Romney backs up 6% unemployment claim
May 24th, 2012
09:36 AM ET
11 years ago

Romney backs up 6% unemployment claim

(CNN) – Mitt Romney, who on Wednesday said he would bring the nation's unemployment rate to 6% as president, offered three ways he would achieve that goal in an interview Thursday.

"Well, there are a number of things," Romney said on Fox News. "You start off by saying, let's stop something that's hurting small business from creating jobs and that's 'Obamacare.' Get rid of it. No. 2, have an energy strategy that takes advantage of our natural gas and oil and coal, as well as our renewables. Those low cost energy fuels will ultimately mean jobs come back here, even manufacturing jobs that left here. And finally, get a handle on the deficit so that people understand if they invest in America, their dollars will be worth something in the future."

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Romney's initial claim came in an interview with TIME Magazine.

"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 told the magazine.

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.

Economic forecasts suggest Romney may not be too far off in his prediction. 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.

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 • Jobs • Mitt Romney
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. Niuhc

    @four and the door President Obama has spent less than any president look it up!
    winky, winky, winky. I don't know where you are "looking things up," but when you make such blatantly false statements, any credibility you might have had goes out the window.

    May 24, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  2. jake

    Last time a "businessman" was elected President, he left the country in shambles. Yeah, GWB and Mitt have something in common, one bankrupt his own company, the other bankrupt other people's company. I guess bankrupting companies is a requirement in their minds. If GWB would have had another year left, he would have bankrupt this country too. And now this other bankrupting fool wants to try his hand at what he does best....bankrupting.

    May 24, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  3. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    NoRadicals99 - I dont understand how not having obamacare reduce unemployment when it is not in place right now and unemployment is high
    But parts of it ARE here now and everything people know about it spells bad news. Businesses have already factored in the expected disaster to their business plans and expect the worse. They are holding back in order to be able to make it through the disaster.

    The best thing in the world to have happen for the economy and this country is for the USSC to throw the whole mess OUT the door as unconstitutional, which it is.

    May 24, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  4. rosie

    "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 told the magazine.

    4 years huh? To lower the rate 2%. I guess that is what Obama did so why not Romney. As for his other plans where have we heard this before? Oh, I know, from every other candidate in the past 50 years. Unless you change the mindset of Congress and the Senate NOTHING will happen. Donald Duck would fail as President in the current situation, and he has some good policies!!

    May 24, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. George

    So Romney has promised to get unemployment to 6% by the end of his first term, which is 0.5% worse than if he did nothing at all according to the CBO...


    May 24, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. NotFooledByDistractions

    Wow, Willard is really sticking his neck out on this one, huh? Especially considering that the OMB and CBO have already noted that we're already trending to 6% by 2016.

    When was the last time willard came up with an original idea, instead of trying to bogart other peoples?

    Willard...what about your claim of anything over 4% as being unacceptable? Are you telling us you're going to be a failure at 6% – or just that you're cynically applying a double-standard to our current President.

    Romney is just smarmy, I wouldn't trust him as far as I could kick him.

    May 24, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  7. REG in AZ

    Common Sense: We know the Republicans know how to make money for "the few", their strong supporters and "masters", and Romney has experience in doing just that at Bain. We know for the last twelve years the Republicans have concentrated totally on their political ambitions, no matter what the costs to the people, and on conning the people and manipulating public opinion with the help of the money, power and influence of "the few". We know, again for the benefit of those Special Interests who strongly support them, they have aggressively fought any health care reform, even though it is desperately needed, not ever even attempting to fine tune it, only repeal it, We know that no where in any of it is there any real benefit or even concern for the majority ... and now they want the people to believe more of their propaganda and trust that they will solve the problems with honest and responsible concern for the people. Yea sure, and they will raise taxes for the wealthy, balance the budget on other than the backs of the middle-class, equitably solve the immigration problems and not just for cheap labor, on and on with a real conscience and not just for self interests while being "puppets" for "the money" ... if we believe all of that, then we deserve them.

    May 24, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  8. king

    how the hell does romney figure, that giving the rich more money which they dont need, by taking away from the spenders that support local small businesses which hires 75 percent of workers, will create more jobs. obama wants to modernize america and put millions to work, by taxing the rich, forcing them to take a trikle off the sidelines and put it into the economy, which they will benefit from, along of millions of americans when they get a job. mitten needs to stop with the bush failed policies on steroids, which he is feeding the gullibles of america with.

    May 24, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. Sue

    Romney is not going to have to get rid of Obamacare, the Supreme Court Justices are going to do this in June/July!! Romney and the rest of the country just gets to watch and laugh--when the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare destroys the Obama campaign, and any other Democrat that supported it as well. This is the same thing that is going to happen with the ruling regarding Arizona and its immigration laws. The Supreme Court Justices are going to say in June/July that Arizona has every right to enforce the federal immigration laws in their state. Again, we get to laugh at Obama as his campaign is also destroyed because of this ruling. Then, come the debates.....Where millions of voters will get to see that Obama is an incompetent, clueless, clown-–who has destroyed our economy/country--and will continue on this path of destruction if given 4 more years.

    May 24, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. winky

    Hey CNN could u please look up how much President spent compared 2 Reagan,bush1 and bush2 please I'm begging u?

    May 24, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Dave T - When Romney was governor of Massachusetts they were ranked 47th in creating jobs
    Why do you repeat proven lies in here? Please go do your research as it is very easy using Google. Unemployment DROPPED when Romney was Governor of Mass. to well below 5% which is considered full employment. Nobody in Mass. had trouble finding a job while Romney was Governor!! Employers had a hard time finding employees!!!

    THAT is what Romney can do for this country!

    May 24, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    I just love these "TRENDING" threads. I think of them as the conservative confabulation zone. Every sort of unimaginably horrorific Obama tale of terror is pt forward in these threads. Stories that just simply defy belief and are at odds with reality.

    My favorites are the hypocritical accusations that illuminate the fact that some people willfully spread lies and most of them don't even kniow it. One of my favorites is how Greece is always thrown up as an example of where this country is headed, if we don't put conservatives back in power. What a whopper!, Greece is run by conservatives and it is a mess. Greece was run by conservatives into the mess in which Greece currently finds itself. It has been draconian austerity measures enacted by conservatives that have only made matters worse, just as they did in the US between 1929 and 1932.

    May 24, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
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