Romney details 'First 100 Days,' says Obama's 'words are cheap'
June 13th, 2012
03:16 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney details 'First 100 Days,' says Obama's 'words are cheap'

Washington (CNN) - Having already aired advertisements describing what he'd do on "Day 1" in the White House, Mitt Romney explained on Wednesday what he'd do over another 99 days.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee also used his address to business chiefs to prebut President Barack Obama's economic speech in Ohio on Thursday. Romney will campaign in Ohio the same day.

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"[The president] said, as you know, just a few days ago, that the private sector is doing fine," Romney said. "But the incredulity that came screaming back from the American people has caused him, I think, to re-think that. And I think you're going to see him change course when he speaks tomorrow."

Romney continued: "And where he will acknowledge that it isn't going so well and he'll be asking for four more years...My own view is that he will speak eloquently, but the words are cheap."

Shooting back, Team Obama accused Romney of making a "dishonest claim" about the president's record and "failed to offer any new ideas of his own" on improving the economy.

Lis Smith, a spokeswoman for the Obama campaign, argued Romney would push "budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans" and let "Wall Street write its own rules–the same policies that crashed the economy and devastated the middle class in the first place."

"America can't afford Romney economics," she said in a statement.

Romney was the guest of the Business Roundtable's quarterly meeting. The group, an association of CEOs of major corporations, hosted President Obama in March.

Over 100 CEOs attended to hear Romney. Reporters were allowed into the session for the candidate's opening remarks, which lasted roughly 20 minutes. Afterwards, all members of the media were asked to leave so that Romney and the business leaders could privately interact. The Business Roundtable's meetings are typically closed to the press.

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In addition to pre-butting the president's speech, Romney laid out what he'd do in the first 100 days of a Romney administration. Earlier Wednesday, the campaign released a graphic on "How a Romney Presidency Would be Different."

"I will in my first 100 days take action to eliminate government programs, to send a lot of government programs back to states where I limit the rate of growth at inflation, and to cut back the number of federal employees through attrition," Romney said. "And by the way, to link the pay of government workers with the pay that exists in the private sector. And those things save about $500 billion a year by my fourth year in office, if I am lucky enough to be elected, and get us to a balanced budget within eight to 10 years."

Also on Romney's to-do list: approving the controversial Keystone pipeline, slashing non-security discretionary government spending, reducing the number of government regulations and repealing 'Obamacare.'

On that issue, Romney repeated a new line of attack against the president – a slam that's being cited as taking the president's words out of context.

"The other day, when he was asked, 'Do you understand that particular small businesses [are] having a hard time because of Obamacare?' He said he didn't know – he hadn't heard that small businesses were affected by Obamacare, negatively," Romney told the CEOs, referring to the president.

It turns out, that's not exactly what the president said.

During a Tuesday interview with a local television from Iowa, the president was asked about the impact of the nation's health reform law on small businesses.

The interviewer told the president that an Iowa company said it had to close and move jobs to Wisconsin, as a "direct result of the health care reform that you initiated, that Congress passed."

"How do you react to that?" the reporter asked.

The president responded: "That would be kind of hard to explain. Because the only folks that have been impacted in terms of the health care bill are insurance companies who are required to make sure that they're providing preventive care, or they're not dropping your coverage when you get sick. And so, this particular company probably wouldn't have been impacted by that."

Meanwhile, Romney also told the business leaders that the government often treats them as if they're adversaries – instead of friends.

"Government has to be the partner, the friend, the ally, the supporter of enterprise not the enemy," Romney said. "Too often, you find yourself facing a government that looks at you like you are the bad guys. And if you are hiring people and employing people and paying taxes you are the good guys. I want you to do well."

Also see:

Obama radio spot aims at black voters

Poll gives Obama edge in Pennsylvania

Obama campaign hits Romney's Massachusetts record in second TV ad

Filed under: 2012 • Economy • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Washington D.C.
soundoff (231 Responses)
  1. Four and The Door

    ...To bad Romney & the republicans have delibertly tried to destroy the economy to make it look bad for people to vote for them.
    The economy went into a terrible downward spiral in 2009 and 2010. The Republicans were pretty much locked out of the federal government during those years. Unemployment shot straight up to over 10% and national debt increased by $4 trillion. The voters spoke clearly in 2010 and Republicans have done an excellent job in The House. But they can only do so much when the democratic Senate and the Obama Administration shoot down their budgets and economic recovery bills. It is the voter's turn again. And we know at least the Republicans were listening in 2010.

    June 13, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. Myviewis

    Governor Romney comes with experience of running a state and being a businessman, he knows what he's doing. Obama on the other hand is just getting a lot of help in side tracking the voters from realizing that he had never even worked for the City of Chicago, never even worked in a supermarket, this man had no working experience and no academics in finance, business administration, accounting, business management. I think Democrats are upset that Obama lack of academics and work experience is showing in his job performance, in his speeches and everything is being done to distract away from Obama. Even Rahm Emanuel became a Mayor which gives him the experience if someday he would want to run for president.

    June 13, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. GL

    In an interview with conservative radio host Neal Boortz, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney floated an unusual profit-making opportunity for himself if he becomes president — paying himself a higher salary if he performs well in the White House. In Romney’s words, “I do believe in linking my incentives and my commitment to the accomplishment of specific goals . . . . I wish we had that happen throughout government — where people recognized they are not going to get rewarded in substantial ways unless they are able to achieve the objectives that they were elected to carry out.”

    So Mitt is going to cut all these services for the poor so he can give himself nice raise.

    June 13, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    This Flip-Flop is a fool, nonsense. Bain Capital..

    June 13, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. Joi Gibson

    Hey Willard, you the President's words are cheap. I say, pot meet kettle


    June 13, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. Jamie

    I can't believe the word 'cheap' is in Romney's vocabulary.

    June 13, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. Scott

    I'll bet anyone a million bucks that the business leader at this meeting with Romney all have businesses making profits. So I guess the private sector is doing fine. Good job Mr. President

    Obama 2012!

    June 13, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. Woman In California

    This is Willard's plan for the economy:


    Obama 2012 because he HAS a plan to KEEP us moving FORWARD and the other guy DOESN'T.

    June 13, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. Dan5404

    In your case, Mitt, "words are lies".

    June 13, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. Tom-n-NoVA

    Romney: "The middle class is doing just fine."

    Did everyone conveniently forget that he JUST said that a couple months ago???

    June 13, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. John

    I never heard a bigger line of crap In all my life. All this man does Is LIE and do a lot of Flip- Flop on every time he talk. this man Is out of touch will the Middle class and the Poor and the OLD. All he care about Is the Rich.

    June 13, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  12. cali girl

    Just remember who Robmey is friends with – NASCAR Owners, Football team owners, Trump, Koch's, Adelson.
    And what is the one factor they all have with each other? TONS OF CASH.
    So why does Robmey want to be President? To help his friends. Now, do you see any of these friends helping out the American people? Would you want to go for coffee with any of these people, what would you talk about?
    It is the rich 1% vs the regular 99%.
    By the way, Corporate tax rates are at 12%, lower than Bush's or Reagans years. And record profits too, Record profits soared in 2010 and they have not seen the kind of profits since 1972.
    So to say President Obama is no friend to business, you have got to be kidding me. These corporations are doing fairly well and have been under Obama.

    June 13, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  13. Woman In California

    I'm also glad this creep is up (in some polls) and the president is down (in some). Why you ask – because usually the person UP goes DOWN and the person DOWN goes UP which will be just in time for the general election and the president can go on to once again BEAT Willard and his lies for the LAST time.

    Obama 2012 ALL the way.

    June 13, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  14. BLKMANinAmerica

    LMBAO..........................Romney a millionaire your words are totally WORTHLESS, I mean really, what on earth will your pre-election "words" do to solve any of the issues America face? NOT A DARN THING.........................e.g. Worthless. What a fake JOKE.

    June 13, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. GL

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has turned back an effort by Kentucky Republican Rand Paul to drastically cut food stamp spending and replace the food aid program with block grants to the states.

    The 65-33 vote to defeat the Paul amendment was part of debate on a five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm and food bill

    Sorry to tell Mitt his plan to eliminate government programs, to send a lot of government programs back to states was just voted down today in the Senate.

    June 13, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  16. Nuihc

    This Gurgyl is a fool, nonsense.

    June 13, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  17. Leroy

    Why does Willard smack his lips so much? Can you imagine how annoying it would be to listen to that for four years?

    June 13, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  18. Tony Z

    Unless I am wrong than the government has gotten smaller under Obama and will continue. These are already published facts. A company had to move to Wisconsin because of health care cost- Is that the only factor. Obama has already asked for regulations to be reduced at a greater number than Bush.

    I wish they could have a debate that facts checks their statements and renders an answer. Talk about hearing "That's a lie"

    June 13, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  19. tee27

    police, firefighters and teachers get ready to work for pennies as mitt said

    June 13, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  20. mcskadittle

    not as cheap or meaningless as a candidates "First 100 days" promises

    June 13, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  21. demwit

    As promised.., Healthcare cost have come down, unemployment never got above 8% and the economy is doing fine ...., right!??

    June 13, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  22. Jess C

    @Four: You're so indoctrinated by GOP garbage it's hard at this point to think you actually believe the crap you spew. Funny, I've never heard Obama say he's against private business. In fact, most businesses in our area are doing quite well and certainly better than when this country was losing upwards of 700,000 jobs per month prior to Obama. And we've done that with no help at all from the GOP toads in Congress. Romney would be horrible for this country; we just dug out of the hole, who in the heck wants to repeat that?

    June 13, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  23. Drew

    You know what? Go ahead and elect Romney, if he can overcome the Ron Paul effect, and in four years you will all be clammering to elect Hillary. Romney is not the answer but the American people can't avoid electing losers because they are the only ones who want to run. It would make more sense to reelect Obama at least he's run the country for four years and without any help from the morons in Congress.

    June 13, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  24. Bahaha

    Ooops another leak on Obama lying to all us American citizens. Can't believe that people actually want to re-elect this guy.

    June 13, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  25. Mikey

    Can President Obama's word be considered cheaper than those of the candidate who has lied repeatedly about almost everything?

    June 13, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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