Romney tight-lipped on big day
January 19th, 2012
01:04 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney tight-lipped on big day

(CNN) - Chased by reporters for a comment on the news that Rick Perry has dropped out of the race for the GOP nomination, Mitt Romney offered only a few words of praise for the Texas Governor.

"Governor Perry. Terrific guy. Terrific conservative. Been a great governor. Been great in the race. We're gonna miss him on the stage," Romney said referring to tonight's CNN Debate in Charleston.

Tune in Thursday at 8 p.m. ET for the CNN/Southern Republican Presidential Debate hosted by John King and follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate. For real-time coverage of the South Carolina primary, go to or to the CNN apps or CNN mobile web site.

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Romney appeared determined to avoid making any remarks on the day's other major development, that he did not win the Iowa caucuses after all.

Iowa GOP officials announced Thursday Rick Santorum had a 34 vote lead in the contest after there certification was completed. But they note that several precincts were unable to be certified making the full actual results unlikely to ever be known.

At an event just outside his campaign headquarters in Charleston, Romney was asked repeatedly by reporters for his take on the Iowa results. The former Massachusetts governor blew past the press and left the event without making any remarks on the caucuses.

Early this morning, the Romney campaign released a statement declaring the caucuses a "virtual tie." A few hours later, the Santorum campaign issued its own press release with the headline: "Santorum wins Iowa."

In his remarks to the small crowd gathered outside his Charleston office, Romney made no mention of either Perry's departure nor the Iowa results.

Instead he focused his attention on President Obama and his main rival in South Carolina, Newt Gingrich.

Romney poked fun at the President's event at Walt Disney World today. "He's going to be in Fantasyland and it's obviously appropriate because he's been living in a sort of Fantasyland these last few years," Romney said.

He then directed a jab at Gingrich, saying the President "may bump into Speaker Gingrich down there in Fantasyland." Romney said Gingrich's claim that he created jobs while in Congress shows he fails to understand how the economy works.

Technically the president is speaking in the Main Street USA area of the park, not Fantasyland.

"I know how jobs come. They don't come because of Washington. They come in some cases in spite of Washington," Romney said.

Romney was joined on stage with three of his top surrogates, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, and Ohio Senator Rob Portman.

In a lighter moment at the event, Romney led the crowd in a rendition of Happy Birthday for Haley who turns 40 today.

Later on, a protester interrupted Romney's remarks, asking him when he would release his tax returns.

"April," Romney answered.

Also see:

FIRST ON CNN: Perry dropping out of GOP race

Polls: South Carolina primary tightening hours before crucial debate

Gingrich as compares Romney's 'desperate' attacks to 2008 campaign

Romney the establishment, Santorum the 'rebel,' ad says

Filed under: Mitt Romney • President Obama • South Carolina
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Josaphat Daniels

    He has been lying and spreading false rumors about Obama, where is the cordiality in that.

    January 19, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. Woman In California

    What to know what else Romney is "tight lipped about"?

    1. His cult of a religion (why blacks are filthy animals)
    2. His off shore accounts
    3. His tax returns
    4. His military service as well (as that of his son's)
    5. His mistreatment of his poor dog and the list goes on. These are just a few.

    January 19, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. Robert

    Gingrich is going to murder you tonight Mr. Mittens. With Perry gone and Paul in La-la land, it's just you and him. Ohhhh, I forgot the religious fanatic!


    January 19, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. Minor Bird

    ""Governor Perry. Terrific guy. Terrific conservative. Been a great governor. Been great in the race. We're gonna miss him on the stage," Mitt's going to send him a nice fruit basket.

    January 19, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  5. Mark

    Romney is a turd

    January 19, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. m

    The only Fantasyland is the one Willard lives in. He just doesn't get it, no one really likes the creep.

    January 19, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Mark

    What's the big deal? He is being civil to a losing candidate, there is nothing unusual in that. Now what is really interesting is his statement that governments do not create jobs. He's right, they don't. They may create policy, create conditions that are conducive or detrimental – but they do not create jobs.

    So that means the GOP cannot ever take credit for jobs.

    January 19, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. DavidE7

    The best comment on this thread is that Romney argues that the government does not create jobs, but if elected the head of the government, he will create millions of jobs. That is Mitt Romney in a few well chosen words.

    January 19, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. us1776

    Romney, the best sociopath liar that money can buy.


    January 19, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. Robert

    Mittens is better off being "tight lipped." Every time he opens his mouth, something damaging comes out. His poor staff - it must be like walking behind an elephant in a parade - so much "stuff" to clean up.

    January 19, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. Big George in Big D

    @Debra from Georgia! Boy are you daft!

    January 19, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. A Texan

    I`m just an old line Moderate Republican who cannot abide with any of these candidates-- They have just moved too damn far to the right for me.

    January 19, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  13. Joseph Smith

    Who is supporting Romney other than LDS/Mormons?

    January 19, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  14. Dennis

    Rick Perry is supporting Newt because Rick knows Newt is a looser. Rick Perry wants to run in 2016 and that is why he doesn't want another republican to win.

    January 19, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. Natalie

    This guy thinks $375,000 is small change? Those of you who vote for this fool who are middle or lower class, will deserve what you get. You will get someone who has no clue what real America is all about and that's exactly what created this economical mess. Thank goodness at least Obama, though he's not perfect, understands the middle class and actually fights for us. Mittens is fake all the way; just pandering for votes, especially when he wears those jeans.

    January 19, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  16. timz

    "Oh . . . oh . . . oh! I know how jobs come!!"

    OK, Mittens. How do jobs come in your experience?

    "They come when your Daddy is rich and influential."

    January 19, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  17. Publius Novus

    There is a fundamental disconnect in Romney's president-as-job-creator logic. According to Romney, ""I know how jobs come. They don't come because of Washington. They come in some cases in spite of Washington." If that is true, then at best, the president has nothing to do with job creation. The president, according to Romney, is irrelevant to job creation. That being the case, then why should we elect Romney president? At the same time, if the president is irrelevant to job creation, then why is he blaming President Obama for a supposed lack of job creation?

    January 19, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  18. Scott O' Canada

    The democrats are going to eat the republicans for lunch startting in April. Can see it now ..."Mitt claims to not have made much for his public speaking engagements. To the tune of $380,000. That would be a good decade for most Americans."
    Super Pacs ...start your engines.

    January 19, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  19. Woman In California

    Correction: I meant WANT to know what else Romney is "tight lipped about"?

    January 19, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |

    Dirty tricks GOBP trot out the wife of Newt to Cain him for SC. Perry leaves as Mittens finds out that he didn't win in Iowa. The GOBP Rove wingnut/teabagger trainwreck implosion is here.

    January 19, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  21. Woman In California


    I don't know about you, but I want the smartest, most patriotic, and best leader our country can get, and in my opinion, that man is Romney. He made a lot of money because he's smart and has proven that he can surround himself with smart people. The SLC Olympic games were set to loose more money than any other games, and Romney came in and made them profitable. Massachusetts had a $3 Billion budget deficit and Romney managed the turn around of that state's finances. He's the man to get the United States back to work and growing again.

    NEWSFLASH: MOST people have no idea what Romney's REAL name is. I wouldn't place too much hope on his presidency just based on that FACT alone.

    January 19, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    """Governor Perry. Terrific guy. Terrific conservative. Been a great governor. Been great in the race. We're gonna miss him on the stage," Mitt's going to send him a nice fruit basket."

    More like leftover pizza.

    January 19, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  23. 5041360

    mitt needs to release his tax returns and the he needs to talk about his off shore bank accounts- – this guy has a lot to to hide and it isn't pretty-

    January 19, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. FactCheck

    Massachusetts had a $3 Billion budget deficit and Romney managed the turn around of that state's finances.

    You know how he turned around those finances? He raised taxes (capital gains, internet sales tax, small business taxes, increased fees). And then you know what else he did? He enacted mandatory health care coverage. He is what most folks around here would call a democrat.

    January 19, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  25. mfx3

    Romney just didn't want the "liberal media" to get too close and smell the huge crap he just took in his pants now that he's taking heat for not releasing tax records AND watching Gingrich take SC away from him. Perry just gave Mitt the ultimate middle finger, and hilarity ensues.

    January 19, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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