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. Wake up people

    Intelligent people will not go for these lies but many will. A lot of people are desperate for work these days but have absolutely no idea how politics work so they will blame President Obama, completely ignoring the fact that we have been in a freefall since 2007 before President Obama was even elected. These are the people that could put the vampire capitalist, Will Mittens Robmey in the White House. Please people do some research. Who in their right mind would vote for a party who has made it their mission to see the President fail, and in doing so have caused our country almost irreparable repair??

    Wake up people!

    OBAMA 2012!

    May 24, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. Glenn Doty

    Way to set the bar LOW...

    Dropping the unemployment rate to 6% in then next four years will require ~125,000 jobs/month. Remember, the baby boomers are retiring.

    By making this BOLD prediction, Romney is more or less admitting that he will slow down or stall job growth in the U.S. once he becomes president.

    May 24, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. GI Joe

    I just don't trust him. He'll let this this country rot untll all bridges fall (like the one Pawlenty let corrode and fall) and I don't think that is what we need or want.

    I just don't trust him AT ALL.

    May 24, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  4. Lenny Pincus

    So the wingers' great economic hope–the high priest of capitalism and all things profitable–says he will lower unemployment at the same rate as Obama, IN FOUR YEARS!!!!! Thank goodness normal people see through this charlatan. Wingers are such fools.

    May 24, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  5. Anonymous

    Romnay just said two weeks ago, that anything over 4% for president Obama is a failure. And now the best he can offer is 6%. Robots have better memories than this jerk. And let start taling about the 17 members of his forign policy team are all from the Bush administration. Elect him get ready for another LONG war in Iran.

    May 24, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. Mk54

    Romney is not an honest, fair or just man. He has been rich all his life and cannot relate to the problems and concerns of ordinary people. A Romney Presidency would be an unmitigated disaster for all but the 1%.

    May 24, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  7. Mazzata

    ' 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.'

    So, even without the empty suit, unemployment would fall. Mitt is just SO full of it.

    May 24, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  8. chris Omu

    Ha a matter of days ... not even weeks you have flip flopped from 4% unemployment to 6%. The funny part is that you promised to get it down to 6% in 4 years...hello, that is what Obama and all other bodies have predicted.
    The truth is that you are clueless. Making money is very different from being president.

    May 24, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  9. Anonymous

    Couldn't agree more, Derek. He may as well promise us a sequel to The Avengers.

    May 24, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  10. CitizenAJ

    Comments like these prove that politicians throw out statements hoping the ignorant and uniformed will just go with it. They expect YOU not to do your homework and see if they are lying, or using data that is already out there (like in this case). Nice try "glove" (you know MItt, as in mitten, something a child wears). Using numbers that are already part of a projection. Basically, if we re-elect the President and nothing else happens, the jobless rate will drop to 5%. I suspect however, that the U.S. is on this path to drop to 5% by 2015, is because the current President took some actions to right the sinking economy when he took office. One wonders what the projection would be with a republican president carrying out the same failed policies of Prsident Obama's predecessor. I shutter to think.

    May 24, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  11. GOP Hate America

    well Obama in 4 years brought it down 2 points also. Im voting for Obama

    May 24, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  12. Mitt

    He will say anything to get elected. He true mission is the convert us all to his mormon cult.

    May 24, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  13. jay

    The real question is what kind of jobs will he create, and what will the average pay be?
    Hiring 100,000 to clean toilets at minimum wage will not get us anywhere close to where we need to be.
    Lord knows Mr. Romney has eliminated many jobs to protect his own investments and raise profit margins for CEOs and shareholders, and laughed all the way to the bank.
    The bank in the Cayman Islands.

    May 24, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  14. yea right

    6/hr for everyone.....except him

    May 24, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  15. Bill

    Well, if people keep leaving the job market in the number they have already been doing, and labor participation rate falls to like 54%, it is very easy to get the rate to 6%. That will not mean more people are working, it will just mean they have given up.

    May 24, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  16. sillygringos

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

    Basically he is not going to do anything. Ride the wave of Obama policies for his first 4 years.

    May 24, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  17. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    As president, if Mitt Romney was able to make a significant dent in lowering the unemployment rate, it won't be because of his ceo experience but rather because he didn't have to spend critical time ending the Iraqi war or time winding down the Afghan war or time defusing the nuclear crisis in Iran or time restoring our image abroad or time fixing our economy because these are problems President Obama would have already cleaned up by the time Mitt got to the white house! Furthermore, if as president Romney was able to significantly reduce the unemployment rate it would be because his rightwing friends in congress won't set up roadblocks to stall progress and see to it that you fail!

    May 24, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  18. Rationalintn

    So Romney keeps hammering President Obama for failing to bring the unemployment rate down fast enough. According to the article the rate has fallen from a high of 10% in Oct 2009, to 8.1% now. So, nearly 2% in 2.5 years. In his next breath, Romney gives himself 4 years to bring it down 2%? How generous of Mitt to lower the standards for himself.

    May 24, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  19. GOP Hate America

    Critcal Thinking

    If you want European style cradle to grave government, then you will get European unemployment levels of 8% to 12%. When the government is sucking $1.5 trillion additional dollars to meet it's spending levels from the captial markets, that is $1.5 trillion each and every year that is not available to invest into private companies who can then expand and hire. To get this going in the right direction, you need a leader who understands and embraces private business growth. This President does not. He think bigger government, like the europeans, is the best approach for society. As we can see from current conditions in europe, that is not the case. Bigger government is the problem, not the solution. We should begin to right size our government and ease our borrowing needs, thereby allowing private business to more easily expand. This approach will help to honestly reduce our unemployment rate to 6% and over time even lower. We as a nation need to wake up and embrass the say; "there is no such thing as a free lunch, there never was no matter what a politician says"


    May 24, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  20. LEE

    We are counting on having a new president, and obviously Romney is a good businessman. People over 50 need some help – we have lost a lot of our retirement money, and although companies are not supposed to discriminate, they still do and just say that someone else was more qualified. I really believe that companies should get a tax break for hiring people over 50 – what do you think Mr. Romney?

    May 24, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  21. Jerry Stuart

    Romney will say anything just for the votes,he has no serious plan for the common American citizen. I only pity those who would not want to be real by supporting this egoist.

    May 24, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  22. Susan

    If you want to know what Romney would be like as president – simply ask people from Massachusetts what it was like to have him as govenor.

    May 24, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  23. I Like to tiE My doG To the rooF Of tHE famILY Car for FUN

    | Obama 2012 ||”"‘|”"\___,

    Obama's Taking Out All the Trash....


    Obama/Biden 2012

    May 24, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  24. tukey

    The president does nearly nothing to deal with the employment rate. It is merely the natural force of the economy that determines the number of jobs needed. In actuality, the unemployment rate is much higher as the "invisible" unemployed are not part of the data (those that are no longer looking for a job). Bottom line, neither president can truly help fix the unemployed rate but rather can manipulate the data to convince the public that they have enacted change.

    May 24, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  25. blake

    This is a no brainer. Reversng the anti-business, wealth redistribution, entitlement culture of Obama will easily accomplish what Romney is claiming.

    May 24, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
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