Romney promises to bring unemployment down to 6%
May 23rd, 2012
01:35 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney promises to bring unemployment down to 6%

(CNN) - After repeatedly pinning the president for the unemployment level, which now sits at 8.1%, Mitt Romney pledged he could cut the rate by two points if he makes it to the White House.

"I can tell you that over a period of four years, by virtue of the policies that we'd put in place, we'd get the unemployment rate down to 6%, and perhaps a little lower," the presumptive GOP nominee said in a TIME interview published Wednesday.

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The number marked the first time Romney had talked about a specific rate during this election cycle, although he listed 5.9% as the number he would strive for in his 59-point economic plan released in September.

And economic forecasts suggest he may not be too far off. Based on the current rate of growth, the jobless rate is expected to fall to around 7% by the end of 2015, and 5.5% by the end of 2017, according to reports by the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Romney has used the unemployment rate as a main line of attack against President Barack Obama. His campaign frequently points to a 2009 interview in which the president said if his administration could not get the economy turned around in three years, "then there is going to be a one-term proposition."

At the worst of the recession, the unemployment rate reached 10% in October 2009, nine months after Obama took office. It has gradually dropped to its current rate at just over 8%, though some experts attribute the lower rate to the fact that more Americans are leaving the workforce.

The CBO expects the rate to remain above 8% for the rest of this year and next year.

In a conference call Wednesday, Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt pointed to those predictions in criticizing Romney's statement.

"Government economists have been clear that under current law their projection today is that unemployment will hit 6% by that point," LaBolt said.

He went on to cite recent remarks in which Romney, chiding the president for his job creation record, said any unemployment figure above 4% was not worth celebrating.

"What I think was interesting about this is that Romney moved goal posts in a matter of weeks," LaBolt said. "He said he was going to get it down to 4% several weeks ago, now he's at 6%, he's already moved the goal posts on a critical promise he made."

In his previous remarks, Romney did not explicitly say he would reduce the unemployment rate to 4%. At a campaign stop in Pittsburgh in May, he said "anything over 8%, anything near 8%, anything over 4% is not cause for celebration."

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • unemployment
soundoff (274 Responses)
  1. ST

    Just only words. GOP has been accusing us that we bought "hope and change". How come that Romney is telling us to buy his words that he will bring unemployment at 6%. Anyone who has a once of brain is not going to buy these lies. Romney worked at a small percentage of economy (at Bain Capital). Working for the entire nation (300million people) is a different story. We trust Pres. Obama because he has already shown us what he can do for the nation.

    May 24, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  2. Marie MD

    He reminds me of the bimbo from AK. Now that the economy seems to be improving a bit and unemployment (no thanks to the firing king and let Detroit go bankrupt) is going down is he going to take credit for it?
    This is the flip flop (pun intended) of what the President was left to clean up after the shrub's administration except that Obama is helping not destroying the country like the mission accomplished buffoon's failed presidency!

    May 24, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  3. Tony in Maine

    Why not 5% Mittens, or maybe even 4%. Oh wait, very low unemployment gives the peons leverage to ask for increases in pay. Can't have that, oh no....

    May 24, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  4. Mack

    In China or India?

    May 24, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  5. WakeUp

    Romney is the same person who as head of Bain Capital put thousands of decent hard working Amercians out of work by buying the companies that they work for, squeezing all of the money out of the company that Bain Capital could get, then driving the company into Bankruptcy, leaving the taxpayer to pick up some of the pension funds that ex-workers might get. And THIS is the guy who is going to lower the unemployment numbers? Really? This guy only cares about two things money and absolute power. If you think big corporations run everything now just wait if he is elected. The middle class will not exsist and the American Dream will only be a memory.

    May 24, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  6. young obama

    R(money) @ it again

    May 24, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  7. Bubba

    Flip's dreaming. He has no idea what to do and no real chance of being president, so he just tosses off these quips. Gee, if I was president, I'd give every little girl a real pony, so vote for me.

    May 24, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  8. curious

    Promises, promises, promises. But, you have to make me president first.

    May 24, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  9. Mr.Walker

    I swear this man thinks that he is so slick, of course the unemployment rate is going to be around 6% or lower in 2016 because it was already projected by the c.b.o so romney used the info to try to fool people into voting for him but it won't work on me. He is a complete fraud I have done my research on romney in I'm telling you businessman do not always come out to be good presidents they are lousy and to be fair nonbusinessman are to sometimes.

    May 24, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  10. Faygelah

    This is an easy claim to make; if he is elected and when the unemployment figures do not come down as he promised, he can blame it on Congress for not enacting his policies exactly as proposed. this is a "no lose" promise for him to make.

    May 24, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  11. Regressive

    I can not and will not support a candidate or party whose only objective is to ensure the failure of our President. THAT is putting party and politics before Country and is Treasonous in my mind. These people are UNAMERICAN. I have voted for you in the past NEVER again. Not only that, as a scientist I am data driven, data is not on your side!

    May 24, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  12. Roger

    Romney meant China not the U.S. Deceiving Devil!
    Trickle down economics never trickled down to our middle class. Profits flew into production in cheap labor countries and continues today. Profits flew into developing new foreign markets further demeaning our middle class as workers and consumers. It's in our face and still people continue to support those that have not supported our working people. A vote for Romney will ensure this trend and will continue to grow.
    Re-elect Obama and turn the House in 2012.

    May 24, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  13. mike

    this guy is such a dolt he lies through both sides of his mouth...every single day..even Colin Powell thinks hes not all there..please America wake up!!

    May 24, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  14. Rick

    Romney is simply stating the truth, he will do nothing

    May 24, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  15. Qi

    Once we get rid of all the socialist programs, lazy freeloaders will have to get a job and things will turn around..ROMNEY 2012

    May 24, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  16. zaggs

    Uh, yea. Not what he actually said. Here is the actual full quote: "I can’t possibly predict precisely what the unemployment rate will be at the end of one year. I can tell you that over a period of four years, by virtue of the policies that we’d put in place, we’d get the unemployment rate down to 6%, and perhaps a little lower. It depends in part upon the rate of growth of the globe, as well as what we’re seeing here in the United States, but we’d get the rate down quite substantially, and frankly, the key is we’re going to show such job growth that there will be competition for employees again. And wages – we’ll see the end of this decline we’re having. The median income in America is down 10% in just the last four years. That’s got to stop. We’ve got to start seeing rising wages and job growth."
    So an actual accurate statement would be that he promised to substantially lower the unemployment rate.

    May 24, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    dnick47 wrote:

    One thing is certain, the repubs do not have one single idea to increase employment that was not introduced by RWR back in the Election of 1980. ........
    The goal has never been to increase employment. The goal has always been what you may heard spoken many times over the past year by people like Spkr. Boehner. "We have to protect the job creators." Can you honestly say that you have *ever* heard them say that their goal is increase employment? I can't. Whenever they talk about it has been in the context of "protecting the job creators" so that they, the private sector, can increase employment. It's their twisted up version of "supply side" economics, a sound theory that Republicans have turned into a scam named "trckle down theory."

    May 24, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  18. Me

    He's also going to cure cancer. He's a miracle worker.

    May 24, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  19. Tom-n-NoVA

    OH...I get it. Once the Tea Party starts telling it's member's that own small businesses to start hiring again, Romney will claim it as proof of his prowess at job creation?

    Does he and the Tea Party think people have forgotten that the Tea Party called on it's members NOT to hire people!?

    How more dishonest can they be?

    May 24, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  20. Bubba

    "the guy keeps thousands, thousands, thousands employeed, how dumb can you people be " I'm no rocket scientist, but down on the farm we'd say "millions" instead of " thousands, thousands, thousands." Romney really employs millions of people, seriously? Oh wait, he "employees" them. You are the wrong guy to be asking how dumb people can be; do you visualize Romney being able to just hire everyone himself as body-servants once he's elected?

    May 24, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  21. zaggs

    Of course Obama's OMB said the stimulus would keep the unemployment rate below 8% and without it the unemployment rate would be 9%. Then of course with the stimulus the unemployment rate rose above 9%.
    Though $5 bucks says that Romney can get more people back to work, which will raise the participation rate, but because the participation rate goes up, the unemployment rate will be higher than 6% even though more will be working under Romney than Obama, yet CNN won't report that as the reason just as they don't report that the drop in participation rate is keeping the unemployment rate artificially down.

    May 24, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  22. scoto

    What a load of garbage. What policies? let me guess ..... TAX CUTS for the rich. The same old mantra about "Job Creators"
    You know that mythical animal that they made up to justify giving money to their masters. Why doesn't anybody nail this idiot on exactly what he is going to do? This circus gets more absurd everyday.

    May 24, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |

    Romney can do it, Obama can not do it. Capitalism what makes the Economy grow not Socialism. President Obama you just don't get it. Low Taxes and Cuts in Spending will do the trick.

    May 24, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  24. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Someone please explain to Willard that we need REAL jobs over here, not minimum-wage, no-benefit, Mc-jobs. The only way we will get them is to encourage the "job creators" (who did absolutely nothing for the 10 years they have benefited from the Bush-Tax-Breaks) to create jobs here in America, not in Taiwan, China, Indonesia, India, Malasia, etc. If that means taxing the excess profits resultant from the labor savings from those overseas-based jobs, then so be it.

    May 24, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  25. chuck weidemann

    Let's promise something that is already projected to happen if we just stay the coarse. That way we look smart. Good thinking boss. Wow!!! Keeping everything and everyone the same allows the selfish wealthy to not have to deal with the fear that others not as worthy might be getting some of what they are afraid to lose. Money!!!! Well paying jobs and healthcare help this country and all It's people....that's a good thing,right?

    May 24, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
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