Farrell you're absolutely correct and I am living proof of it. People have no idea how many 'tentacles' the car industry has in our country, in our economy; parts manufacturers and distributors, tires, tire makers, the people that supply the raw materials, and on and on. And we're not even talking about the managerial and administrative positions. It is NOT just cars people.
    I am thankful for the auto bailout, as it saved my job and the jobs of MILLIONS.

    October 21, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  3. Wylie Mike

    Mr. President, stop pilfering the funds already dedicated to maintaining and building infrastructure.

    October 21, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. Annie, Atlanta

    My advice: coming off as if the position were owed to you looks more like desperation from where I'm sitting. Just saying.

    October 21, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Dennis who stated: "Romney has a grasp of economic issues that Obama simply doesn't have."

    Just curious. What do you base your opinion on?

    October 21, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. Samuel

    "Good shot"!? LOL. McCain also had a "Great Shot" according to the polls a few years ago, until voting time, when Obama dominated him. Sadly, Romney is one of the top 2 candidates for the GOP - which isn't saying much - but ultimately you will all see how many ACTUAL Americans want him in the President's seat. Not as many as the media wants you to believe.

    October 21, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  7. Noodle Nose Johnson

    "Corporations are people, my friend"
    "A managed bankruptcy may be the only path to the fundamental restructuring the (auto) industry needs."

    And considering how many people lost their jobs while you were a corporate raider at Bain, your "shot" may not be as good as you might think, Mitty.

    October 21, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  8. Woman In California

    @ Orchid333

    Hmmm.... sounds like Mitt has the same goals in mind as our current President. The problem is that our current prez has a way to pay for these projects that Mitt's side of the coin refuses to pass. How does Mitt propose to pay for the infrastructure jobs? Gonna take that money away from our Seniors? Gonna take it away from the poor? Might as well call him the Sheriff of Nottingham.

    Well spoken. Thank you.

    October 21, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. Laverne

    Not so fast Mitt, you sir can't even get above 25% support from your own party which indicates to me they are not enthusiastic about embracing you. You have a good shot at NOT becoming president!

    October 21, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. Just Saying

    Romney is the least badly unqualified Republican in the race. That leaves him so far from being qualified that it is a tragedy for the nation. I am not thrilled with President Obama but any of the GOP contenders would merely finish the destruction of this country that George W. Bush did so much to start. Just Saying...

    October 21, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota


    I agree. His last debate showed an anger that I don't think was directed entirely at Perry for interrupting him, but was also directed at the "process" which forces him to have to actually address we the people. That unscripted snippet of "I can't have illegals working for me because I'm running for office" was insightful as to how his mind set actually does work. It's the "little" people (voters) who seem to be getting most in the way of Mitt Romney achieving that which Mitt Romney absolutely thinks he deserves. Hence his continual backtracking, depending on which group of people he feels he has to pander to on any given day, regardless of who they are. I suspect this will only get worse as the primary elections continue.

    October 21, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. Woman In California

    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.

    BOTH of you did your homework and EVERYTHING you said sums it up.

    October 21, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  13. Buster Bloodvessel

    And that's it for the Republican Debates, and we hope you had a good time. Sorry we couldn't find a candidate, but Obama's going to win anyway so who cares. We'll be in the bar, drowning our sorrows.

    October 21, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. Robert - Atlanta

    Romney will NOT even win the RethugLiecan nomination – I’m afraid it will be Perry! Slick Rick has charisma and appeals to the women. My wife cares nothing about politics but stops to listen to Perry every time he’s on TeeVee. Perry is just like The Moron except not as smart or ethical.

    October 21, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  15. Mitt-ster

    The big question for Mitt is if "corporations are people too" then in that rational are "unions more people too"?
    Unions deliberately are meant to represent working people, but corporations at best might represent people's money (working or not) which I guess as far as Romeney is concerned equals the people?

    October 21, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. Jake

    and there is a GREAT shot you will NOT be the next President, because it's looking like you can't even secure the nomination. If your fellow Republicans dislike you SO MUCH, how do you expect to win the general election? Especially with new news that you will "ABSOLUTELY" make a move to make contraception illegal (wether you realize you said this or not, Mr Huckabee must be very pleased with himself!)

    October 21, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  17. WatchOne

    You can't trust this guy. He flips more than a fish... I'm against the birth control pill, no I support birth control. I'm against spending for infrastructure, no I'm against spending for infrastructure... I can't have illegals working for me I'm runing for president. This guy is just another whack job.

    October 21, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  18. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    I'd say MUCH MORE than a good chance Mitt. Of course he was being modest. The utter incompetence of the Obama administration has been a disaster. We would have been off the last few years with the dog catcher in the Whitehouse.

    October 21, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  19. Roger

    "Corporations are people"! Nice catch phrase to ensure you are really going to work for the middle class if elected.
    Obama 2012 and turn the House so we can take the trash out. Get Boehner out of there.

    October 21, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  20. Emery

    I wouldn't count my chickens before they are hatched. Obama still has a very good chance of re-election, despite what some people (mostly those who are extremely Right-winged) believe.

    October 21, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  21. yellowdog

    Is Hell freezing over?

    October 21, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  22. Avram

    "Has a good shot"??? I want a candidate believes he's definetelly going to win.

    October 21, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. drummerjoe

    The needs are the same, but the plans are different. Obama's plan focuses on time spending to get some projects started. It sounds like Romney's advocating increasing the infrastructure alottment in the budget, so you have continued effort on that front, not a "flash in the pan" like the one audience member described.

    October 21, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  24. The Jokester

    I have a better shot at winning the lottery than Romney being President, and I don't buy lottery tickets.

    October 21, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  25. MsDiva

    Wow, it appears that everyone on here is more consumed with picking the candidate that answers all of their questions in the correct tone and terminology, more so than really listening to answers and foresight. Romney clearly is saying he agrees that infrastructure is a key component to rebuilding America. He also is saying he will find and agree to a program that will do just that without wasting the American tax payers money on government funded bureaucratic agencies that only eat up the funding without producing (Obama’s jobs bill). It's not just red or blue people; it's about the RED, WHITE & BLUE. Have some patriotism people!! Let's look for answers to our countries problems and support those who are in search of the same! I put more faith in a man that follows his foresight and owns up to his mistakes over a man with no accountability; that is a real leader.

    October 21, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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