Republicans jump on president's 'forget' comment
May 11th, 2012
08:44 AM ET
8 years ago

Republicans jump on president's 'forget' comment

Washington (CNN) - National Republicans and Mitt Romney's presidential campaign are criticizing President Barack Obama for saying that "sometimes I forget" how bad the economy was when he took over in the White House in January 2009.

The Republican National Committee came out Friday morning with a web video that highlighted the quote from Obama, which the president made at a re-election campaign fundraiser Thursday afternoon in Seattle, Washington.

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Obama, discussing the severe economic conditions that he inherited, said "it was a house of cards, and it collapsed in the most destructive, worst crisis that we've seen since the Great Depression. And sometimes people forget the magnitude of it, you know? And you saw some of that I think in the video that was shown. Sometimes I forget."

He continued: "In the last six months of 2008, while we were campaigning, nearly three million of our neighbors lost their jobs; 800,000 lost their jobs in the month that I took office. And it was tough. But the American people proved they were tougher. So we didn't quit. We kept going. Together we fought back."

The RNC's web video starts with a clip of the president's comments, then asks: "How can a sitting president forget about the recession?"

The video goes on to say that "76% of Americans say the economy is still in a recession" and that "middle class incomes have fallen down $4,300 under President Obama."

It ends by saying that "President Obama might forget the recession but America hasn't.'"

Thursday night the Romney campaign also criticized the president over the comment, with press secretary Andrea Saul saying, "It's not surprising that a president who forgot to create jobs, forgot to cut the debt, and forgot to change Washington has now admitted that he's forgotten about the recession. In fact, it seems that the President has forgotten that he's been in office for the last three-and-a-half years."

The Democratic National Committee is responding to the attacks on the president.

DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse told CNN that "the problem with Mitt Romney is he's forgotten what sank our economy into the worst recession in our lifetimes and who got us there. What else could explain why he wants to go back to the same failed policies that nearly sank our economy or why he'd surround himself with the Bush political and economic team that ran our economy into the ground."

The economy remains, by far, the top issue for American voters, with jobs being the top economic concern. The Romney campaign wants to make the presidential election a referendum on Obama and what they consider the poor job he's doing creating jobs.

The president's re-election team continues to highlight the extremely rough economic conditions that he inherited, saying that Romney would bring back the failed polices that put the country in the recession in the first place.

The Labor Department reported last Friday that the nation's unemployment level edged down from 8.2% in March to 8.1% in April. The Labor Department also reported that the number of jobs rose by 115,000, lower than many economists had predicted. According to the report, 342,000 workers dropped out of the labor force, with the labor force participation rate, now at 63.6%, at its lowest level since 1981.

Filed under: 2012 • DNC • Economy • Jobs • Mitt Romney • President Obama • RNC
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. FL to GA

    The Republicans aren't doing themselves any favors by reminding everyone how bad things were when Obama took office. I think a lot of people have forgotten just how bad it was.

    May 11, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  2. K

    Really? This just sounds desperate. Politics, especially this race, has gotten to be completely absurd.

    May 11, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  3. Larry L

    Let's not forget who caused the recession – Bush and his two wars not on the books and his cut & spend economics pushed us over the cliff. Blaming President Obama is delusional. It's like blaming the Fire Department for the high water bill after they put out the fire!

    May 11, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  4. Richard in Houston

    Out of context gotcha politics. The american people are tired of it.

    May 11, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. John

    What a bunch of crap, you all need a crying towel.

    May 11, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  6. Marty, FL

    The RNC unfortunately proves a point by wanting to go backwards to the failed policies they forget attributed to the Great Recession. Romney promotes many of these same Bush positions.

    May 11, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  7. Michael

    Wow, Obama is bad! Romney 2012

    May 11, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  8. DRod

    What Americans don't forget is the fact that the failed Bush-Republican experiment caused the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Americans know that Obama has been working on the recovery and the Republican have fought him every step of the way. That's why Obama will be reelected in November.

    May 11, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. TheOneIndependent

    Considering Mitt forgot the assault he commited with a gang against another student. Held him down and Mitt cut off all his hair. Everyone else involved say it still haunts them to this day and Mitt forgot??? Lets do america a favor and vote out all republicans in Nov......

    May 11, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
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