Democrats say Romney doesn't support firefighters, teachers, police
June 9th, 2012
03:36 PM ET
10 years ago

Democrats say Romney doesn't support firefighters, teachers, police

(CNN) - President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign continued to pounce Saturday on Mitt Romney for his comments opposing more stimulus measures, claiming they show the GOP presidential candidate isn’t on the side of teachers and first responders.

Jumping on Obama’s assertion on Friday that the "private sector's doing fine" - which he later dialed back - Romney said at a campaign event later in the day in Iowa that the president is "pushing aside the private sector" in favor of more government. That includes supporting economic stimulus measures that helped cash-strapped local governments pay the salaries of some public employees.

"He wants another stimulus. He wants to hire more government workers," Romney said. "He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people."

Romney pointed to the recall election in Wisconsin last Tuesday, which was triggered by petition signatures collected after that state’s Republican governor signed a controversial bill stripping public employee unions of many public bargaining rights. Gov. Scott Walker won that race, which drew considerable national attention.

Democrats, such as party vice chairman R.T. Rybak, said Romney was arguing that "the American people don't benefit from firemen, policemen and teachers," reasoning the former Massachusetts governor was therefore arguing they were expendable.

"As mayor of Minneapolis, I can tell you that residents in our city understand and appreciate the important services that our firefighters, police officers and teachers provide," Rybak said Friday. "Our businesses, homes and schools are all better off thanks to the tireless work of our firefighters, police officers and teachers. Suggesting that the American people don't want safer homes, safer streets and smaller class sizes really makes you wonder which Americans Mitt Romney is talking to."

The Obama campaign on Saturday released a web video that highlighted Romney's quote, juxtapositioned against comments the Republican candidate made in a news conference Friday.

"But one of the biggest weaknesses has been state and local governments, which have laid off 450,000 Americans. These are teachers and cops and firefighters," he said. Republicans had seized on a different line from those remarks, when he said the "private sector's doing fine."

Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul responded to the video with a statement calling it "manufactured outrage."

"While President Obama wants to stimulate government, Mitt Romney wants to stimulate the American economy," she said. "President Obama truly believes the economy is ‘doing fine,’ which is why he is doubling down on his failed policies that have impeded job creation and economic growth."

Unions also weighed in.

National Education Association executive director John Stocks said in a statement, "It is appalling how Romney takes an almost disdainful attitude towards critical public servants like firefighters protecting our communities and teachers educating our children."

And Friday evening, the International Association of Fire Fighters released a statement announcing their endorsement of the president.

The organization's president Harold Schaitberger, said in a letter to affiliate members that Obama has advocated "funding for programs that have kept thousands of fire fighters and paramedics on the job."

As Massachusetts governor, Schaitberger continued, Romney "attempted to strip away the collective bargaining rights of fire fighters in the state and has repeatedly stated that he opposes and would zero-out the federal grant programs that provide critical funding to communities to keep fire fighters working and for life-saving equipment and apparatus."

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. incredulous

    Could it be any clearer? Will middle class voters now sit up and pay attention to the kind of destruction Romney wants to inflict on the US?

    June 9, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. Arick

    Cutting into education to balance the budget is like smoking to cure cancer.

    June 9, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    Well, it is a known fact., Wisconsin laid off lot of these guys on the pretext of saving–well, uneducated corn-Belt farming idiots voted for that idiot, these thugs think entire nation is that way-if nation is smarter know the truth, vote all these republican idiots from public offices. I am un-biased writing–no way I am benefitted. True, god bless this nation...yes, on OBAMA2012.

    June 9, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. Pete

    Romney is guilty as charged.In the same mold as Reagan,Scott,Walker,Kacish and all the rest of these extremist governors.It started with Reagan and air traffic controllers and its still going on in Wisconsin with their Walker stripping public sector unions rites for collective bargaining.No freedom or liberty is safe with them,they want Medicare dismantled,Medicaid eliminated,Social Security revamped,making it harder to retire,ACA healthcare also gone,if not make it only a shadow of its former self,everything with republicans are on the table ,nothings sacred.They're wealthy or ignorent because there's s lot of republicans voting against their own best interests only to say, "I voted republican",that's ignorence,isn't it!Ruin which once was the American dream,to be or do whatever you want ,that's by republicans is not sacred any more and they want it eliminated also.You can only be wealthy,if born into wealth,you can only be sucessful, only if born into sucess,republicans want disenchantment,they want to see others fail,its their arrogence this November that will spell their own demise,that's a fact you can bet cash on!!

    June 9, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    Of course, he doesn't support hard working Americans. All the bishop from Kolob supports are his rich friends with the big pools, mansions and the golf courses for backyards.
    All he likes to do is fire people, he thinks corporations ARE people (and this I believe because he is so warm that only a piece of concrete can come close to his heart) buy companies and bankrupt them.
    Case in point . . . remember KB Toys? This company was worth $305M. The bishop came in with bain and gave them $18M. They then "restructured" it, the company went backrupt, all 500 stores closed (who knows how many employees lost their jobs) but he and his bain buddies made out like bandits with $85M. If I remember correctly their take after destroying the company was over 300%.

    June 9, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. rla

    Oh yes also old people, lemmings, illegals, blacks, latinos, indians, gays, blueman group, white poodles???? Did I leave anyone out ??? OPPPPS womwn of course-silly me!!!! All of the groups mentioned in this article happen to be part of the fast disolving democrat base... By november they wont have a base!

    June 9, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    If corporations are people, my friend, then what is the gender of Bain Capital?

    June 9, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. rob

    We just had this arguement in Wiss. The rational adults won that one and we will win it again in November. The dems are desparate and clinging to their smears and lies because the record is clear. The private sector, the public sector and everyone else is doing lousey. Their experiment with European type Social Democracy has failed- time to turn back to what has made America great.

    Nov. 6 can't come fast enough.

    June 9, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  9. Jules

    Romney doesn't care about the people who provide service every day in Americans' lives. They don't earn enough and they don't contribute enough and you know what else, he doesn't care what happens to them because he has his few billionaires that are going to try and buy him the presidency of this country and then they will OWN him..

    June 9, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  10. indie voter

    Republicans never support education. The need to keep the electorate ignorant. Why do you think the ignorant south always votes republican. Dumb people are easier to scare with baseless lies.

    June 9, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  11. truth

    tried of what Dems SAY....who cares, results count....nothing going forward but personal attacks since they can't talk about results (positive)

    June 9, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  12. Desmond in Canada

    It is indeed so pathetic that you are even thinking of considering this Rawmoney for your president.

    June 9, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. rat pt 01

    I want to see romney shake the hand if a man that has spent his day clean sewers and then not go for purell instantly afterwards.

    June 9, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. Hammerer

    Every time Obama opens his mouth he proves that he is a comedian.

    June 9, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. bill j orlando

    gurgyl......... how much public assistance do you get? wake up before its too late. 4 more years of clown obama and this country will be a banana republic and you will be on your own.

    June 9, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  16. dave

    how can you say we dont need fire or policemen? how out of touch is romney?

    June 9, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  17. gt

    ok obama doesnt support christians,business or guns....both are bs...

    June 9, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  18. Mike in Texas

    The backbone of a solid America is to have a sound infrastructure. Good roods, bridges, waterways, dams, Police, Fire and Teachers. Invest in America. These "job creators" are not job creators, they are wealth creators. They have money to hire but don't need to hire because they lack the demand to hire.

    Demand from consumers drives companies to hire not lower taxes. Lower taxes just puts more money into their pockets.

    June 9, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. GG

    I think Romney doesn't understand the Amercan people but only he does understand how to make profit for him self and the big corporations.

    June 9, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  20. ddt

    When Ramney was given secret service security, he didn't refuse to take it. They are paid for by tax payers money. This is a man who cares for himself. He is running for presidency but he doesn't know that the job of the president it to protect the public. I watched him on CNN when he said that he is not concerned about the very poor. Just because he has never called 911 then the rest can take care of themselves, believe me there people dying to vote for him

    June 9, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  21. Debby

    So tell me what has Obama done for cops, firefighters and teachers in one word nothing.

    June 9, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  22. Josaphat Daniels

    These gop liars are so full of it. If the President is out of touch for saying that the private sector is doing fine (which in fact is
    true) then the governor is even more out of touch, remember when he said that he wasn't concerned about the poor because they had a safety net and that he wasn't concerned about the rich because they were doing fine. In fact romoney
    said the exact same thing when he said that the rich was doing fine.

    June 9, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  23. Moderate Independent

    @ria: are you a nazi? If not you sure sound like one. Your post makes no sense at all. Get a grip because we are all Americans. This is a demoracy not a dicatorship. Without first responders and teachers we will become a thirld world country. If that is what you want ria you are in the wrong country.

    June 9, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  24. B.

    Bill Clinton was right in saying "Romney would be Bush on Steroids". He is and would be nothing more than Bush was, a puppet for Corporations and the wealthy.

    June 9, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  25. jack878

    Of course Obama wants to hire more government workers because their union dues are his biggest source of campaign funding. This guy's answer to everything is more government spending, how's that working out in Greece. Four more with Obama and we are Greece.

    June 9, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
1 2 3 4