April 19th, 2012
04:15 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney ties factory closing under Bush to Obama

Lorain, Ohio (CNN) - Visiting a closed Ohio drywall factory Thursday, Mitt Romney seized on the plant's years-long shuttering to hammer home the point spelled out on a banner hanging over his head: "Obama Isn't Working."

"Had the president's economic plans worked – President Obama's plans worked – it would be open by now. But it's still empty," Romney told a crowd of supporters gathered inside the National Gypsum Company plant in Lorain, Ohio.

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"And it underscores the failure of this president's policies with regards for getting the economy going again," Romney added.

Before Romney's arrival at the factory, Democratic politicians questioned why the likely GOP nominee would select the plant as a campaign backdrop. The factory closed in 2008, when George W. Bush was president.

"What are they going blame him for next?" Lorain City Council President Joel Arredondo told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "The Titanic?"

Romney's aides defended its stage-crafting by pointing out Obama made promises to help Ohio's economy during a stop at the very same factory in 2008.

"In fact the president came here in 2008 to campaign and said it would be his policies that get it back on its feet," Romney senior strategist Eric Fehrnstrom said. "He's failed. It's been three and half years, and his policies have failed."

In fact, according to a transcript of then-candidate Obama's speech, he did not directly vow to get the plant up and running again.

"We need a president who's working as hard for you as you're working for your families. And that's the kind of president I intend to be," Obama said during his remarks.

At the time, the Democratic candidate was engaged in a bitter primary battle with Hillary Clinton. In his remarks, then-Senator Obama accused his rival of shipping American manufacturing jobs overseas through trade deals such as NAFTA. He went on to call for a robust green energy plan that would create millions of jobs for laid off factory workers.

A spokeswoman for the president's re-election campaign accused Romney of having "an aversion to the truth."

"In a speech that he concluded by saying he'd 'tell the truth,' Mitt Romney actually didn't tell the truth about President Obama's record and his own failed record in Massachusetts-all while blaming the President for a plant closing that occurred before he took office," Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said.

Complicating Romney's message on jobs in Ohio is the state's unemployment rate, which has dropped under the president's watch from 10.8% in January 2010 to 7.6% now.

At one point in his remarks, Romney appeared to refer to the shuttered plant as a visual reminder of the president's economic record, urging supporters in the empty factory to "open your eyes" to Mr. Obama's vision for the future.

"It leads to lost jobs, lost homes, lost dreams. It's time to end that vision and have a vision of growth and jobs and economic vitality," Romney said.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Ohio
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Our you sure Bain Capital didn't buy National Gypsum Company , cannibalize the assets then move the jobs to China ?

    Romney is worse the Bush !

    April 19, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    What a fool's nightmare Mitt Romney has become. And there are some who doubt he has a vulture capitalist mentality? Unbelievable.

    April 19, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Wolf, you just allowed your guest to insult the President of the United States with her comments regarding the statement about Romney's father having worked and paid his taxes so that the President and his wife could get their education. Why didn't you correct her at that time?

    April 19, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  4. kayla

    mr. stiff, do you have to be so desperate?

    April 19, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  5. the Situation

    The Ultimate Opportunist Strikes Again!

    April 19, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  6. JerseyJeff

    Mitt has more in common with the Trump than with any factory worker I've ever met.
    This is a joke, but keep in mind what one of the greatest propoganda masters of all time said:
    "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

    April 19, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  7. cnnife

    Willard should be more sincere with his comments, at lesast try to be truthful. One time he claimed to be quoting the president when he said"if we keep on talking about the econonomy, we are going to fail". But the president never said that. He was quoting McCain in 2008. If he has to keep on lying about the president so as to discredit him, then he really has no plan for american people. He just want to be the president at all cost.

    April 19, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Way to go Mitt! Kind of like getting hit by a DWI and blaming the doctor for not getting you back together soon enough?

    April 19, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  9. The REAL Truth.. (not the imposter)

    Where's "nothing butt the truth" when you need a bad counterpoint?/ Oh.. it's after 5pm. He must be following Mitt's lead an off the clock already.

    April 19, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  10. Marley

    Mitt Romney, would Bain Capital had re-open that factory? If you think it should be re-opened then why don't Bain Capital buy it and re-open it?

    April 19, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. Mike

    Explain it to me please in little words that I can understand. Because the way I understand it, the plant closed within a few weeks of Senator Obama making a speech there. He wasn't the President. He wasn't the President-elect. He wasn't even the Democratic Party nominee yet. So Romney would like us to believe that Obama's policies are flawed because a shuttered company did not re-open? Perhaps Romney can tell us how often a shuttered company does re-open. Obviously in his mind it must happen all the time, but I sure don't see it very often.

    April 19, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |

    I suggest someone tell Mr. Romney that fact-checking is probably a good idea. LOL!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    April 19, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. NotADem

    I'm wondering where in Romney's speech he directly blamed Obama for the factory closing. All I saw is him using the factory as nothing more than a symbol for the fact that nothing has actually gotten better. If I need parenting advice, I'm going to talk to someone who has raised several kids that are functioning adults. If I need marital advice, I'm going to talk to someone who has been married for decades. If I want to improve my financial position, I'm going to talk to someone who has shown the ability to do just that. If I want to learn how to sway public opinion to what I want it to be, I will talk to someone who has only ever given speeches and made decisions according to how it makes them appear in the eye's of the public. We have not had a businessman in office for a long time. I think it's time we attend to the business of running a country and let the politics of keeping yourself in office go for a little while. Obama has only his politics to keep him employed. This is not true for Romney. He's certainly not there because it's paying better than his previous profession.

    Those leaning on statistics to prove a point just remember 99% of all statistics are manipulated to mean what the statistician wants them to mean. In other words, they mean nothing. Especially when coming out of the mouth of a politician. So, all of your job grown statistics, and economic growth statistics mean nothing. It doesn’t take much to manipulate numbers. Think about Warren Buffet and all his uber wealth Democrat buddies. Do you really thing they’re going to walk around pining away for the days when they thought they were being taxed fairly? No. Warren Buffet can walk around promoting the democrats silly vision of fair taxation because they know that nothing is going to change. No measure will make it through congress that will make any of those people pay 30% income tax. That is jus plain not going to ever happen. I really don’t think Mr. Buffet is walking around wishing that he would stop making all this money. He is in the business of making money, as are his buddies. Coincidently, so is Mitt Romney. That’s what they do and they are good at it. This is not grounds for punishment or reprehension. It is certainly nothing for them or anyone else like them to be ashamed of. Mr. Romney has found himself in a position to potentially use the skills he has learned over the decades and apply them to the failing business that is the current American economy. Anyone who thinks a Lawyer/Politician can do this better than a businessman is a fool. Go ahead, ask a divorce lawyer how to save a marriage or raise your kids.

    April 19, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  14. CBR

    What has Mr. Romney done to help the situation. He has been campaigning for four year so I guess he has spread his wealth by running around the country. Of course, he has also been the recipient of millions and millions of dollars so that he can run as many ads as he would like to promote his candidacy. Doesn't he realized that the money being spent by PACS, etc. could be far better used to help our friends and neighbors. Perhaps the money could be used to open shuttered factories since he feels it is easy to open a shuttered company.

    April 19, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  15. paul

    I am truly saddened by the conduct of Romney, he has not offered any solutions to everything he is ranting about. This is because he has none. If we listened to this guy the world is coming to an end unles he is put in the whitehouse. How desperate can you be, to get into an office you dont deserve, no matter what his wife says. Ann is not your turn nor Mitts. Please go back to Lajolla and play with you garage elevator. OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    April 19, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  16. tigerakabj

    I can't wait for the debates. President Obama is going to wipe the floor with Mittens and his lies.

    Honestly, that poll conducted a while back detailing how the more people learn about Romney, the more the dislike him, is the darn truth. B/c every time he speaks, he utters more lies about President Obama while showing nothing about his plans and his track record. It is infuriating.

    I remember the look on Trump's face when President Obama ended his campaign in 30 seconds. It was priceless. Romney will find out quickly that the President and America is not going to put up with his arrogance, lies, disrespectfulness, and overall shady behavior.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    April 19, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |


    Yawn. So you want failed GOP policies that put the economy on this path running the country again? Get bent.

    April 19, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  18. Dave

    LOL! Mitt is now blaing Obama for a factory closing that happened under Dumbya's watch! Hilarious! Obama is trying to fix a mess he inherited from Bush and the Republicans and, as usual, all Romney can do is whine. I'd love to hear Mitt's plans. What are they? Oh that's right, he doesn't have any.

    April 19, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Had the president's economic plans worked – President Obama's plans worked – it would be open by now. But it's still empty,"

    Had Congress not gone to great lengths to forget their "Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! mantra and actually worked with the President, who knows, Mittens. Maybe things would be better all around for everyone, not just the 1%ers. Instead, Congress chose to work on getting their hands on (or in) my uterus, which as far as I can tell, isn't such a great job creator. Well, not in my uterus anyway.

    April 19, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  20. me

    I wonder if Mitt also blames Obama for KB Toy Store for going bankrupt in 2009 while under Mitt's company Bain Capital.

    April 19, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  21. T'sah from Virginia

    ►In fact, according to a transcript of then-candidate Obama's speech, he did not directly vow to get the plant up and running again. ◄

    Romney constantly LIES and THINKS he is getting away with it!! I cannot believe what comes out of his mouth and then not even ten minutes later, he's "flip-flopping!!"

    I betcha the Axelrod has a wardrobe of "flip-flops" that he can just pick one every day from now until the election in November!! Mr. Etch-A-Sketch cannot erase LIES that all of us are aware of!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only "Trusted" Way Forward!!

    April 19, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
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