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."

Also see:

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Arkansas, Kentucky primaries pose challenge for Obama

Filed under: 2012 • Jobs • Mitt Romney
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. Tmo

    Church – you stated 2 out of 75 post are in favor of Romney. Keep in mind you are reading a CNN article. 99% of the people who read or watch CNN are democrat and 100% of those who write or report for CNN are democrat.

    May 24, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  2. Jason

    Does Robmey still believe that the rest of America is as dumb and pathetic as his social security largesse addicted republican voter base!
    1. FACT: Repealing Obama care with vouchers would never lead to any reduction in medical care albeit it will countinue to spiral out of control and without any accoutability
    2.FACT: Having the keystone pipeline to the gulf would only help the oil companies to export more oil to other countries not create cheap fuel here the coal and fracking would only screw the environment for future generations and as we well know that republicans would consider it a crime even to ask the companies to cleanup
    3. FACT: Rob-me wants to cut taxes for the rich and continue to line the pockets of military-industrial pirates like Haliburton so where would the money to cut the deficit come from? Even if you cut all the safety nets it will not be enough unless Rob-me would like to add the assets of the Mormon church

    Unless Robmey is talking about job creation in China or India his plan does not make sense to me. If history is any guide recessions and depressions have always followed Repug administrations. The great Hoover depression of thew 1920's, the current Bush depression are a few examples. Laden was never able to destroy America but the Tearorist did. Tea party should be treated as a terrorist organization and dealt with as such.

    May 24, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. Mike

    Eglove30 says by adding India to the United States our unemployment would be at 6%. Where's the math, India currently has worse unemployment than we do (over 9%), how is adding India going to bring down our unemployment. Yes it weems to be true, we are getting more stupid by the minute.

    May 24, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. 1CentFree

    How nice. Mr. Etch-A-Sketch himself will say anything to get elected. Once he's in office, I will not be surprised if unemployment shoots back up to over 10%. Mr. Mitt "I like firing people" Romney could care less about the working class if elected. He only needs our votes come election time, and then he's done with us. More money for the filthy rich.

    May 24, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  5. winky

    @four and the door President Obama has spent less than any president look it up! U republicans are scared because bush messed the economy up so bad President Obama is fixing it with less spending without any help from congress! Very smart person in order to do that! U guys want him(The President) to do bad so in 2016 u guys can say see the democratic black president failed so no more black presidents! I hope your mad because in 2016 there will be another democrat in office buddy all us democrats have to do is remind every of bush!

    May 24, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. Hap

    So he's saying he's going to continue on the course we're on. Well then, there's no need to vote for him. That is unless you want to see the workforce set back to the good old days of pre depression era. Worker have no rights, take what we give you and like it, and their favorite, the rich don't pay much in taxes. Don't forget to kill the regulations that make our food safe to eat, water safe to drink, and air safe to breath, their a hinderence to business.

    May 24, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. Cris Hernandez

    I love that last plank he's got there almost sounds like he listened to Ron Paul a bit. "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." HAHAHAH What a joke!! Like any of these candidate Obama/Romney have any intention of bringing us back to solvency. Good luck with these empty promises.

    May 24, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. Oliver

    I'll believe corporations are people when I see Texas execute one.

    May 24, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. Bercenar

    On #1 some verifyable examples would be nice, rather than empty words. On #2 looks like the natural gas prices are at their lowest according to media, so we are on our way. On #3, that's an incomplete statement. It should have read, quote: ".. get a handle on the deficit – the we, the Republicans, created during the 8 Bush years". The Republicans are full of good ideas now, but they had a mental block in pre-Obama years.

    May 24, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. cali girl

    I guess he doesn't consider the folks who lost their jobs under his Bain tutelage to be unemployed either.

    May 24, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. Dan

    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.
    Do try and stay with the program and read a little slower so you understand.. This conversation was about flip-flopping.

    May 24, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. The REAL Truth...

    @Chris – Most small business want to invest in themselves, but won't until Barry is gone.
    Chris, lets look at the reality here. Business is sitting on the largest amount of [hoarded] cash in history... why? Because the last 3 yrs have been bad for business. No stability, market volatility and stalemate on legislation from Congress. We were spiraling into a MAJOR RECESSION in Jan 09 – TARP Bailouts, 700,000 jobs a month being lost, market diving down to 8,000 mark, 401k's being lost, house market buried in the dirt, a $10T DEBT level and a $1.47T budget deficit.
    No-one realized how bad it actually was, so Congress focused on healthcare -ACA. During that time, reality hit and people voted in the teatards in 2010. Since then we have had total stalemate in congress. The Grand Obstructionist Party has blocked any attempts a legislation, and caused the downgrade of our debt ratings. Yet still the GOP controlled House tries to pass a budget that INCREASE Defense spending and cuts SS/Medicare funding...
    So the climate – despite EVERYTHING the GOP has done to make it otherwise.... the jobs are increasing and the economic improvements that have occurred will not cause business to stabilize until after Nov.
    So why would anyone want to go back to what we had at the end of 08 ???

    May 24, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. CanadaONE

    What a stupid man!! He thinks it is so easy?

    I am ashamed to say that some USA citizens accepted a man who BOUGHT his way into running for pres

    and this is his plan??

    Mitt the rip off Romoney helped other countries create jobs that were stolen away fro North America

    get him of this continent!


    May 24, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. gg

    getting control of companys ,max there credit cards skim the profits hide the money[56000 dollars a day] then bankrupt and torch is a old mafia trick,no wonder you keep your money off shore-fast getaway

    May 24, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Niuhc

    Actually, Romney is Obamalite. The only reason to vote for Romney would be to slow the damage being done to America. We really need someone like Ron Paul as president. He will halt the crash of America, and his more different ideas would be moderated by the Senate and Congress. At least he will not treat the constitution as an "inconvienence."

    May 24, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  16. znHcats

    Advanced technologies have replaced human labors, even attorney cannot find a $30,000 entry level job now, which once was paid $70,000.
    It happens in some overpopulated countries, aside from the US, China and India are facing the high unemployment rates regardless the growing economy. If you have 4 children your 4 will multiple by 16 and 256 later.....where are the jobs to fill those people for just one family?

    Addition, our law makers want to expand our retirement age to 70-which is unrealistic. In yesterday's NPR, a Chinese in China said they need to start a war to cut down some of the population so more people will have jobs. We all blame China & Indian take over our job, unemployment rates still high. It's a fact that overpopulation is a problem in civilized societies. Jobs swift to overseas will never come back, I remembered Bush promised he'd bring the jobs back during his 1st presidential campaign, so just let them keep on lying, if you believe their economic plans you are just a fool.

    Don't response by telling me to drop dead, I read at least 2 guys who claimed they loved children and have 6 of their own. How could you love your own children but tell others to die because of the disagreement?

    May 24, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. Tony

    So, basically, all of the proposals that have failed in the past to do much of anything for the economy are the basis of Romney's economic plan.

    Good work, there. I'm sure he'll win by ten points with this kind of forward thinking. And then the world will screech to a halt and fling us all off into space.

    May 24, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  18. Lisa P

    Romney seems to forget that small businesses are made up people, owners and workers, who need health care and reasonable regulation and controls on health care costs. They are not like Romney's friends, the corporate "people" who exist only to make money for shareholders, to heck with the health or needs of workers, community and country. To Romney you're just another production unit. Thank God most small business owners aren't like Romney! President Obama has been giving small business a much fairer shake than Mr. Bain Capital ever has or ever will.

    May 24, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  19. dreamer96

    GWBush was the MBA President, with his CEO VP Dick Cheney, they gave us a unfunded 7 trillion dollar prescription drug bill for seniors, or was the drug companies that won big.. MBA Bush, and CEO Cheney, gave away the budget surplus, and started two unfunded multi-trillion dollar wars, and gave a hugetax cut to the job creators, adding 2.6 trillion to our national deficit...and after 10 years where are those promised jobs... MBA Bush and CEO Cheney gave 100's of billions to Halliburton to rebuild Iraq, and Afghanistan...Just what happened to all those billions... MBA Bush, and CEO Cheney...were losing 750,000 jobs a month when they left office....

    No Mitt.... the last thing we need is a Vulture Capitalist, MBA, and CEO....all rolled up into one...

    May 24, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. Terry

    Mitt Romney is the ultimate embarrassment for the Republican Party. The GOP Leadership has lost total control by allowing this fool to speak for the Republican Party. The convention will be a total waste of time.

    May 24, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  21. fekt

    So he wants to repeal RomneyCare, I mean ObamaCare. They are so alike it's hard to tell them apart. Then he wants to greenlight our trusted friends the oil industry to build a pipeline for crappy quality oil that has a tendency to leak alot, shale. As well as probably greenlight more fracking. Then throw in some defecit reduction, i.e cut medicare. Then wave a magic wand and unemployment drops. So basically the same B.S as always but now it has a guarentee of job creation

    May 24, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |

    The RNC/Romney campaign talking point that the unemployment rate is dropping because people have simply stopped looking for work can be used against Willard. Why do you think he doesn't mention his Massachusetts record? It's not just because he passed the blueprint for "Obamacare," it's because his job creation as governor was an utter FAILURE. From 36th to 47th. Men lie, numbers don't! Explain to me Willard how Gov. Patrick has been able to turn around your bad economic policies in Massachusetts and has them in the top 10 in job creation in the country.

    May 24, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  23. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    The Real Tom Paine - Leaders don't bet on an obvious trend, either, or use an actuarial table
    What obvious trend? The unemployment fantasy numbers that Obama puts out? The REAL unemployment rate is around 11% and higher if you count those that are under employed or those that took part time jobs because they couldn't find full time jobs.

    And then there are the bogus inflation numbers the government puts out that everybody knows are totally bogus. But they say there is little or no inflation so they don't hve to increase government payments tied to the numbers. The American people ar ewaking up to just how bogus these numbers truly are.

    May 24, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  24. Tanja

    Sure.....Just like the Jobs Repub's in Congress promised in 2010....oh wait....they did NOT create those jobs they repub's will be duped again...suckers!

    May 24, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  25. Marie MD

    This is why this sack of lies doesn't want to answer questions from any reporter worth their salt. I want somebody besides the faux news cretins and bimbos to call him out on this 6% and anything and everything else he has said since he started campaigning when he was 11 years old. Okay, I am exaggerating but besides firing Americans this is all this clown has ever done in his sorry arse rich life.
    I want to see his LONG FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND HIS 2011 TAXES BEFORE NOVEMBER! I bet everyone $10,000 that this lying cheat won produce either document and the media are letting him get with it.

    May 24, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
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