Romney faults stimulus at plant that received $2.3 million
February 4th, 2012
08:10 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney faults stimulus at plant that received $2.3 million

Colorado Springs, Colorado (CNN) – Hailing a metal engineering plant that received $2.3 million in stimulus funds as a small business success story, on Saturday Mitt Romney told an audience at the plant the federal recovery program "did not do the job."

Romney said the millions in federal funds granted to Springs Fabrication in Colorado Springs had not created any new jobs at the plant.

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"That stimulus he had, it did not do the job," Romney said of the plant's owner, Tom Neppl. "I mean, I understand Tom said he was working on a project that got some stimulus money. I asked, well were you able to hire more people because of that? He said no. Didn't add any more people, just more money into the system. But no more people hired."

The stimulus grant, for a project to upgrade plumbing at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, was first reported by the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Romney opened his speech to the audience of more than 1,000 people by marveling at the plant's size.

"This is the look of jobs, you know that?" he told the audience. "And American competitiveness."

Romney credited the fact that 160 people worked for the company to "the ingenuity of Tom," the owner, and said the stimulus protected government jobs but did not create private sector jobs "like it should have."

The GOP candidate signaled he would continue to attack President Barack Obama over the economy, despite some encouraging signs in the job market.

"This president came into office and said: 'OK, we're going to get this economy going by borrowing 787 billion dollars in stimulus.' And he said if we borrowed that money he would hold unemployment below 8%," Romney said. "It has not been below 8% since."

The unemployment rate edged down to 8.3% in January - a number Romney said Obama was "celebrating."

"That's still above the emergency line of 8%," he pointed out, and said small business owners, not Obama, were the cause of any economic turnaround. "He doesn't get credit for things getting better. I'm delighted things are getting better, I think they are, but the people who deserve the credit for things getting better are people like Tom who built a place like this and employed people in this great state."

Filed under: 2012 • Colorado • Mitt Romney • Stimulus
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. geggyg

    How many jobs wouldhe have let go if they hadnt receives the funds , the stimulus wasnt just about creating jobs , but about keeping people employed , I bet he paid a firm to upgrade the plumbing system , so that company either hired more workers or retained workers and what about the plumbing quipment supplier same thing

    February 4, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  2. Miz

    If Mr. Neppl neither wanted nor needed the stimulus money, why did he take it? Where did it go? And, if he feels so strongly that the stimulus was a bad thing, when is he going to pay back that $2.3 million?

    February 4, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |

    ".......but the people who deserve the credit for things getting better are people like Tom who built a place like this and employed people in this great state."

    Exactly what is Mitt saying, He says that Tom deserves the credit by taking stimulus money but not adding even one new job? What is Mitt giving him credit for? I guess he falls into Mitt's business plan, make more money however possible while not adding anymore of those troublesome employees. Just one answer in November, vote Democratic for every office, federal, state and local. The GOP cares nothing about the middle class or jobs.

    February 4, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  4. Silly Romney

    So Obama doesn't get credit for the economy getting better, but Romney will try to take him to task over and over again if the economy gets worse?

    That's the type of thinking that only makes sense if you've been running for President for the last 6 years.

    February 4, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  5. ama

    What is wrong with Romney?

    Probably the only one message he has is been chipped away one monthly employment report after another. A man venture capitalist who made himself rich by using other peoples' money to buy companies took about 60% profit, closed factories and laid off employees has no moral authority to talk about providing job opportunities for every one who needs job. He is simply a liar and will lose the same way his dad did.

    February 4, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  6. Willie Floyd

    Did the stimulus save his business from bankruptcy so that he kept his employees?? Am I missing something here??

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    February 4, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  7. maf

    The stimulus that Romney is referring to was whittled down by his GOP counterparts to be a mere wisp of what could have / should have been for the economic recovery originally spoken about. Romney is so good at MIS-SPEAK that he should never accuse anyone of taking his comments "out of context"!!!

    Bring on November, the people will speak again this year and it won't be for the Republicans!!!

    February 4, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  8. Schalaine

    Romney is the 1%. His policies will only further enrich the rich. With time, even low info Republican voters will figure that out. I truly believe once inside the voting booth, people will vote their pocketbook, rather than their hatred.

    February 4, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  9. chuck weidemann

    When will the average I just want to work and take care of my family, send my kids to a decent school, help the people who are less fortunate, American stand up and say " enough of this crap" ... Send these fear and hate mongrels home and let's get on with the business of supporting our country and It's leader when you can see things have gotten better. Credit when credit is due is a value.

    February 4, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  10. BeverlyNC

    Republicans can tell all the LIES they want. It doesn't make their unreality true. President Obama's stimulus package was a success and saved millions of jobs. It would have been even more successful had Republican governors not misused the stimulus money and just threw it at their deep budget holes instead of the stimulus projects they promised. The economy is turning around. Jobs are being created. Foreign policy successes. Ending the fraudulent Iraq War. Healthcare that is WORKING for Americans right now, No more "pre-existing conditions". All children now have healthcare. Corporations are doing extremely well as are the banks who destroyed our economy. Regulations are not hurting anyone. They are protecting We the People from future abuse by these greed masters. President Obama is looking out for WE the People. I stand with President Obama because he stands up and works for me.

    February 4, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  11. PNWjim

    This is the business savior the repubs are putting forth.I guess no jobs were saved by the stimulus ! So house payments were made and food was on the table for these workers. Maybe Tom could not hire more workers because he would make more money by working his smaller crews harder to do the jobs.Tom and Mitts job was to make money for themselves and the stock holders and the company, not worry about the workers.

    February 4, 2012 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  12. Basedbot

    Romneys words in this article are self defeating, because the narrative it paints is either the stimulus saved jobs, stopped the company from maybe going under, helped increase wages, or the owner is greedy and kept the money. Because quite frankly the money had to have done something. Ultimately this company benefited one way or another due to the stimulus. That alone defeats romneys argument that the stimulus didn't work. Logic people, logic

    February 4, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  13. Jane

    Oh please! Maybe it didn't directly 'create' more jobs (probably because Tom figured he could make more money by having his remaining employees work that much harder and longer, for no more money). But it is completely disingenuous to say NO jobs were saved. What about the employees of the supermarket that kept their jobs because Tom's employees could still shop there? What about the contractors etc. hired to fix up Tom's physical plant? What about the employees of the banks where Tom's employees could keep up their mortgage payments and checking/saving?

    February 4, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  14. Larry

    If he can't even research the company he's speaking at, why would I want him to run this country?

    February 4, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |