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)

    "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."
    I remember him saying that as well. Willard is full of it. He's pandering once again. I can't wait until the debates when he has to answer for ALL of his flip flops.

    May 24, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  2. Thinker

    Can Romney ever tell the truth?

    May 24, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  3. BLKMANinAmerica

    Another repuk LIE..............................if he could do that then Congress could have set policies 3.5 years ago to do the same, they didn't because the repuks CAN'T HELP America.

    May 24, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |

    Republicans have been tryin to sabatuage the economy for Obamas whole first term in office and are going to pay for it in Nov Dem landslide,thanks teaparty morons!!!!

    May 24, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  5. Sniffit

    This is ridiculous. CBO has quite clearly projected that we'd reach 6% unemployment IF WE DO NOTHING and current policy remains in effect. This is like Mittens trying to take credit for a 3 point jumpshot he didn't throw while the ball is still in the air on the way to the basket.

    May 24, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If we stay with our president, unemployment is projected to be 5.5%. Mittens has nothing to offer Americans. His public record in MA was a disaster, and his record at Bain that he keeps touting is more of an attack on workers and their pensions to make profits for investors. We do not need a corporate raider and tax evader bringing us the failed republican policies.

    May 24, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  7. RenDoc

    As usual, blah, blah, blah Obamacare.....blah, blah, blah, drill baby drill.......blah, blah reduce the deficit. This guy is completely without a clue. What an empty suit!

    May 24, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  8. gg

    same song different bird–stop exporting oil

    May 24, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  9. alleygator

    Mitt Cheney's job creation plan is to send Americans to war in Iran and Russia.

    May 24, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  10. Natalie in MN

    Goes to show that even without Romney the current direction would have us there anyway. Nice try, Mittens. Only the Fox Noise lemmings will vote for you. And, of course we can't forget your biggest fan base, the irrational and/or racist Obama haters.

    May 24, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  11. Ronda in Houston,TX

    Romney stated that unemployment will be 6% because he read that economists projected it. Again, Romney shows that he is not trustworthy and will say and do anything to be president. By the way, wasn't "Tricky Dicky Nixon" the same way?

    May 24, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  12. winky

    How can u speak on something that's already going to happen flippy? People rather put this flopper in office knowing how he is taking credit for things that's already happening! Like the auto industry Americans are dumb!

    May 24, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  13. Bill, NY

    Here we go with healthcare again! Mr. Romney should visit emergency rooms in a few cities across the nation and see one of many problems with healthcare today that plague the taxpayer is the emergency rooms packed(and I mean packed!) with the uninsured. Here in New york City you will find hundreds of the uninsured 24/7 at about $1,000 a pop using these emergency rooms like clinics and doctors offices. Insuring everyone would save untold billions. Check the hospital stats. The numbers do not lie.

    May 24, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  14. Joan

    If Obamacare is unconstitutional for the country then Romneycare must also be unconstitional for Massachusettes and that state will have to repeal their health care policy too. Fair is fair. Under President Obama the country is gradually recovering at a rate better than the European countries who are relying on austerity measures ( read "cuts") only. If the current policies are continued, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predicts that the unemployment rate will keep decreasing until 5.5% by 2017. Now, if Romney gets in and goes back to the pre-Obama Republican policies then the country stands a good chance of contracting again and going into a recession. Obviously, that would mean the unemployment rate would rise again. It is not a risk that sensible Americans should take.

    May 24, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  15. Four and The Door

    The 3 things Mitt Romney is identifying for helping reduce unemployment are very powerful. They are big, ambitious and exactly the things the federal government can do to help the economy. Replace ObamaCare with state-created programs, get a real-world energy policy and tackle the deficit...reduce out-of-control government spending.

    But each one of these are things Obama will not do. He is both politically and philosophically incapable of reversing ObamaCare ( now that it is obvious what a mistake it was ), getting a workable energy policy and most of all reducing government spending.

    So on the most important issue in 2012, jobs and the American economy, huge advantage to Mitt Romney.

    May 24, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  16. Al-NY,NY

    "bah blah blah..." he sounds like the teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoons. Since the CBO says the unemployment rate is going down pretty much regardless of whomever is in office, Flippy's got nothing to distinguish himself as a btter candidate than Obama on the subject. And as for the Health Care Act, I guess that multi-billion dollar cost to repeal it doesn't count in his budget

    May 24, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  17. he be floppin

    In the interview he stated "If we follow the programs we put in place.." Well "we" must mean the Obama "we" because "he" hasn't enacted any programs. So in essence he was saying if we just keep up with the programs already enacted we will be at 6% because that is what the CBO has already forecast. I get real tired of this dweeb making blanket statements and then later on taking credit for anything good.

    May 24, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  18. tee27

    The challenge to Mitt from R. Shrum, Romney should release the records of all Bain transactions from which he profited. He probably can't afford to because the picture could be pretty grim. Presumably, he's about as likely to risk this kind of full disclosure as he is to release tax returns for years when he may have paid little or no taxes.

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

    Romney previously stated on the campaign trail that when the unemployment rate increases over 4%, it is a failure on the part of President Obama. But, he is promoting a goal of 6% unemployment rate. What is wrong with this picture?

    May 24, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  20. Lisa

    "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."

    So Romney won't have to do anything to get to the 6% unemployment rate. He actually might be able to handle doing nothing. What a card he is! I didn't know he had a sense of humor.

    May 24, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  21. BT

    Only a fool would believe this Mittens' nonsense! The Affordable Care Act didn't even exist during Bush's reign, why didn't we experience phenomenal job creation?!? The American jobs are going oversees, as long as you cannot fathom what's happening, surely there is no way you can solve the unemployment problem. Mittens is just clueless!!!

    America has seen an increase in the production of domestic oil and a decrease in oil imports over the past 3 years. Furthermore, America's energy portfolio has never been as diversified as it is right now. Why are we not experiencing phenomenal job creations Mr Mittens? Again, you have no clue!

    The debt definitely needs to be acted upon, but to cite it ahead of outsourcing as the third major reason why we are not experiencing job creation further confirms that you clearly have no idea on what's the root cause of the slow job creation. How can you solve the problem then Mr Mittens?

    What we need is to figure out a way to stop outsourcing and bring back all the jobs that left America. Why am I suspecting that you know about this but you don't want to talk about it because outsourcing fattens your Cayman and Swiss accounts at the expense of the American worker????

    May 24, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. Thomas

    You are so right,So if you bring back all that money you have offshore it would help too.

    May 24, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. Candy Taylor

    Yep CBO says thats the rate it will be anyway with Obama's policies. GOP wants to take credit for EVERYTHING positive Obama has done. Please vote these morons out and don't elect any more!

    May 24, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  24. sillygringos

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

    Romney is just touting doing nothing. All he will do is ride the successful results of the Obama policies his first 4 years.

    May 24, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  25. Whatever

    Well...considering projections are that there'd be 5.5% unemployment by that time if everybody did absolutely nothing other than what's going on right now, him screwing it up and leaving another 1/2% more unemployed sounds plausible.

    May 24, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
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