May 8th, 2012
02:25 PM ET
8 years ago

Romney paints Obama to the left of Clinton

Lansing, Michigan (CNN) - Mitt Romney invoked former President Bill Clinton during a campaign speech Tuesday in an effort to paint President Barack Obama to the left of the two-term Democrat.

"President Obama chose to apply liberal ideas of the past to a 21st century America. Liberal policies didn't work then, they haven't worked over the last four years, and they won't work in the future. New Democrats had abandoned those policies, but President Obama resurrected them, with predictable results," Romney said during an address in Lansing, Michigan. "President Clinton said the era of big government was over. President Obama brought it back with a vengeance."

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The Romney campaign also used Clinton references on a campaign conference call before the candidate's speech.

A campaign official said Obama "really turned his back" on the policies Clinton supported during his 1992 campaign, which they said included changes to welfare and middle class tax cuts.

Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, blamed Obama for expanding the role of government, including more benefits and more spending, which he said have contributed to the current state of affairs.

Romney referenced "The Life of Julia," a web tool released by the Obama re-election campaign, which charts the character from age 3 until age 67, detailing how one woman's life would be impacted by Obama and Romney's policies.

Julia's hypothetical life is positively impacted by equal pay, a reference to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Obama signed into law and her ability to receive full Social Security benefits at age 67.

But Romney said Julia's story is evidence of how Obama sees the role of government.

"Julia progresses from cradle to grave, showing how government makes every good thing in her life possible," Romney said. "What does it say about a president's policies when he has to use a cartoon character rather than real people to justify his record? What does it say about the fiction of old liberalism to insist that good jobs and good schools and good wages will result from policies that have failed us, time and again?"

The Obama campaign used Romney's return to his native Michigan, his first visit after narrowly winning the primary on February 28, to highlight the GOP candidate's position on the auto bailout.

'Mitt Romney didn't have the courage to bet on American workers and instead said that we should 'let Detroit go bankrupt,'" Obama campaign spokesperson Lis Smith said in a statement. "Now he wants to bring back budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and letting Wall Street write its own rules-policies that President Clinton compared to the failed economic policies that created the crisis, but 'on steroids.' The American people won't be fooled – they know that this is the same economic scheme that crashed our economy and punished the middle class in the first place."

Romney met with middle class families prior to speaking at Lansing Community College Tuesday. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, calling Michigan the "comeback state" before he introduced Romney, said his state's economic recovery was a "role model for what needs to be done" to grow the middle class.

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Filed under: 2012 • Bill Clinton • Mitt Romney
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    "Romney paints Obama to the left of Clinton"

    Need proof that Mitt Romney is out of touch. In today's current political climate, that is probably a good thing. Clinton brought an unruly zookeeper named Gingrich under control and to their knees.

    May 8, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. Ol' Yeller

    Do what? Since when is the people democratically voting out the wrong appoach 'delusional'. Austerity was tried and failed (which in such a situation, austerity always has failed). Look at the facts:

    UK (austerity): GDP growth: -0.8% (recession), Gov. deficit: 8.3% GDP, Unemployment: 8.3%

    Italy (austerity): GDP growth: -0.4% (recession), Gov. deficit: 3.9% GDP, Unemployment: 9.3%

    Greece (austerity): GDP growth: -6.8% (deep recession), Gov. deficit: 9.8% GDP, Unemployment 21%

    Spain (austerity): GDP growth: -0.7% (recession), Gov. deficit: 8.5% GDP, Unemployment: 23.6%

    Ireland (austerity): GDP growth: -1.3% (recession), Gov. deficit: 13.1% GDP, Unemployment: 14.7%

    Portugal (austerity): GDP growth: -1.4% (recession), Gov. deficit: 4.2% GDP, Unemployment: 15%

    (Source: Wikipedia)

    Delusional would have been if they would have to have voted to keep going off the cliff. Meanwhile, under President Obama and no austerity, Unemployment is "only" 8.1%. We have even had 1.7% GDP GROWTH (not contraction, but GROWTH!!). Our government deficit of 8.9% GDP is not much worse than most of the countries listed above (and we all know from the last Administration that 'Deficits don't matter', we can spend trillions on wars; just put it on the card).
    You CANNOT cut your way out of a deficit by suffocating your economy and end up with 20% unemployment. Delusional would have been if they would have to have voted to keep going off the cliff.

    May 8, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. Tony

    Nobody knows where Romney is on the issues. As RNC National Hispanic Outreach Director Bettina Inclan said, Romney is still deciding on what his position is on immigration. Of course, Romney has been running for presidency for the last six years. You would imagine that he would have a position by now. You can forget what he said in the primary, though. He was just trying to get the nomination. Everyone knows that Romney does not mean what he says.

    May 8, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. Wake up people

    Why does it seem like every picture of this man makes him look clueless? How can ANYONE think he would make a good POTUS when he can't answer a simple question. I used to think maybe he is just a rich dummy, now I know he is. Does he really believe enough people will vote for him just because he is white??

    Come on Robmey, if you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

    OBAMA 2012!

    May 8, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. BLKMANinAmerica

    So what..........................the real SICKO's are far-right crazies who think everyone in the World is wrong but them and they are plan and simple reTHUGS, the real crazy people. Romney is following the repuk play book to the letter............reminds me of GW Bush.

    May 8, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  6. sonny chapman

    Clinton Economy v. George W. Bush Economy. Let's talk about that.

    May 8, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. Ex republican

    After being a repub for many years I decided to not vote gop this time around, Romney has lied and flip flopped again on his immigration issue this time,I cannot support a man who lies every other day on issues.If he wants to pander to illegals he can count me out,Romney have proved he has no word and will lie on every issue,this man cannot be trusted,he can pander the illegals and I can assure you he will lose many voters like me,Romney is dead to me now,one too many lies,Im sick of it.

    May 8, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  8. BLKMANinAmerica

    LMAO..........................this fool is what the repuks have to offer America....................a GW Bush replay. WRONG, if it play very well the 1st it WILL NOT play any better the 2nd time around repuks. WOW the GOP=great nothing party (do nothing, have nothing, about nothing.................oh 1 thing they've cuts for the wealthy (STUPID).

    May 8, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    -Obama 2012 – BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Romney invoked former President Bill Clinton during a campaign speech Tuesday in an effort to paint President Barack Obama as a Democrat to the left of the two-term Democrat.
    Not even close to Bill Clinton Obama is to the left of Hugo Chavez.

    Bill Clinton knew how to change and adapt to survive politically. All Obama knows is how to double down on his non-working "solutions", attack everybody in sight to divide the country, make excuses and blame others.

    Obama is a moron that blathers a good teleprompter speech. He is more qualified to be cleaning the Whitehouse floors, not occupying the Oval Office.
    Actually, you've done a great job of describing yourself to a large degree, except that Obama is the president and a success, and you are neither of those things. Keep blathering though, I just hope you're getting paid for producing the rhetorical equivilent of feces.

    May 8, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. Woman In California

    I hope with all my heart this lying, cult worshipper reaps what he sows.

    May 8, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine


    Let us pray that the American public isn't as far gone as the population of Europe. They decided that they aren't broke after all!

    How delusional. The Euros demise is certain now. We need to watch it very carefully. A vision of a future that we desperately need to avoid.
    Did you send in your absentee ballot for Putin, by the way?

    May 8, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    Stuck on stupid, Mitt? Too many right turn collisions, I suspect.

    At this point in American history, Ronald Reagan would be considered a liberal.

    May 8, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    Funny, all those liberal ideas Romney tried as Governor were front and center on his resume until the GOP grew afraid of its own ideas. What a coward.

    May 8, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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