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."

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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:

Obama campaign expands Bain attack and general election ad buys

Poll: Romney takes lead in Florida

Palin endorses Utah's Hatch in Senate race

Arkansas, Kentucky primaries pose challenge for Obama

Filed under: 2012 • Jobs • Mitt Romney
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. Four and The Door

    RINO Bil
    ... and next week he'll promise a chicken in every pot.
    ...and Obama will promise a Chevy Volt in every garage. Except they have shut down production of the Volt for now because they were a bit too optimistic about actually selling many of these. Darn Nissan Leaf!!!

    May 24, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. Tom

    Get rid of Obamacare? How would that get our unemployment down to 6%. That makes no sense whatsoever. Gov. Romney, I wish you would spell out exactly what that would look like. In fact, the US has one of the worst healthcare costs in the world. And Obamacare is trying to fix that. Energy strategy? What in the world does that even mean? Get a handle on the deficit? That's nothing more than stating the obvious. All mumbo jumbo rhetoric.
    1. Get rid of Obamacare = "Please don't equate Obamacare with Romneycare, honestly, we are different."
    2. Energy strategy = "Gas prices are up, but this is another way of saying, they aren't coming down and I can't bring them down, but this is just a fancier way of saying that."
    3. Deficit Reduction= "Rich 1% rejoice! 99% sucks for you!"

    May 24, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. Adam

    When Romney selects Rubio to be his running mate, the presidential election will be sealed for the GOP.

    May 24, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. Michael

    Well Mitt, if Obama has failed the republicnas are to blame. They are the ones who refuse to pass any of his measures thereby insuring he will fail. So there is no way of knowing if his ideas would have succeeded. Republicans were perfectly happy to have the country fail just so Obama would not be re-elected. I hope Mitt is soundly defeated.

    May 24, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. Dave T

    When Romney was governor of Massachusetts they were ranked 47th in creating jobs, also Obamacare is very similar to what he did in MA as governor, why was it good then, but not good now? He can say whatever people want to hear but his track record speaks for its self.

    May 24, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. Anne P.

    Wow, Mittens, how impressive! Some nerve to say this when the economy is already on track without him or this worthless, lowest rated Congress in recent history. Laughable! We don't need or want you, Mittens. Obama has us covered. For all you Fox Noise trolls who keep preaching the same tired old bullet points; quit boring us with your nonsense.

    May 24, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  7. Keith A. Sillsbury

    thats just great mittins! Keep pushing the failed policies that got us here and maybe, just maybe one day, you yourself will believe them but as for the rest of us well, we look back at history ( you know, that means things others before you have done) and can see that these policies don't work. Oh yeah and one more thing. I work for a global corperation that happens to be one of the more honest ones and yeah, looking at the data from a corperate eye the forcast already has the unemployment rate at 6% or lower. good try trying to spin that in your favor but YOU will NEVER be our PRESIDENT.

    May 24, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. Jason

    Republicans: Rekindling people's belief in pure evil

    May 24, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. Leeford

    So Romney would:
    Reeduce your healthcare
    Destroy the environment
    Get rid of social security medicare and other entitlements

    all so some lazy people will be handed a job?

    May 24, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. realitybites

    I said this in an earlier post and I'll say it again.

    When I get elected president I promise that it will rain in Florida. Better yet I will make the sun sun come up in the morning and down down 12 hrs later.

    May 24, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  11. griffbos

    "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.

    this would happen even if we left the office vacant for tghe next 4 years, they US is recovery yes slowly but the rate has already dropped 2% from it's high and will easly drop another 2% over the next 4 years. in part of that increase is baby boomers retiring at a faster rate, so hi splan is meaningless to this voter he offers nothing new juat the same broken system..............

    May 24, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. emma

    Easy for him to say, especially, because he has never been the President. Romney is making promises, but is not the least clear about how he will be able to keep them. If Affordable Health Care is repealed, think about how many people will die because of what insurance companies determine are pre-existing conditions.

    May 24, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. Jeff

    I have to agree with Michael. The idea that POTUS can not get any passed is because the Congress refuses to do the job they were elected to do and their agenda is to fillibuster everything. If their only goal is to see the POTUS be a one-termer, then we all fail.

    May 24, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. Bren

    Now, what is going to be hilarious, is listening to Obama try to tell voters that he has a plan as well. Errr....ummmm.....I have a plan too.....Hopey and changey.......Now, this hopey and changey is different then what I ran on for 2008. And, you just have to risk the future of our economy/country and your own futures, and just believe me. I cannot wait for the debates. Romney an economic/business genius-versus Obama having to defend his 4 year record and answer questions--without his preloaded, memorized teleprompter responses.

    May 24, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  15. Kramer

    Repeal the Recovery! Restore the Recession..!! Vote RMoney and Republicons 2012

    See – Even More Desperate, Cheaper American Workers created by Recession will continue the Decade of Record Productivity and Profits from You All Working 2 Times Harder for 1/2 the Pay, Benefits, Hours and No Job Security..!!

    May 24, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. MaryM

    Romney said that anything, unemployment, above 4% for President Obama was unacceptable, but it was ok to give himself 6%. Romney is a *********** hypocrite. Do not let Romney anywhere near the Whitehouse. He will NOT help the middle class or poor Americans. Also Romney is all for the Ryan Budget plan which RAISES TAXS ON THE MIDDLE CLASS AND POOR AND CUTS TAXS FOR THE WEALTHIST Americans

    May 24, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Kramer

    Why Wait for November – Vote for RMoney and Republicons Now!

    Here's How: Go to your Boss and demand a Huge CUT in $Pay, Hours, Benefits and NO Job Security!!

    See, You apparently also agree with Republicons that funneling even MORE Record Wealth, Leverage and Profits to your CEO, Investors and the Wealthiest (who do None of the actual Work) is somehow Best for You, Your Family and ALL Americans..!??

    May 24, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  18. NoRadicals99

    I dont understand how not having obamacare reduce unemployment when it is not in place right now and unemployment is high

    May 24, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. rta

    I am so tired of hearing a no nothing speak. gov. romney it is painful to hear you spout a lot of things and say nothing, no specifics, no questions will you answer, no explanations, and just more and more, "Hey everybody , just trust me, I can do everything" Why do you think the American people are so stupid, gov. romney? All you are is a puppet for the republican party. That is not leadership.

    May 24, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  20. RM Berrios

    This is what will happen if by a bad struck of luck Mitt wins the presidency and if the GOP keeps the majority it has in the House: hi will become a rubber stamp for bad legislation that will benefit mostly the rich, reduce to bare minimum the Federal budget so that in the end the programs that assist the sick, the poor and the elderly will be de-funded; the country will be run by religious extremists and political demagogues. He will benefit personally from the greatest American collapse. Because he is such a liar and wants to take credit for the inevitable goodness that Obama's vision and hard fought policies will eventually bring to fruition. Let's be more rational about this last issue and don't blame our president for not achieving more. Money has bought the conscience of the Republicans and they have to deliver to those who put their money in their campaigns.

    May 24, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. jake

    This fool is repeating what many others including the CBO that unemployment will be at 6% in 2016. He hears it, then stake a claim to it like it's his original idea. Same thing with the auto industry which he claims credit for it doing well now even though he said "let them go bankrupt". Next thing he'll promise is that if elected President, the Korean War will be over, he'll freeze the polar caps, and that he'll make sure water stays wet. What a clown this man is.

    May 24, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. jake

    Hi, I'm Mitt Romney and if you elect me President, I will.....I will.....Oh, I know, I will be President of the USA.

    May 24, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. Kimo

    I would do four things if made President: get employment down to 1%, lower the price of gas to $2/gal, mine asteroids for gold and silver and free pony rides for all the children. Thank you for your support and God bless America.

    May 24, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  24. Reggie from LA

    Sounds like a plan alright, but not one that makes much sense or has ANY promise. Just FALSE promises and pandering. If you consider this plan as some platform for future prosperity, go right ahead and vote for RMoney. You'll deserve him.

    May 24, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  25. king

    when romney get rid of obamacare, that will be hundred of thousands of healthcare workers will be uninployed, along with the 30 million americans that will be left on the street. how will that create jobs in america, when soo much folks have less money to spend. oh i forgot, romney didnt mean americans he meant chinese. because this is where companies will be rushing to when folks stop coming into their businesses, because romney took their spending money.

    May 24, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7