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. RINO Bil

    ... and next week he'll promise a chicken in every pot.

    May 24, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. julie

    no thanks willard.........the President is getting that down as we write/type..........HEY willard you said 4% a couple of weeks ago..........ya flipped on that already..........WHO in their right minds would votw for such a such a fake flip flopping liar who does not give a damn about regular folks...and the morons that think he is the answer are so misguided and lost

    Obama 2012 the only way Forward

    May 24, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. The Real Tom Paine


    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.
    So, based on your statements, you have no problem with Romney's creation of an individual mandate, his taxing and raising fees on everything from gas to hunting licenses in MA to close his state's debt, or his begging for federal funds to bail out the Olympics? Any more tidbits? Romney's given us so many, and he still cannot tell people why he should be president after running for it for over 6 years.

    May 24, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    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.
    Leaders don't bet on an obvious trend, either, or use an actuarial table. Mittens is as ambitious as a snake, and as cold as Lucifer.

    May 24, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  5. Terri Cobb

    With the policies in effect right now, we are heading toward 6.0. Unemployment rate. The day 2 of the Romney presidency should be his wife waking him up out of dream land. Because that's what he's doing, dreaming. He doesn't need the money, he has more than the banks do, so his main concern is to help his millionair buddies get lower tax rates nothing for the middle class, why don't they call trickle down economics what it really is, piss on economics. That's what ends up happening, the rich get richer, and the middle class get pissed on, I sincerely believe if we don't vote Obama in for a 2nd term, it wont be for his policy, it will be because the right wing bible thumpers, have convinced everyone he isn't american enough, heaven help those who can't think for themselves. Theirs is the land of super pacs.

    May 24, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  6. eglove30

    The only way he'll get the unemployment rate down to 6% would be to make India the 51st state...

    May 24, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  7. Mitt Flippy= GOP

    @ DAN

    You live in La La land apperently. It so sad that you come on here spitting out Jargons that Rush came up with weeks ago.

    May 24, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. Chris

    Mitt could pull this off, as most business are waiting for the government to stabilize. Right now it's very unpredictable as no one (including Barry) knows what they are doing and what's going to happen.
    Most small business want to invest in themselves, but won't until Barry is gone.

    May 24, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  9. FLIndpendent

    The three things he stated are nonsense in creating jobs. Besides, President Obama has been trying very hard to help create jobs with small business credits, infrastructure bills, tax credits for businesses that bring jobs back from overseas, etc. These things will create jobs, but the Repub/Tea Party obstructionists won't pass these. I saw a clip of Romney in his interview with Mark Halperin and, I go to say, the man has NOTHING to say. He deflected the questions about what he did at Bain and immediately went back to attacking Obama. Also, Rachel Maddow played a clip where Mittens said that even 4% unemployment would be too high under Obama – so why now is 6% good??

    May 24, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  10. rosehips

    Whoa, so natural gas, oil and coal are the answers to saving our economy?

    Are the American people dumb enough to buy that?

    May 24, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. Michael

    I have to laugh at all the neocons who are defending Mitt, even though he's changed his position, and condemn Obama. Just remember neocons, who started this economic slide....Bush and the republicans controlling both houses. Experts have said all along that it will be a slow, long recovery. Yet these nitwits think they can solve the problem at the click of a finger. And regardless of the lies that they claim Obama's spending is LESS than Bush. Mitt will not win if for no other rason than when he finally takes center stage at the convention, everything he was changed positions on will be exposed. He will be seen as the fraud he is.

    May 24, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  12. Common Sense!!

    Those are excellent three points on job creation! Romney have done it and he can do it again. Join him and turn the Nation around from welfare state into a more productive State with equal opportunity for all!!

    May 24, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  13. mcskadittle

    really? drilling more oil will bring down unemployment? even republicans can see through that one

    May 24, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. Jason

    If you want to cut the deficit then you have to do what the Europeans are doing, implement austerity and increase taxes, both of which would kill the economy. You can't just boost the economy and lower the deficit at the same time if you don't have a magic bullet that can revolutionize the the global economy.

    May 24, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. Church

    Wow! So far, 2 out of 75 posts are in favor of Romney.
    Is that an indication that there are many people out there who know the truth?
    To paraphrase a few of you: The Repugnants have no real plan other than to steal what's left of our economy.

    May 24, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  16. FLIndpendent

    @Four – Your opinions are getting more & more outrageous to try to support your now hero Romney. How in the world will controlling gov't spending create jobs? The stimulus was needed to create jobs, which it did. The only reason it didn't drop the unemployment rate below 8% (so far) is that the Repub governors used the money to balance their budgets and eliminated public jobs. President Obama has a big idea – it's called the Jobs Bill which would create jobs by repairing/building infrastructure but your obstructionist Repubs won't allow it. Get a grip, Four, Romney doesn't have any new ideas.

    May 24, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  17. asdf

    Point 1 has minimal effect on job creation. Points 2 and 3 have zero. Who is it that is too scared to "invest in america"? China seems to be fine with it. American manufacturing is GONE. OVER. Get those people an education so they can do something useful.

    May 24, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  18. Anonymous

    "Don't you realize this candidate is moderate and will work with the left?"

    Ha! This candidate doesn't know what he is, let alone what he'll do one day to the next. Having secured nearly ALL of GWs former advisers does give us a general idea which way he'll lean though. Been there, done that with GW. It was a disaster of epic proportions.

    Thanks, but no thanks on Mitt's etch a sketch ambitions.

    May 24, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. bcm

    BT – I agree. Until these large private equity firms and corporations stop outsourcing jobs offshore, employment will not come back to America. They are making tons of money by eliminating jobs in America. We need legislation to reward companies that retain jobs in America or bring back jobs previously sent offshore. This creep Romney is responsible for thousands and thousands of those lost jobs. He didn't create jobs in Massachusetts and he can't create them in America. Of course, he doesn't even ever reference his record as governor. If he did, he'd have to acknowledge that Obamacare is just Romneycare. It's just really sad that anyone would even listen to this man.

    May 24, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. beegee

    Where were the jobs Mitt before Obama-Care? We lost more jobs b4 that. We're not stupid!

    May 24, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  21. Dan

    Mitt Flippy= GOP

    @ DAN

    You live in La La land apperently. It so sad that you come on here spitting out Jargons that Rush came up with weeks ago.
    Rush who? Get your head out of the sand and come up for air every now and then. You might just see many politicians flip-flop including Obama. Staying drunk on the kool-aid is not healthy.

    May 24, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  22. scmom

    @Dan, at least President Obama admitted his bullying in his book. "Mr. SpongeBob Square Head" claims he cannot remember being a bully. Sorry, pitful, lying and not trustworthy at all and you republicans can be so proud.

    May 24, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  23. jocko

    Romney create jobs? Yes and he invented the question mark, too.

    May 24, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  24. The REAL Truth...

    @Bob – Once again Romney delivers a clear concise strategy with a proven track record for success.
    Really.. ?? clear, concise strategy ?? Any dumbo can state they will get unemployment down to 6% – reading from the CBO's projections – by doing nothing. Of course, in Mittens case, that was AFTER he expects Obama to reduce it to 4%, which where he INITIALLY flip-flopped his number from.. That's no different than his claim about saving the Olympics – which he DID do (BTW), but ONLY with MASSIVE CA$H infusions from Uncle Sam. Yes, the same Uncle Same who he says is not fiscally responsible and should provide an UNFUNDED 20% across the board tax cut. That means his nomimal 14% Cap Gains tax rate will give him (and the 1%) a net tax liability of ZERO.
    – What about his claims of job saving at GST – which was receiving MASSIVE CA$H infusions from Uncle Sam, from which Bain profited ??
    – What about his clear and concise strategy of job creation while ranked 47th in the nation during his MA Gov tenure.
    – What about his clear and concise strategy of repealing ACA (Obamacare) that is 95% a GOP health plan and modeled on his MA plan. Does that mean that HIS MA is clearly and concisely WRONG?
    Its seems his ONLY clear and concise strategy is misleading the party clueless, and taking credit for things he didn't do. Sounds like typical GOBP strategy... smoke, mirrors and the usual glob of misdirection, misinformation and propaganda.

    May 24, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  25. PulTab

    #47 job creator as governor. I can claim anything with nothing to back it up. If you elect me dog catcher, I guarantee there will be no more stray dogs within one year.

    May 24, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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