Romney touts ties to Washington in old video
March 2nd, 2012
03:14 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney touts ties to Washington in old video

(CNN) - Mitt Romney's campaign on Friday defended remarks he made as a gubernatorial candidate in 2002, in which he boasted about his ties to Washington and a knack for getting money from the nation's capital.

"I am a big believer in getting money where the money is," Romney said in a decade-old video. "The money is in Washington."

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The comments appeared in a video obtained by ABC News and were reportedly shot by a Democratic opponent at the time. Romney was addressing the New Bedford Industrial Foundation, giving a presentation on Massachusetts' economic potential.

"I want to go after every grant, every project, every department in Washington to assure that we are taking advantage of economic development opportunities," Romney said.

Reflecting on his work leading the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, he said he learned that "if you have people who really understand how Washington works and have personal associations there, you can get money to help build economic develop opportunities."

In the video, Romney said he received more than $410 million for the Olympics–an unprecedented amount from the federal government, he claimed–and he did so "by going after every agency of government."

His comments back then mark a stark contrast to the image he has sought to present of himself during this campaign–that of being an outsider who could effectively limit unnecessary spending in the federal government. He has pledged to cut $500 billion in his first year in office.

Romney has also lobbed some sharp criticism about Washington spending at his opponents in the 2012 Republican presidential race. Most recently, Romney pounded on rival Rick Santorum as a Washington insider, accusing him of a heavy record of earmark spending during Santorum's time as a senator from Pennsylvania. He has also attacked Gingrich as a lobbyist and product of Washington.

Responding to the video, Romney's campaign said Friday the practice of seeking federal funds is a common procedure among governors but argued the candidate today favors a "permanent ban on earmarks."

"Every state budget in the country is dependent on federal funding, and every governor in the country makes requests for funding, but governors do not get to decide how Congress appropriates money. Governor Romney supports a permanent ban on earmarks, which are symbols of what's wrong with Washington," Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul said in a statement.

At CNN's Arizona debate in February, Romney stood by his requests for funding at the Olympics, saying it was nothing out of the ordinary.

"In the history of the Olympic movement, the federal government has always provided the transportation and security," he said. "So we came to the federal government asking for help on transportation and security."

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Filed under: 2012 • Massachusetts • Mitt Romney • Washington D.C.
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    And Rmoney's hypocrisy raises its ugly head yet again. He'll probably run and hide behind his wife's skirts until she, or his campaign manager, tell him what to do next. What a leader!

    March 2, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. Dennis Freeman

    He's a beauty...

    March 2, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. Fair is Fair

    Meanwhile, the price tag of Obamacare just went up $111 BILLION, and it won't even take effect until 2014 (God help us)... but you won't hear that on CNN, now will you?

    March 2, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. Ben

    That is as desperate as the video footage of old man McCain during the Nomination when they showed him as a young man in Vietnam. Romney has never been a Washington insider because he lost to Ted Kennedy. He left the governorship with a 30% rating and he is hen-pecked by that shrew he married. Sargent Ann would be more of a help to him just by being quiet, although he doesn't seem to mind hiding behind her skirts when Bill Clinton is saying what everybody else is saying about George Romeny. Ann, those mom jeans Team Romney told you to say you bought him need to be washed–they look like they can stand without him in them.

    March 2, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. Jake

    a flip-flopper during this age of media politics just can't get a break! you have to be GENUINE! and stand by what you believe, Mitt! You are un-electable!

    March 2, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. Publius Novus

    Flip-flop, flip-flop, flip-flop. The truth is that Romney has taken both sides of most of the issues that are important today.

    March 2, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. Bart

    Hypocrite, again.

    March 2, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. Bill

    He will never win. His foot is constantly in his mouth and he blows with the wind. A phoney, at best.

    March 2, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  9. Joe

    He's a believer in getting money where money is? Yes, America figured that out from his Bain years. Careful going down that road Romney because you destroyed Gringrich for doing the same. You are safer doing your boring TV ads walking around holding hands with that domineering wife of yours.

    March 2, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. dagoberto

    Nop. The money is in Goldmansachs. Before=pro insiders. Now=against insiders. It wouldn't be surprinsing if he changes his name too.

    March 2, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  11. Nothiga

    Ties and lies everywhere he goes. We do not need a lubricated wind vane in the WH!

    March 2, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  12. Woman In California

    Good Lord. Everyday a clean-up to something stupid he said before he didn't say it. No thanks you can have the Vulture Capitalist Willard. I'm loving the hope and change I'm getting.
    Obama 2012

    March 2, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    And the home schooled republicans who cannot discern Mittens' hypocrisy, scream, "Win one for the Gaffer!"

    March 2, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  14. Wake up people

    Open mouth insert foot Mittens! And this is who the repubs want to be our President?? An idiot that can't keep his lies straight?? They don't care as long as the black family is out the White House. Bottom line.

    March 2, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. Ned

    And what is Commander Ann Romney going to do about this? Well, she can't blame this one on Bill Clinton, can she? Ann would get Mitt in less hot water if she washed his fossilized mom jeans (he may wear the mom jeans, if not the pants in that family) or if she rode her horses, drove her Cadallacs, not do the Palin-thing and blame the Media for Mitt's gaffes or just stand on that stage and be seen and not heard. Her damage control mode for Mitt is understandable but he needs to defend himself and all that stress is making her start to look like she could be Jan Brewster's daughter. Besides, it never bodes well for a Stepford Wife to complain.

    March 2, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    Does Mittens even have a genuine-looking facial expression? I mean, is he even capable of one? My gawd....I mean, you can just see the waves of robot pouring off him at all times...and could he possibly look more condescnedin in the photo above?

    March 2, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    Dude changes his position on the issues more often than he changes his magic undies. Nuff said.

    March 2, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. Linda

    We are all just waiting for Andrea Saul to fall all over herself to defend Willard on this one. The words are coming out of Willard's mouth, not the Media, so .....start to spin it Andrea!

    March 2, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. tigerakabj

    Woman In California, well said. I can't wait until President Obama makes Willard cry in those debates his wife says he shouldn't participate in. The country will know then why McCain be the pants off of Romney in 2008 and still can't stand him (did you see him accidentally endorse President Obama down in California?).

    Obama/Biden/E.Warren 2012

    March 2, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  20. Sandy

    Poor Romney, can't get out of his own way. For someone who is supposed to "know the economy" and "know how business works" he sure is a dumb a s s. He's running an awful campaign!

    March 2, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. Voltiare

    And I thought the day could not go worst than for Rush. No way to explain this one Willard. Ann can not say it is a media conspiracy, and just desserts Willard-how does it feel to have a devastating ad composed by yourself against yourself.

    March 2, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. royboy

    Romney strikes again, how can people support a president that doesn't even know who,when,where,what to support?

    March 2, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  23. Donna

    Some karma coming around to the king of nasty ads? Well, Ann can always plead (or whine) for her man over on the couch at Fox and Friends, or take a drive in one of her Cadallacs.

    March 2, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  24. beevee

    That is exactly how the rich gets richer. It does not help the middle class and the poor to climb up the economy ladder. The romney story is all along from rich to richer not from rags to riches. I do not think he has feel for how it is like to be poor or even middle class.

    March 2, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  25. James

    Well, he could always claim he has a load of clothes to wash if he doesn't want to face reporters while his inept Team trys to come up with some pathetic explanation. And, Tagg don't forget that camera, America needs proof that mom and dad are just llike the rest of us. After decades of marriage, my wife has yet to ask me to follow her to the washing machine–what a great husband and family man that makes you Mitt.

    March 2, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
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