Romney pokes Obama’s speech prep
January 21st, 2012
12:28 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney pokes Obama’s speech prep

(CNN) – Mitt Romney mocked a conference call President Barack Obama held with supporters to talk about his State of the Union speech by doling out tips at a campaign event on Saturday, the day South Carolina voters head to the polls.

"He was having a conference call with his donors and was soliciting ideas for his State of the Union address. He asked them what he ought to talk about, so I've got some ideas for him," Romney told campaign volunteers in Greenville, South Carolina referencing the president's address to Congress this coming Tuesday.

It's a big day for politics in South Carolina Saturday on CNN. Tune in at 4 p.m. ET to see the candidates debate the issues from Thursday night's edge-of-your-seat debate then, at 6 p.m. ET, CNN's special live coverage of the South Carolina primary begins. See the results as they come in on on CNN, and the CNN mobile apps.

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But Ben LaBolt, press secretary for Obama's reelection effort, said the former Massachusetts governor was incorrect in his characterization of the call and he issued a tweet in response.

"Romney's claim that POTUS asked donors for SOTU ideas is false - call was with mayors & electeds. Romney will say ANYTHING to get elected," LaBolt wrote.

Obama held a call with local leaders Friday, as he has done before previous State of the Unions, to discuss the impending speech, according to a senior administration official.

On Saturday, Romney jokingly suggested someone make a donation to Obama's reelection effort so he may participate in the discussions.

"I think it may be worth it to see if we can help him craft a different message for the State of the Union," Romney said at his Palmetto State office.

He proposed the president lay out plans to create jobs, balance the budget and reform entitlement programs during the yearly remarks.

With polls already open, the two-time White House hopeful said he expects a "very close" outcome Saturday, adding that his near-win in Iowa proves "every vote counts." A survey of likely voters released Saturday showed rival candidate Newt Gingrich leading Romney by double digits in the state.

Romney appeared at the event flanked by two powerhouse backers, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

"Everything is showing that it's gonna be what South Carolina primaries are, close. I love that," Haley told the group. "We've got to get our Romney supporters out there."

- CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian contributed to this report.

Also see:

Santorum: Campaign is surging

Gingrich adviser predicts 4-6 point win in South Carolina

Santorum's South Carolina closer

Romney's lead shrinking in new national poll

Ron Paul looking ahead?

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama • State of the Union
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. AK_steve

    H-o-hum. The GOP is so predictable. Their ideas haven't changed in 40 years. When "W" was their king, he did everything they wanted. What was the result? The worst recession in 80 years.

    Job creation is not sparked by lower taxes and less regulation... if so, then "W" would have created an economic boom. But we all know it was a BUST.

    Time for the GOP to evolve a little. Problem is, they don't believe in that "evolve" stuff. What a bunch of wackos.

    January 21, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. Anthony... proud tax payer

    Romney might want to worry about getting his own house in order, before he cracks jokes about helping the President.
    When a guy who's been married 3 times and was guilty of ethics violations is giving you a run for your money, you might want to re-evaluate just how much your own party actually supports you. But Romney is so blinded by the idea of President, he doesnt realize how out of touch and out of step he is.

    Hey Romeny.. what's the current price of milk?

    January 21, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  3. Expat American

    Romney’s concession speech next November will as laughable as McCain’s in 2008. I cant' wait.

    January 21, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. NC

    Romney has a frat boy mentality, this is why he will not get the republican nomination.

    January 21, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
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