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. PJ/TX

    What does it say about Romney when we only get quotes from his "appearances" on Fox News? It tells me that
    he is afraid of real questions, and is unable stand up to reporters from any other news source. He shows a
    total lack of competence and fear that the truth might come about about his "policies", or worse he doesn't
    understand his policies because they are coming from Paul Ryan, the neo-cons from the GW Bush years,
    Norquist and big oil. He does not speak with conviction because he doesn't believe what they tell him to say.
    There is a detachment element that comes from this man every time he speaks, and I don't trust him – at all.

    May 24, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  2. 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 problems lies in American jobs going oversees. As long as you cannot fathom what's happening Mr Mittens, surely there is no way you can solve the unemployment problem.

    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 creation 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 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Did he mention how the fact that Romney is planning on lowering tax rates that he is going to make up the debt? Cutting only goes so far. Taxes will have to be raised no matter what. The unemployment rate has been declining for months now. Is he going to say that he did a good job when there are more people just drop out of looking for a job?

    May 24, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  4. Anonymous

    Lying again because he can.

    May 24, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. Dan

    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!
    Guess you missed the part in Obama's book where he writes about bulling a little girl in school. And hey, talk about flip-flopping. In 1996 Obama was against same sex marriage. While campaigning he stated that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Now Obama has flipped-flopped again....he's now for same sex marriage. Give him a little time, the master of flip-flopping, Obama, will once again state that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Amazing how the Obama bait is thrown to his fish and his fish keep gulping it up.

    May 24, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  6. MTATL67

    I'm so sick of this outlandish and idiotic promises from Republicans that obviously they cannot deliver on. If they really want to win they should lie and promise to eliminate airline baggage fees.

    May 24, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  7. organically

    The Obama economy has unemployment at its lowest since 2008, having dropped from 9.8% to 8.1%. Obama policy has decreased the government workforce by 370,000 jobs according to Department of Labor. America has had created 4.2 million new jobs over the last 26 months – more than 1 million jobs in the last six months alone, a direct result of liberal economic policy, again according to the Department of Labor. Oh yea, stock market has rebounded to around 12-13K, and most of the economy saving bail outs have been paid back to the federal government. The truth is, the economic news has been mixed under Obama with some bad stats too, that conservatives love to mention. However, the economy is improving overall, but all the Tea party rightist radicals want is complete failure by the president and will never admit when the president has been successful at anything. This is one of many reasons why the Tea Party is so detrimental to America’s economic recovery and society in general. The central ignorance of conservatives is that president Obama is responsible for our national economic woes and joblessness in recent years, but this has been a global crisis. The labor force participation rate is now at 63.6%, lowest level since 1981, which is the result of (1) unemployed baby boomers retiring early and (2) economic policy created by the Bush Administration. Conservatives like to say that the “real” unemployment is about 15%, but this number has been dropping fast, too. Finally, I love when conservatives say that the economy is improving “in spite of” Obama policies, the ultimate denial of president Obama’s success. I am sure that Mitt will wave his sparkly twinkly magic wand and make us all millionaires with 0% unemployment.

    May 24, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. i want a mega rich Mormon who hides money overseas, and a master tax evader as president

    Flippertyflop is at it again.

    May 24, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  9. GI Joe

    Rebuild the freaking infrastructure while we have several warm months ahead. Those are good jobs.

    What? The republicans won't let it happen until Obama is gone?

    TRAITORS - Party before country. Shame on you.

    May 24, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  10. charles

    The only question I would ask is SPEAKER BANNER WHERE ARE THE JOBS!!!! Also with the three points from Romey, I am dissappointed he used to be a CEO with this cheap talk!! Governor this has already being tried. Obamacare has not been fully implemented, how can you account for that with unemployment, even though in the last 1 year unemployment has gone down.

    May 24, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. Cayman Islands

    Pollution and tax cuts for rich people, yep that'l do it. Oh - and all you middle class people if you can just live without getting sick or injured it will save your boss a lot of money because they won;t have to pay for insurance, and if we just let the boss cut your pay and strip away your benefits.....

    Why didn't he just promise 0% unemployment? It would be just as valid a claim.

    May 24, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  12. Cayman Islands

    The problem is we have a really big pie called the American economy, but only a small number of people are invited to eat most of it.

    And mighty mitt wants to make sure even fewer are invited to the table in the future.

    He made money the old fashioned way. stealing it from workers. Vulture capitalism – buy a company using OPM, fire the workers, rehire them at lower wages and no benefits, keep the difference for yourself.

    May 24, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  13. liz

    What does Romney know about the American dollar? He has his dough in Swiss and Cayman Island accounts.

    May 24, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  14. Jan930

    Romney has 17 of Bush's people working for him. Voting for Romney is the same as voting for Bush three times.

    May 24, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  15. Bob

    Once again Romney delivers a clear concise strategy with a proven track record for success. Meanwhile Obdumbo is busy telling everyone the GOP is no good while his policies have made things worse. Sorry Obama your done....take your 6 Trillion in NEW DEBT and shove it, America doesn't need any more of your "change".

    May 24, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. PAW

    Romney's style (primitive) is so different from Obama's (sophisticated).

    May 24, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  17. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Obama, Mr. I-Vote-Present, has no credibility in attacking others on their positions. REAL LEADERS do NOT vote "present". REAL LEADERS do NOT "lead from behind". REAL LEADERS do NOT blame other when their policies fail, they accept responsibility. REAL LEADERS do NOT make excuses for their failures. REAL LEADERS do not use words like "I", "me", "mine" the way Obama constantly does.

    May 24, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  18. Paqrat137

    1. Predicting a 6% unemployment rate in four years is not really earth shaking. Unemployment has been dropping for the last three years, so why not bet on a trend? Not very courageous is it?
    2. What does the Affordable Health Care act have to do with unemployment? It is a specious campaign argument only. Having healthier workers thought affordable preventive care will only help increase teh work force, not increase unemployment due to illness/accidents.
    3. What does energy production have to do with unemployment? Does Romney believe that the 5,000 two year jobs generated by the Trans Canadian pipeline will still exict four years from now?

    This all pandering to the 24-hour news cycle, and none of it holds water.

    May 24, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  19. tibs

    Those CBO numbers are a farce. Unemployment is going to keep rising. We need to let the recession happen. All these people just try to stall the correction. Shooting up the economy with novacain does not help the structural problems.

    We have no savings, we have no productive capacity. Without borrowing our economy has no two legs to stand on. When our lenders finally understand theyre NEVER going to get their money back, they will cut their losses and stop lending. When that happens our standard of living is going to crash.

    On that day, remeber that free markets are the answer. Statism and economic planning are fail sauce.

    May 24, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  20. MCJNY

    Lame, Lame and more lame. What romney is suggesting is simply mathematically unsound. In order to drive down unemployment, we would have to drive up demand. Nor does his claim jibe with all of the labor saving, work force reducing technology that is a part of the job market now. We simply need fewer people to achieve the same output. I think that republican voters want simple answers and catch phrases. When they want answers, real ones, then they will stop clapping and start asking hard questions. We all should.

    May 24, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  21. Cheryl Jefferies

    And, now, Pelosi under-cuts Obama. Says the "Taxmageddon" that's coming Jan. 1 shouldn't affect anyone making less than $1 million (Obama wants anyone making more than $250,000 to be taxed hideously). In other words, don't let the end of the Bush tax cuts hurt anyone except those making more than $1 million. Gee, Nancy must be up for re-election. But...sorry, Nancy-baby, that's not good enough. NO TAX HIKES ON ANYONE! Cut your stupid over-spending! That's what the rest of us have to do. Besides, why should people who've worked hard for their money (and, most wealthy in this nation have done just that!) be robbed so you can get re-elected by those who pay no taxes at all?! Real Americans don't ROB anyone! We don't rob those who make a bazillion dollars. We don't rob those who make $100. All you Dems/libs are doing is engaging in "legal" highway robbery. You're, in essence, making war on successful people. And, most wars are nothing but robbery writ large. Your war on America and our most successful, well as the hard-pressed exactly that! War and robbery disguised as "beneficial." You're about as beneficial as pneumonic plague!

    May 24, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  22. swodog6289

    I see the tolerant left is out in force (ha!). Don't you realize this candidate is moderate and will work with the left? He had to do it in MA. and he'll do it as President. Your hate for anything that's not liberal is a pox upon your people.

    May 24, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  23. SuperD

    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'

    And the stupid Liberals think this is good news! 2015? 7%, So we are going to endure this for that much longer to shave off a percent?

    People, if Obama really had a clue, seriously folks, umemployment would be around what it was before the recession of 08 between 4 and 5%. But instead you get a leftist utopian economy, free healthcare! green energy!
    make bankers and CEO's villians! attack Capitalism.

    I give Obama credit, he's got a bunch of people thinking that others are screwing you over when it couldn't be the farthest thing from the truth. Your happiness is in your own hands whether you agree with that or not. Stupid, Leftist policy is not going to change that and never will. Watch your backs! Obama sez, there's Boogeymen everywhere!!

    May 24, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  24. Wake up people

    @Republican(s) are the greatest. How would a vampire capitalist that destroys companies, ships jobs overseas, and has never had to work for anything in his life make a better President than a man that comes from humble beginnings, that has only wanted to make a change and has faced the most treasonous, obstructionist congress since the civil war, but has still managed to move us forward? Really?

    OBAMA 2012!

    May 24, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  25. GI Joe

    I don't trust Robme 2 feet.

    He stutters and stammers and looks feverishly left and right to see if he is saying what they want to hear. If not, he changes it. Pandering at it's best.

    May 24, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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