Romney web video highlights unemployment
May 15th, 2012
09:39 AM ET
11 years ago

Romney web video highlights unemployment

(CNN) – A web video released Tuesday by Republican Mitt Romney's presidential campaign shows Americans struggling with unemployment, making the case that President Barack Obama's economic policies have failed to stem the country's jobs crisis.

The spot, called "A Few of the 23 Million," features three workers in Iowa who have lost jobs or are struggling to make ends meet. Romney returns to the general election battleground Tuesday to deliver an address on America's federal debt. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated in their April jobs report that 12.5 million Americans were unemployed. When people who were underemployed or who dropped out of the workforce were included in the calculation, the number increased to 23 million.

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Deborah Ragland, who the narrator of the video says lives in Webster City, Iowa, says in the spot she's been looking for a job for two years, and that her unemployment benefits recently ran out.

"We're just going to sit tight and see how things go, and see if the next president turns it around," Ragland says at the end of the ad.

Another Iowan, Tony Knapp, says his family's mentality of self-sufficiency has made it tough to accept unemployment benefits from the government.

"My dad doesn't like me getting unemployment," Knapp says in the spot. "He hates it. Because he grew up in that mentality that you don't get unemployment. You don't live off the government. You do everything, you pay for everything your own way."

Promises from Obama during the 2008 election haven't been fulfilled, Knapp says.

"That's the problem," Knapp says. "A lot of people around here when Barack was running and all that, everyone believed, everyone had hope. They all thought 'Man, this guy's gonna get something done.'"

He continues, "When he is in office now it just seems like nothing's getting done. It seems like it's all talk. You can say whatever you want. But it's not about saying what everyone wants to hear, it's about doing it."

The narrator in the ad concludes: "Hope and change has not been kind to millions of Americans, but they still believe in this great country, and deserve a leader who believes in them: Mitt Romney."

Lis Smith, an Obama campaign spokeswoman, said the Romney web video didn't accurately reflect the president's record.

“Mitt Romney would like Americans to forget that when President Obama took office, we were in the middle of an economic crisis and losing 750,000 jobs a month," Smith wrote in a statement. "But because of the President’s focus on getting us out of the crisis and strengthening the middle class, we’ve seen over 4.2 million private sector jobs created over the last 26 months. Mitt Romney’s record in both the private and public sectors, on the other hand, was one of helping the wealthiest prosper by any means necessary, even if it meant undermining workers and middle class families."

Romney's focus on the economy and jobs comes after a week in which the general election campaign focused largely on same-sex marriage. Obama, for the first time, endorsed legal same-sex marriage in an interview last Wednesday.

The Republican National Committee, along with Romney's campaign, said Monday they would spend the week focusing on the ballooning national debt, releasing a web video yesterday and pushing toward Romney's Tuesday speech in Des Moines.

Romney has consistently said he is a better candidate to turn the American economy around, citing his experience as a businessman in the 1980s and 1990s. Democrats counter his time as a private equity executive disqualifies him from being an effective job creation, since many of the businesses his firms invested in shed thousands of jobs in the attempt to become profitable.

Also see:

Ron Paul to end active campaigning

RNC, Team Romney roll out debt attack on Obama

Leading progressive group attacks Romney over women's issues

Obama headlines two high dollar fundraisers in NYC

Filed under: 2012 • Jobs • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. rs

    But does Mr. Romney's video underscore the root cause of unemployment? The truth (something the GOP had great difficulty with) is that the wreckless spending and disaster of Mr. Bush's "leadership" created an environment whereby the U.S. was losing 700,000-800,000 jobs PER MONTH when Mr. Obama was sworn into office. For the last three years we'ver seen conitinuous gains in new jobs- more than 4 million to date-despite total inaction on the part of Mr. Romney's party. What Mr. Romney really need to explain is how returning to Mr. Bush's brand of leadership will make life better for you and me- and not just the richest Americans. Based on this video, I don't believe he can.

    May 15, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  2. Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Is Soo Plastic he Makes Mannequins Looks Real

    Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Romney is telling these folks that they dont need unemployment benefits?....same as telling folks that he "doesn't care about the poor"

    Well then that's fine with me! The GOP is already on it's way to take whatever job is left to CHINA and it's coming to take away your unemployment benefits, your social security and whatever safety net we have left as AMERICANS!!!!

    Remember that!!!

    May 15, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I don't know that we have a full picture of the period of time that Romney was running Bain Capital. I, for one, would like to know how many companies Bain Capital dealt with over the course of Romney's time at the top post. How many of these companies are still functioning and how many were gutted; these are the items that we wonder and would like to know about.

    May 15, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  4. tryanothername

    You have Unemployment increase of 50% since 2007, 83% since Obama took office; if the Obama administration would include all the people that have left the work force since 2009, Unemployment hovers at 18% to 19%.

    May 15, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. Beverly - NYC

    Sit tight honey, with Mitt Romney and the money boys in office expect your health care to be cut off, your home foreclosed so some rich investor will buy it, rent it to you. And for good measure start a few more wars, the poor and middle class will need something to do, while the masters run the country. After 3 years I can't believe people are still hoping the folks who caused this mess will clean it up. You were lied to in 2010 with the promised of jobs, jobs, jobs from the Republicans. How many jobs bills have been passed in two years by Boehner, Cantor and the tea party? Keep believing on November 9th 2012 they will automatically flip a switch and be ready to put country first. The Koch brothers aren't spending millions so Mittens can meet your needs.

    May 15, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  6. Ken

    For every time you read the term "job creators", simply insert "job exporters".
    That's Romney

    May 15, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  7. Dilip Samuels

    I guess Romney is a buisnessman he assumes he knows business .......he is a midget compared to the economic prowess of Buffett or Gates or a thousand other Americans

    But the defining POINT on ROMNEY is that HIS state ....was almost the last in the list for JOB creation

    Economiy without a soul not an economy for a country

    The AUTO industry RENEWAL AND REJUVENATION is a case in point

    Are YOU listening ROMNEY

    May 15, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  8. once upon a horse

    @ Dave......

    I have a couple of family members that work for GM I think would be VERY happy to dispute your claims. In fact if Mitt were the POTUS I am very sure they would STILL be unemployed.

    May 15, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. chill

    The ongoing layoffs in the public sector, especially at state and local levels have hit women the hardest. Had the Congres got off its duff and supported several parts of the jobs bill that Obama put forward last September and previously, that unemployment figure would ave dropped; in part through federal support to the states to retain teachers and the like. There's only so much a President can do without the House and 60 Senate votes.

    May 15, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  10. v_mag

    Rob-money's ads don't get to the source of the problem: George W. Bush, his endless and useless wars, his shovelling money to the rich, and his lunatic deregulation of banks and othe big businesses. Romney = Bush, and we don't ever want to go back to that.

    May 15, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  11. gg

    whos idea was it to ship good tax paying jobs overseas while the population was growing,only made in america will create jobs

    May 15, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    "We're just going to sit tight and see how things go, and see if the next president turns it around," Ragland says at the end of the ad.
    " president..." Can you say subliminal suggestion?

    That is exactly what conservatives are so good at doing. Planting ides and thoughts into your head, making you believe that they are your own. The goal is not to criticize the current president, but to plant the idea of the inevitability of a "next president" who may do a better job. Did you also notice that the ad promises you nothing?

    May 15, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  13. Thomas

    If Mitt Romney is such a smart buisnessman ,why was he clueless during the Bush years about the crash in the market. If he is so smart why didn't he warn us about the economy when he ran last time in 2008. I don't remember Mitt Romney campaigning about jobs during Bush's last years.

    Please CNN , show me one statement back in 2007 ,2008 where Romney talks about our debt or the impending economic crash .

    May 15, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  14. The REAL Truth...

    "Did you also notice that the ad promises you nothing?"....
    this is typical GOBP strategy... plant the idea – like wonderful sounding, completely UNFUNDED 20% across the board tax rate in the Ryan budget – but never actually give it to you. Other than Dubya, you right wingers do realize that EVERY GOP President in the last 50 yrs has RAISED taxes AND the public DEBT, usually with DEFICIT spending. That largest single increase came from none other than the Gipper... that's right Ronnie Reagan... go look it up.. it's FACT.
    But then, the conservative icon wouldn't qualify as a teapug in today's politics would he....?

    May 15, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. Four and The Door

    Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Is Soo Plastic he Makes Mannequins Looks Real
    ...Simple questions....Just what is Etch-a-Sketch Mitt plans for creating jobs?
    Simple answer. Get government back in support of the efforts of American businesses to grow and create new jobs instead of trying to suck the life out of American businesses. As much as you have been taught to hate American companies by the Obama Administration, these are where jobs come from.

    May 15, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  16. Governor 47th in Job Growth

    but they still believe in this great country, and deserve a leader who believes in them: Mitt Romney."

    Yes the poster boy of the GOP: Guardians of Plutocracy. Willard loves nothing more than firing people and outsourcing American jobs to China and India.

    May 15, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. rs

    "You don't live off the government. You do everything, you pay for everything your own way."

    There you have it folks- the Republican vision for America- the rich get "incentives" (like big agriculture and tax cuts- the poor die. This is their sign. They wish to take America back to 1850: no Social Security; no Meicare; no Medicaid; no unemployment; no healthcare. The poor- screw 'em.

    May 15, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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