June 7th, 2012
03:10 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney labels Obama economy 'moral failure'

St. Louis, Missouri (CNN) - Calling it a 'moral failure of tragic proportion,' Mitt Romney argued free enterprise has weakened under President Barack Obama in a speech Thursday.

"But sadly, it has become clear that this president simply doesn't understand or appreciate these fundamental truths of our economic system," he said before hundreds at Production Products, a small minority-owned business that provides ground support equipment to the United States military.

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"This is not just a failure of policy, it is a moral failure of tragic proportion. Our government has a moral commitment to help every American help himself - him and herself - and that commitment has been broken."

The Republican Party's all-but-official presidential nominee touted the fundamentals of a free enterprise system as the answer to reviving the economy.

Romney charges that Obama not upholding these values has led to Americans losing their jobs, disappearing from the work force and living in poverty.

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"That same system has helped lift more people out of poverty across the globe than any government program or any competing economic system. That success of our economic system, of our free enterprise system, has been a bright beacon of freedom for the people of the world. It has signaled to oppressed people to rise up against their oppressors, and it's given hope to the once hopeless."

Obama's campaign said in a statement to reporters that Romney "offered no new ideas and no new policies that would actually grow the economy and strengthen the middle class."

"Mitt Romney has promised to use his experience to turn around the economy, but all he has offered to date are negative and dishonest speeches tearing down President Obama," said Lis Smith, an Obama campaign spokeswoman. "And we know why- his focus in both the private and public sectors was never on creating jobs, it was on helping the wealthiest prosper by any means necessary, even if it meant undermining workers and middle class families."

Also see:

Romney reacts to Wisconsin recall vote

Texas a cash cow for Romney

Jill Biden weighs into 2016

Filed under: 2012 • Missouri • Mitt Romney
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. v_mag

    Anytime wealth is not taken from the middle class and transfered to the rich and corporations, Rob-money thinks it's a moral failure.

    Romney = Bush = disaster.

    June 7, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  2. Bernie

    I can not wait for the debates between Mitt and Obama. Obama is going to make him look stupid. I have a feeling Obama is going to be interrupted by this clown on multiple occasions. The Republicans have zero respect for our president. Just watch. Mitt will be completely disrespectful to him. Obama has been hissed at during speeches by Repubs and I believe it was Jan Brewer who got in Obama's face shaking her finger at him. Romney's only chance is to prevent our president from speeking.

    Obama 2012

    June 7, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. PJ/TX

    "Moral failure" is the fact that the Republicans are unwilling to work in unison with Democrats to find solutions
    for all of the American people that are suffering brought on by their own incompetence, pettiness, greed,
    and failure to accept the need for compromise.
    "Moral failure" is the destruction of the environment just for one more drop of oil,
    "Moral failure" is "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" before all efforts for diplomatic solutions have been exhausted,
    the list is endless, but in a nutshell
    "Moral failure" is the Republican Congress.

    June 7, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |

    In a survey conducted by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, 80 percent of economic experts agreed that, because of the stimulus, the U.S. unemployment rate was lower at the end of 2010 than it would have been otherwise.
    Willard must have not listened to the CBO testimony regarding the stimulus yesterday. It worked!!!

    June 7, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  5. Jill

    Mr. Romney is a moral failure of tragic proportions for his use of the likes of Carl Rove and Koch Bros. and use all the money he can to justify his end game. It is truly deplorable. And, for the record, Mitt Romney spent his time in Paris while many of you Vietnam GI's were serving your country. He applied for and received 4 – yes 4- deferments to stay out of service and it is morally bankrupt for him to lie later and say he longed in his heart to serve there. What a bunch of crap.

    June 7, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  6. joyce

    ro Rep[uiblican are the greatest–if that was so then why are we in the mess we are in and where are the jobs they promised in 2010

    June 7, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  7. nml

    Larry L – Obama handed the auto industry to the labor unions who created the problem to begin with. That is not a solution. and you think he wants to destroy social security and Medicare? Actually, they have already been destroyed. They are bankrupt. They need to be fixed. The banking industry was the most heavily regulated in our history when all the bad stuff happened. As for anything beyond the economy – I don't care at this point. We need to get people back to work before we talk about the environment and everything else.

    June 7, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. once upon a horse

    cutting programs from those who need them the most and giving more to those who need it the LEAST is moral failure to me and that is what Mitt and his cronnies plan to do if he wins in November. The "saftey net" for the poor Mitt claimed he was so not worried about is going to be full of holes once he and Ryan are done with it. But the 1% that he claimed he is also not worried about will be just fine. How is that for high morals folks?

    June 7, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. Jill

    If 4% unemployment is considered full employment in the U.S. and the average unemployment now is hovering slightly over 8% in some States, and well under 8% in many states, then this false moral argument Romney is making is over 4% of the population who is looking for employment – not the same people all the time- but on average 4% who may need new skills and job training. Just ask our Republican "hell no" Congress where the jobs and training bills are! They said No, No, and Hell No. That is what I will say to them come November and that includes their precious Willard.

    June 7, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. Willis

    @ Bernie, WORD, This Yahoo aint gonna hold a candle to Our Prez. He is a filthy Rich Man who cares 0 about the workin folks.

    June 7, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  11. Larry L


    RS- what your comments based on? Just your assumptions about Republicans that aren't based on any facts? What specifically do you think Romney will do to kick the poor and the elderly?Please enlighten us
    Facts: The Paul Ryan budget is something Romney says he supports. That plan would privatize much of Social Security and Medicare. All estimates show that plan would place those programs at great risk when the markets flex – like during a deep recession! You're about to chant the GOP mantra for those issues – that the free market is the only way to save them. No – you can remove the cap on Social Security contributions (about 106k/year of income) and make people contribute on every dollar they earn. Medicare could be fixed like it has been throughout all of the nations who now deliver better healthcare than the U.S. – by adding a single-payer option to Obamacare, tort reform, tax breaks for providers who accept Medicare, strong preventive medicine incentives, and state-level peer review boards for "best practice medicine" rather than "fees for excessive services". Where are your facts to show these changes would not work? What are the Republican plans beyond the failed concept of trickle-down econimics?

    June 7, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. Mikey

    @Bernie – I disagree. Romney doesn't need the President to look stupid. As he has demonstrated repeatedly, he's quite capable of doing that all on his own. Although I have to admit, the comparison is going to make him look even worse. LOL

    June 7, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. sure thats what they say

    This is the guy who is in hiding. Let's review his 56 point plan... oh wait, he refuses to actually talk about it, or even defend it. What we get from Mitt is all negative, but no solutions. So far all we know about Mitt is that he wouldn't have pulled troops our of Iraq, he would not have made and agreement to pull out of Afganistan, he would have put boots on the ground in Iran and Syria, and he finds actual job growth to be a sign of bad economics.
    I agree with those who say that during an actual debate we will see him looking nervously, shaking his head in disbelief that Obama has called his bluff, and will go for a personal and well planned out personal attack... it is all he knows how to do.

    June 7, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  14. Expat American

    ‘Moral Failure’ is terminology more befitting for Republicans; WMDs, lying to the United Nations, the killing of tens of thousands of women and children during ‘show and awe’, waging illegal wars, Abu Ghraib , spying on American citizens, discrimination against women, gays, etc..

    Ironically, George Bush was re-elected on an exit poll platform of ‘Values’.

    The world abroad laughed a good 4 years over this until 2008 when a smug McCain and a bigoted uneducated Palin were defeated.

    June 7, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  15. tee27

    This is coming from a guy who refuse to show his past tax returns 1998-2010, Voters don`t be fooled by the Republicans and there money. and by the way Mitt had the $55,000 car elevator installed last week.

    Obama 2012

    June 7, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  16. don in albuquerque

    Gee....Is the fact that you cannot get through the day without lying not a moral issue? Is hiding your money in the Caymans or a Swiss bank not a moral issue (oops sorry thats a GOP issue that its okay to cheat and sell your country down the drain)? Is the fact that you enjoy destroying companies and their employees lives not a moral issue (well heck, and darn. Another GOP issue)? Is the fact that you are a coward hiding yourself and kids from military behind any religion, while you now want to send other peoples children off to die in wars not a moral issue Well that settles it. Mittens must be the second coming. Mitt and every republican in this country are the moral failures.

    June 7, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. chelle

    Oh my. The WORLD economy was in a meltdown, not just the US. One of the only countries that survived unscathed – or at least without as much damage – was Canada. You know, that "socialist" country to your north with heavily regulated banking, labour unions, universal health care, higher taxes, more social safety nets (stuff like 12 month maternity leaves – paid ones), higher home ownership while having tougher qualifications for it. Perhaps Mr. Romney finds it easy to ignore facts, but why do Americans allow it?? Call your politicians out on their lies. Make them explain how their ideas are going to help you.

    June 7, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. Atlantic1

    Romney is building an elevator for his cars and has the streets around his neighborhood closed down. That's called epic moral failure!

    June 7, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. Jill

    So Mr. Romney, where are your tax returns – why can't we see them!

    June 7, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. Peace

    If Romney's strategy is blame, blame, blame without laying down what he will do differently, I am afraid, he is going to regret wasting his time for a second try.

    June 7, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  21. kayla

    you never will be president mr. stiff, never, never, never

    June 7, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  22. Sue

    Well, based on the newly released Gallup poll--that shows that Romney has the support of the middle class and upper income voters (ALL voters who make $35,000 or more)-–And, that Romney has the support/votes of the majority of Independents--it appears that the majority agrees with Romney's statement about Obama's economy being a moral failure!! As Romney and the superpacs use their ads to wake up more and more voters about the "real" Obama--and what he and his policies have done to our economy/country--you will begin to see Romney taking the lead in more and more states!! The majority of voters want independence, self worth, jobs, and the opportunity to succeed-–not welfare and foodstamps!!!

    June 7, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  23. Tony

    A modern day Judus Iscariot.

    June 7, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    Not understand free enterprise? Has anyone checked their 401ks recently? Certainly a lot better than they were 3.5.years ago. Interest rates? At record lows. Manufacturing is up, something Romney wanted to kick to the curb in favor of jobs at Staples. The only moral failure has been committed by Miott, for running for 6 years for an office he does not understand nor really want, except as another resume builder.

    June 7, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  25. Delusional Democrats Whining Crying Blaming, My Dream Has Come True

    Well this is what happens when you put an inexperienced socialist community organizer in charge of the greatest and most prosperous capitalist country the world has ever known. Because not every single person doesn't have the very same things and opportunity, the inexperienced socialist community organizer thinks that somehow the system is flawed and must be totally re-engineered, re-designed to "level the playing field" to ensure it is "fair" and ensure that every single person merely has to show up to get their trophy in life.

    June 7, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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