Romney makes closing argument in Iowa
December 27th, 2011
09:05 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney makes closing argument in Iowa

Davenport, Iowa (CNN) - One week before the GOP presidential candidates face off in the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney took the fight to Vice President Joe Biden in a speech the campaign billed as his closing argument Tuesday.

"You frankly have to feel sorry for Joe Biden," Romney told a standing-room-only audience in Davenport, where many chuckled at the mention of the gaffe-prone vice president. "I mean, four years ago he warned us about Barack Obama. Turns out he was right."

Biden dropped out of the presidential race in 2008 after disappointing caucus results.

A Romney aide said the GOP candidate was referencing a remark then-Sen. Biden made in a 2007 debate, when the moderator asked if he stood by previous comments that Obama "can be ready, but right now, I don't believe he is."

"I think I stand by that statement," Biden said in 2007, when he was still competing against Obama for the Democratic nomination.

Romney played off that admission and Biden's reputation for talkativeness Tuesday.

"Now, of course every day he has to keep quiet about that," Romney said. "You know how hard it is for Joe to keep quiet."

The attack was a shift in direction for the GOP candidate, who earlier Tuesday traded insults with Newt Gingrich in the lead-up to the Jan. 3 vote. That morning in New Hampshire, Romney mocked the organization efforts of Gingrich's campaign.

Later in the day, the former House speaker told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that Romney needed to "be man enough" to stand behind negative ads run by a super PAC supportive of Romney's candidacy.

In Davenport, Romney did not take aim at any of his GOP rivals. He fixed on Biden's Dec. 23 opinion editorial in the Des Moines Register that charged Romney's economic policies would throw America's economy into further turmoil.

"Romney appears satisfied to settle for an economy in which fewer people succeed, while the majority of Americans are left to tread water or fall behind," Biden wrote.

The GOP candidate told the audience Tuesday: "blaming others in not a plan to get America working," and directed some comments to the vice president.

"We do care that under your policies more Americans have lost their jobs, more Americans are on food stamps, and more Americans have lost their homes," he said.

Romney will spend Dec. 28 – 31 on a bus tour through Iowa.

Follow Rachel Streitfeld on Twitter at @streitfeldcnn

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Vice President Biden
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Indy

    That has to be one of the weakest closing arguements I have ever heard, but coming from someone who got their butt whipped in 2008 you just frankly have to feel sorry for Romney.Mitts is right that Americans will never see anything good as long as Republicans keep blaming Obama for everything Bush caused. Mitts is one weak geek going after Biden for a comment made when he was running for POTUS, at least Biden got a job after he was defeated and didn't whine a cry for six years like Romney.

    December 27, 2011 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  2. Taylor

    Romey is so fake uuuggghhh !!!!!

    December 27, 2011 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  3. Mark

    "Blaming others is not a plan to get American working" well said Mr Romney but, isnt that what you are doing?
    Bet ya 10k you don't have a plan that's any better than Bush had and look where that got us. Even Trump has dumped
    the GOP because the whole lot of you are baffoons. I will give you and Mr Paul some credit over the others,
    at least you two got on the ballot for the Va. primary unlike the rest of the GOP baffoons.

    December 27, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  4. Thomas

    Mitt is so funny !
    He almost makes me feel like I'm back in Mr Rogers Neighborhood , then again Mr Rogers wasn't a Flip Flopper.

    December 27, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  5. skarphace

    The establishment and the media want a Romney vs Obama matchup. Either way, they get 4 more years of the same.

    Do not let the media pick our next President. Ron Paul 2012.

    December 27, 2011 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  6. Vet4RonPaul

    Obama, Romney and Gingrich are Chicken Hawk Neocon War-Mongers. Too Chicken to serve in the military and too hawkish to promote unjust wars. I am a military veteran and the troops and vets cannot stand Chicken Hawks to be the Commander In Chief.

    December 27, 2011 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    Hmmmm – seems the republicans warned us 4 years ago that Mitt Romney was not presidential material.

    Why is HE back making a fool of himself AGAIN?

    December 27, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  8. Morpunkt

    Our next president. You will be surprised at how great he will become. Mark my words, all you cynical skeptics.

    December 27, 2011 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  9. bilk7

    For all of VP Biden's "gaffes" I'd take his blunt honesty over Romney's phoniness anyday!

    December 27, 2011 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  10. Larry L

    His closing argument... "I'm all things to all people and will change my position to fit the needs of the moment... but best of all... I'm not a black man! Look at me... you can tell right away! We all know how important that is to all of you folks!".

    Will Romney's cult be acceptable to the other cult? We'll see...

    December 27, 2011 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  11. T'sah from Virginia

    ►Obama "can be ready, but right now, I don't believe he is."◄

    But Biden did go on and become Vice President of someone he believed was NOT READY?? And President Obama proved Biden and folks like Romney WRONG, didn’t he??!!! After awhile Romney is not going to have anything to say negatively about President Obama.

    As Obama's approval ratings RISE –
    Romney will be "lost for words" and that will be his DEMISE!!!

    Obama 2012!!

    December 27, 2011 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  12. Jeff

    Romney 2012!

    December 28, 2011 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  13. gar

    All we hear is the idiot Romney blaming Pres. Obama for everything under the sun...
    Romney=TOTAL LOSER

    December 28, 2011 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  14. jus-saying

    Romney.... bet me 10,000 dollars your going to be President. I'm confident most other Americans are not stupid enough to vote for you, but your Mormon Church is pretty powerful and wealthy too. So, if I was to lose I'd have to take out a loan to pay you off, unlike you who wouldn't even have to write a check. You're wealthy but an ignorant man.

    December 28, 2011 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  15. sam9962

    Msg to Romney...You may be able to fire off cheap shots against your very weak GOP opponents but be careful..."he's ready now!"... We've been watching the side show for a very long time...we're ready with him. OBAMA 2012

    December 28, 2011 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  16. Marry

    Wow, Romney, the „corporations are people“ and “moving jobs abroad” guy, is trying to tell you that he cares suddenly about the middle class and the poor… after “letting the housing crises run it’s course”… Are you going to believe that BS? I don’t!

    December 28, 2011 04:23 am at 4:23 am |
  17. surfson

    Yes Mitt ; turn the attention away from your Mandevillian economics success and onto the prior irrelevant political hyperbple' that your staff has dregged up for you to hit like a 3 yr old might do at T-ball. The problem with your prep and Polish is that that's all there is. You remind me of those hollow glass christmas ornaments, all shiney and attractive and hollow.

    December 28, 2011 04:33 am at 4:33 am |
  18. PackersFans

    Vote for Mitt Romney!!!

    December 28, 2011 04:36 am at 4:36 am |
  19. Anonymous

    This guy scares many he looks like a blood thirsty flip floping vampire!

    December 28, 2011 05:20 am at 5:20 am |
  20. Anyone else except Romneys!!!

    "Romney makes closing argument in Iowa"? did he have an opening argument yet with Mitts the Governor vs Mitten wannabe President? what a joke!!

    December 28, 2011 05:24 am at 5:24 am |
  21. GaryB

    When Obama took office, unemployment was rising every month and home foreclosures were rising every month. Those trends have been reversed, and those numbers are dropping. Sure, it's not fast enough for some people, but economies don't turn on a dime, stimulus programs take time to take effect, and in any case (as the Republicans often pointed out during the Bush Recessions), there's only so much the president can do - he's not a king. Factor in a record number of Republican fillibusters in the Senate for the last two years and a hostile Republican house for the last 12 months, and it's remarkable that Obama has accomplished effected as much postivie change as he has.

    December 28, 2011 05:25 am at 5:25 am |
  22. Mike

    No story on Ron Paul? A clear front runner. Thanks for your bias CNN!

    December 28, 2011 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  23. NoTags

    Even if "Mittens" gets the GOP nomination he can't win in the general election. Independents are too smart to vote for him and Evangelicals won't vote for hime because he's a Mormon.

    December 28, 2011 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  24. Debra From Georgia

    VP President Biden was right about Barack Obama, he will turn this economy around and he is doing it, 21 months of private job growth is the President record. Romney is a liar and an idiot. He has robbed Americans out of millions of jobs, through Bain Capital. He would not know the truth if it it him in the face.

    December 28, 2011 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  25. Just Say No to Flipper!

    That's Romney's "even robots can look mad" face.

    December 28, 2011 07:07 am at 7:07 am |