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. Anonymous

    Good job pointing out what a failure the Bush policies you're pushing are.

    April 19, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. macrasta

    typical.. like most GOP candidates.. he has great symptoms of amnesia as well..

    April 19, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. tom

    a serious case of d i a r r h e a coming out of romney – the snake oil salesman – again

    April 19, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. John Regan

    Wow, what an incredibly inept and dishonest piece of campaign stagecraft. Is Romney deliberately trying to lose?

    April 19, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. Sean

    And by "ties" you mean he lied about it.

    April 19, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. Russ

    Come on people this is Mittens. He has nothing to offer but rhetoric so he makes this stuff up.

    April 19, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    A spokeswoman for the president's re-election campaign accused Romney of having "an aversion to the truth."
    Mitt Romney is building a reputation for misleading The People with false and misleading remarks.

    April 19, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. G D

    More mis-truths by Romney. He is well practiced, as his mis-fact check record shows. Just what I want for POTUS, someone who can't tell truth from fiction, or worse can and is trying to manipulate voters. This is plain embarrassing to the U.S. and should be to Romney as well (but he's immune to reality).

    April 19, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    Lorain OH has been hurting for decades, and for Romney to blame Obama for a factory closure tha occurred before Obama was president is ludicrus. Maybe somoene should be asking Romney why his old colleagues at Bain did not seize the opportuity to offer someone a chance to develop the space. A real entrepreneur finds ways of making money even in a bad economy: I guess Romney is only interested in hopping onboard when its a sure thing. Romney will tank on OH, and every state in the midwest and NE come November. He offers nothing for us. The Red states will continue to get their welfare handouts under Romney, I'm sure: ignorance is so expensive to subsidize.

    April 19, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. normajean @ verizon ,com

    That is one more vote Romney won't get......Just how much improvement can be made by ANYBODY in three plus years when it took over Ten years to mess up. ....This man is a FOOL....Just how much mud does he think he can throw at our president without being in mud up to his knees himself. He has nothing to show for these years himself except perhaps a new home, an elevator for his cars and a sick dog. He would be wise to look in a mirror and see just what he's becoming and it isn't pretty!!!!!!!

    April 19, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  11. wcb2009

    Maybe Mitt could use some of his big business skill to buy up the compnay real cheap, run it's credit up to line his pockets and then and jump ship and claim bankruptcy. I sincerely dislike this man and all that he has done to ransack businesses for his own benefit. ANyone that thinks Mitt's strategy will create jobs is fooling them selves. He will only empower the rich so they can stay rich.

    April 19, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  12. Blindersoff

    Romney is right up in your faces with bold outright lies America. Either, you just out right hate Obama and would do almost anything, even as much as slit you own throats because that is what you all will be doing by voting for this Romney character. He is a simple minded man. A child who wants to play at being the President.

    April 19, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. Patriot Awesome

    Does Romney even know what fact checking is?

    April 19, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  14. mario

    a liar still a liar he just prove it

    April 19, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. prairieguy

    It will be a news story when Mittens actually tells the truth....not when he lies as usual!

    April 19, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. bearced

    We have a similar plant in Lisbon Maine that has been closed for decades, is that Obama's fault also?

    April 19, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. ALLEN

    It figures. WHY am I not surprised? Romney doesn't have anything to run for, so he has to make up LIES in place of real facts.

    April 19, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. sonny chapman

    Has Lil W ever been held accountable by the War-Mongering Republicans for the 9-11 Attacks happening on his watch ? They sure blew a a gasket when Hillary Rosen pointed out that Anne Romney never had to work to support her family or when the Dixie Chicks questioned the wisdom of the Iraq War. Hypocrites ! The kind Jesus called out in Matthew 23.

    April 19, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. California Gary

    The gall of Romney to even talk about a business closing down.......how many did he and his cronies at Bain close down in their heyday? And then to draw attention to one closed down before Obama even took office......what a moron.

    April 19, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. Calob

    Romney is so embarrasing...........

    April 19, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. The Veteran

    So, the policies that caused the meltdown will somehow get that plant open again? If at first you don't succeed in crashing the economy, try and try again.... Yes.... makes perfect sense Mittens...

    April 19, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  22. Tom

    He either lies or flip flops. A lot of the time he flip flops to cover his lies.

    April 19, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "Mitt Romney is a star."

    The only stars I associate with the Changeling are of the puckered brown variety.

    "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. "


    April 19, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. Kevin

    Seems that “Mr. Etch-a-Sketch” has sketched up yet another LIE! Romney is really a sad person.

    April 19, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. Thinks2010

    Once again Mittens has stepped in his own BS.

    April 19, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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