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. vic , nashville ,tn

    “The factory closed in 2008, when George W. Bush was president”
    Thanks Mr. Romney reminding us G.W.Bush so don’t vote for GOP nominee

    April 19, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "Hypocrites ! The kind Jesus called out in Matthew 23."

    You have to understand...the current crop of GOP/Teatroll degenerates has a serious obsession with worshipping people who woudl truly want nothing to do with them at this point...people like Reagan and Jesus. They believe that "the white and wealthy shall inherit the Earth."

    April 19, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  3. Increase Powers

    What stunning arrogance and hypocrisy for Romney, who made his millions as Corporate America's Outsourcer-in-Chief, to blame others for factory closings and job losses!

    April 19, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. Joi Gibson

    Only problem is, Willard gets away with it because that "liberal main stream media" that is supposedly out to get him does not directly challenge him. It is printed here, but I wonder if the news media will actually call him on it. It is some act to tell such bold-faced lies with impunity.

    I give it a "pants on fire" rating.

    April 19, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. S.positive

    This why Romney will lose in November. HE IS FAKE
    Romney is FAKE
    Romney is FAKE
    Romney is FAKE
    Romney is FAKE
    Romney is FAKE
    Romney is FAKE
    Romney is FAKE

    April 19, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. Independent Voters

    Why Romney going to plant that was close under Bush adminstration.
    Romney you seem like out of touch with american jobs.
    Romney want you talk about the job loss in MASS under your adminstration.

    April 19, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. v_mag

    Rom-money would love to conflate President Obama with the war criminal Bush. However, the facts remain:

    Rom-money is endorsed by the Bush crime family.
    Rom-money is running in the Bush party
    Rom-money has not distanced himself from failed Bush policies.
    Rom-money = Bush.

    April 19, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  8. v_mag

    If there were a "liberal news media", some reporter would make Mittens answer these simple questions:

    "Are you any different from George W. Bush? And if you're not, why would anybody ever vote for you?"

    Rom-money = Bush.

    April 19, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  9. rs

    Members of the GOP love to say that it is time to take responsibility, blah, blah, blah. The funny thing is that not one of them has ever admitted the financial disaster that occurred under their watch that began in 2007 was the direct result of their deregulation, and debt. building policies (the same ones they want to return to).

    Look guys- short of building a time machine, and not putting Mr. Bush in office in 2000, it still stands that the economic problems we have today are the result of what YOU did. Time does not absolve guilt or change the past.

    If you were honest (and you're not), you would have to admit to the creation of 4 million jobs under Obama, a market over 13,000, and a rising economy- that YOU din't help create.

    April 19, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    So, how would Romney have handled that site differently? He would have closed it as well, as made even more money....next gaffe coming up! The Romney Express is rolling over the middle class!!!!!!!!!

    April 19, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  11. ajw

    It seems that this guy is trying his best to live up to the perception that he'd say ANYTHING.

    April 19, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  12. gg

    republican job creation is usely in other country,s ,roads,bridges,refineries,and usually a lot of people get killed first

    April 19, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. once upon a horse

    since WHEN has truth mattered in the Romney campaign? Heck even Newt Gigrich called this guy a liar and that's saying something. What the media needs to start doing is calling him out more on these untruths and halftruths FACE TO FACE and let him answer so his aides can't do the talking for him.

    April 19, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. Woman In California

    What makes people think a man who doesn't work (and hasn't in years) will SUDDENLY want to when he gets to the White House? And they think we drink kool-aid.

    Obama 2012 for a REAL working American.

    April 19, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. RINO Bil

    The truth has not been one of Mitt Romney's strong points, but his fabrications are getting to be more and more like those of other conservatives.

    For once I would like a Republican candidate who could tell the truth, say positive things, be respectful of his opponent, and have a plan other than, "elect me and I'll make things better."

    April 19, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. Hammerer

    Everyone knows how Romney got his money, why not tell us how oboma got his.
    Everyone knows this also. He got it scamming the government aid programs!

    April 19, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "Only problem is, Willard gets away with it because that "liberal main stream media" that is supposedly out to get him does not directly challenge him. "

    IOKIYAR, my friends, IOKIYAR.

    April 19, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  18. Erik

    Nice spin Lis Smith.....he didn't blame Obama for the closing, what he said was "Had the president's economic plans worked – President Obama's plans worked – it would be open by now"...he didn't say that the plant closing was the presidents fault, but that his plans have failed to allow it to RE-OPEN! LEARN TO READ MORE THAN THE HEADLINE FOLKS!!!

    April 19, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. JerseyJeff

    All these comments are funny and true. The picture he paints is not used with the brush of reality.

    The SCARY part is, the people that don't really read on- or offline from a variety of publications and do watch FOX News and listen to 'Rush' for their news.

    I hate to make this connection, but it is so glaring I can't help it – I think Mitt and/or his campaign manager have been taking lessons from the great propaganda man, Joseph Goebbels, who said, "if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will come to believe it"

    April 19, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. Jim

    It was suppose to be clear skies today, but there are clouds....I'm going to blame Obama! Can you even believe these trolls? Do they honestly think anyone, and especially McCain/Palin would have moved the needle on our economy any faster? The GOP are the ones stalling progress, yet they keep pointing fingers away from themselves and still will not accept any accountability for policies that got us in the mess in the first place. Last time I looked, we were losing over 750,000 jobs before Obama stepped into the White House. Sick of these whiny babies, including Romney. He's nothing but an empty suit that tries to wear jeans to impress us middle class. Screw him!

    April 19, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  21. Just Say No to Flipper Rmoney

    More crazy lies from our serial liar, MIttens Rmoney. Thanks for clearly pointing out his lies, CNN. Don't slack off on this later, you're gonna have your hands full this year.

    April 19, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. BigTBone

    What an attack by the MSM! They set him up with that factory! They totally turned a camera on and recorded what he said out of his own mouth, knowing they would replay it later.

    When will we stop listening to the horrible way they twist words and falsely paint Mitt as out of touch? (SARCASM OFF)

    April 19, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. Beverly - NYC

    Is Romney capable of telling the truth? Mr. Romney here is a clue it isn't the 1800's anymore your silly utterances can be fact checked in seconds. Tell the truth, there less to remember.

    April 19, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  24. DC

    If Mitt and his handlers would even bothered to check the facts they would have found out that National Gypsum Company is competing in a market with some very heavy hitters. The company is also owned by Saudi Arabia. Mitt, do you honestly think that improving the economy would lead to National Gypsum opening this plant back up? Get real. Especially after it has been closed for so long. It would take tens of millions to make it functional again. What a stupid move to even put Romney in a photo op like this. His handlers should know better.

    April 19, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  25. Mike

    This guy is unbelievable! and the worst part is that the people he talks to believe him. He keeps talking about President Obama's "failed policies". Well, let's see: the economy, although not great, is 300% better than 3 years ago; the auto industry is thriving; corporate profits are the highest in 5-6 years; the stock market is the highest in 5-6 years; BinLaden is dead as well as the American AlQaida (can't remember his name); almost every American has healthcare. Should I keep going? OH yes, unemployment is over 8%. Every economist knows that unemployment is the last thing to improve in a recovery and we are coming from the worst economic disaster, caused by a Republican, since the Great Depression. So in effect, the only people that should vote for Romney are the 8% that are unemployed.

    April 19, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
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