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. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Don't celebrate until unemployment is less than 4%" – Mitt Romney"

    Just last week Mr. Romney was suggesting that the unemployment level under President Obama's leadership should be nothing less than 4%. We Obama supporters have known from day 1 that Mr. Obama was being held to a higher level than any Republican would ever have be held. Mitt Romney is now proving that. He himself would only be able to lower unemployment to the same level as President Obama, therefore, Republicans (and Mitt Romney) must move the goal post for President Obama achievements to unattainable levels even they couldn't reach ... time and again.

    May 24, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. Ann

    "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."

    First he didn't say it. Second, what did Obama say in 2008? There is change but not much hope.

    May 24, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. Fair is Fair

    I'll give you 5 "dallars" if you'd learn to spell "fiscile".

    May 24, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. Marie MD

    @food, go back to your teapublikan bubble.
    The only powerful thing your flip flopping bishop has ever done is to pin down a gay student with his buddies in their rich only prep school and cut his hair. Of course, that's not a sign of powerful but a sign of a bully!

    May 24, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. Dave

    I see Mr. Flip-Flop is at it again.

    May 24, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. Larry L

    The CBO predicts those numbers regardless of who is elected. Mr. Etch-A-Sketch has no message and is as dishonorable as Newt Gingrich. Republicans really screwed the pooch with the line-up of clowns they offered.

    May 24, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  7. Terry

    I Mittster be Lovin all up in Raping those 2nd Class citizens of their Pensions. I get a Fuzzy felling when they are escorted out by my Security Guards. Its such a wonderful feeling to Ruin so many lives after they worked for 20 years.

    May 24, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. Terry

    As My Mormon other Heads of Bain Laugh with Joy & Net a Hundred Million. We hold our Majic Underwear & Bless Bishop Hacth fo Helping us. Gee, Its such a Wonderful feeling To screw people who are not of our beloved Cult. Some of them might even end up Homeless. We are Joyful.

    May 24, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. Thomas

    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.

    Minimum wage jobs , Oh , except for the 1 %

    Romney / Walker
    2012 our Future.?

    May 24, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. vet in tx

    Lets see, oil is at $90 a barrel and falling, so it looks as if Obama's energy policy is working. If you call him out for high gas prices during his tenure, then you must call him out when they drop.

    The funniest thing is that if you search past barral prices and see what the national average of a gallon of gas, then you actually see why giving the oil companies more and more power only gets them richer, and us as citizens get no benefit out of it!

    Once the debates start, and actual facts, instead of RedState, Limbaugh, Levin, Fox, Palin talking points come into play, the gap in polls between the President and the candidate will start separating in the President's favor.

    Key indexes that nobody considers are telling you we are going in the right direction.

    Fewer late payments of car payments
    Fewer job claims (sans the right wing "they've stopped looking" lie)
    Corporate profits are back to pre 2008 levels
    Fewer late credit card payments
    Fewer late mortgage payments
    Record gas exporting in the country

    these FACTS, go against the narrative that the high paid gold and carbonite salesmen tell, and type daily, you just have to think outside of their box for profit.

    Notice that all the "Real Patriots" are always doing something to get your money, not candidates, but the people who "tell it like it is".........How's that gold investment working for you now? Exactly!

    May 24, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. Dave Jaipersaud

    Ok, the Congressional Budget Office project the unemployment rate will be 7% by 2015, 6% by 2016 and 5.5% by 2017 based on the current growth rate. The current growth rate is based on policies (Obama & the Democrats) that are now in effect which Romney has nothing to do with. Basically Romney is admitting that his policies (Republican) will make no difference to the unemployment rate over the next four years. Yet again, he shows how unethical and deceptive he is at his core. Trying to take credit for the projected employment rate of 6% which he and the Republicans would have contributed nothing towards. He wants to get rid of the current policies that will reduce the rate to 6% and replace them with his philosophy of trickle-down economics that will likely cause rate to go back up to the great recession rate of over 10.5%. How can anyone of sound mind vote for this idiot?

    May 24, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  12. Gurgyl

    Hoe come Bain capital shipped jobs to china? May be he meant china....

    May 24, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  13. Mario

    If Romney has to deal with a congress like the republican/Tea Party that Obama has been dealing with the last 2 years. He will NOT have unemployment done. The only reason our economy is getting better is because Obama has using his Executive Power to create job.

    May 24, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Joe

    Ann, a vote for Romney is a vote for change and hope. More change (money) and more hope for the wealthy.

    May 24, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  15. aalisa31

    Yes it can be done, as a matter of fact, the process has already started... when Obama took office we were BLEEDING 700,000 jobs a month..... and for almost 2 years we have seen continous growth..... it doesn't take a scientist to see that we are on the path to recovery......Romney really needs to stop trying to take credit for other peopels work.....

    May 24, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  16. sittingduck

    He will find another method for counting the unemployed. Not that the current practice of using figures from ADP to measure growth has any basis in reality either.

    May 24, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  17. WatchDawg

    Key point here...'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'

    One has to remember these are policies implemented by President Obama...So Romney is saying...I will piggyback President Obama's success and make it my own...

    May 24, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  18. Dvet

    It would be at 6 percent now if the repubics would have signed the jobs bill and quit obstructing progress.

    May 24, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  19. mms55

    first of all obama never said that 1 of his cabnit estimated that before he took office.she was making that estimate on information they got before they knew the full scope of the problem.i blame this on the media because they knew the truth and they never pushed back on the gop when they spoke this lie they just let them keep saying this.just like so many lies they over look because it makes a better story not because its true.

    May 24, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  20. judy

    big deal in four more years it may be at 6% without your help. Your plan is another drill baby drill plan on energy. More tax breaks for business means they will put more money in their own pockets. Obama 2012

    May 24, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    isn't it amazing? When conservatives want to be critical of liberals on the topic of the economy, conservatives always go for their refrain, "government does't create jobs, the private sector does". But, when it comes time to get elected, conservatives always promise the voters that they have plans for jobs creation, this and that.

    And, all of it is pack of lies. First, there is no such thing as ObamaCare, which is a carefully crafted narrative by the right wing to make the law into some sort of bogeyman. Even I'm scared of the death panels, and government takeovers that they claim is destroying the economy, and they say this despite the fact that law's impact is still years into the future.

    Now Mitt Romney is promising and predicting 6% unemployment. Just by coincidence, the CBO estimated that unemployment would hit 6% in about 3-4 years if we stay on our current trajectory. So why change it, back to a trajectory that sent unemployment over 10%?

    May 24, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  22. realitybites

    When I get elected President, I promise that it will Rain in Florida. Really, and I'm willing to back that up.

    May 24, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  23. Woman In California

    'Obamacare.' Get rid of it.

    Yes because as long as your wife can continue to get Carte Blanche treatment and tout her illnesses as a strength – why would you care?

    Why would you care if millions of young people are KICKED off their parents plan as long as your five sons continue to get GOLD healthcare plans?

    Why would you care if the sick and elderly DIE as long as your family is covered?

    Why should Willard care about anyone other than himself and his breed? Afterall, he has it made.

    Does America REALLY think he has your best interest in mind?

    May 24, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  24. PaulCat

    When the economists say 2% on Monday, he will lower his goal post a littler more like he's a leader and not a follower.

    May 24, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |

    We all know that Mitt Romney will be a much better President then Barack Obama. So let us all vote for Mitt Ronmey this November and great things will happen.

    May 24, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
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