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. joesixpackjr

    Romney is wrong. Nothing about Obama has been cheap.

    June 14, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  2. honeybee

    There is no doubt in my mind that Romney's plans will benefit only the rich. He still thinks that the average American is dumb enough to believe they will benefit from the "trickle down" theory. Empowering and enriching corporations and the wealthy does nothing but increase their profit margins. And the wealthy either hoard their money or spend it on luxury items.

    June 14, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  3. vbscript2

    "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.""

    Which shows that what Romney said is true: Obama doesn't understand how his law is negatively affecting small businesses. I work for a small business. To keep the same coverage that we had prior to Obamacare would have cost an additional 40% in premiums after the first round of Obamacare went into affect. Even with increasing the deductible and copays, it still ended up costing 12% more than the previous year. If Obama doesn't see how Obamacare has and is affecting small businesses, then he isn't paying attention or just doesn't understand his own law (or both.)

    June 14, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  4. Madaline

    P.S Mitt is correct "the poor" meaning=people on the system have many mega safety nets ie; Welfare, food stamps, Free housing, Free college educations for those who want them, it's called Full Federal Aid & Financlal Aid... not to mention Free laptops too now in some States and Free cell phones too WOW imagine that for staying home...

    Well I agree with Mitt these poor folks have mega tons of safety nets!!

    The governamen supplies a Free way out if anyone wants it "Yes you can"!

    Mitt is correct this is not the group that everyone in thsio country should worry about it's "The Working Poor who are working making 20,000 or 25,000 per year there is NOTHING No Help for!! This is the group that every person in this country should jump to try and help!!! The children of this group can't get ANY Government help and Why you ask well its because we work but yet our children suffer because we cant pay for College and they get no FREE cell phones or Free Laptops but yet there are no bleeding hearts who want to help the children of this group...hummm... why is that??

    So yes I agree with Mitt he's correct! There are many, many, many Free safety nets for poor people in this country but none for the Working poor!!!

    June 14, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  5. Copper's Donut Shoppe

    Romney knows about vheap, he knows more about cheaply.
    Cheaply is how he treated the many workers whose lives he destroyed at BAIN Capital.
    Cheap is what he wants the american workers to be paid.
    Cheap is what he wants for everyone except Mormons and the 1%.

    June 14, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  6. a disgrace

    obama's words may be cheap but the job he has done is a disgrace!

    June 14, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  7. g

    romney would be the last american president –according to people like mitt and company,the rich built the country,and the middle class should be working for room and board

    June 14, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  8. stan

    Romney meeting with business leaders while obama hosts 9 fundraisers in a single week?! One is getting down to business while the other hosts dinners for rich folk?! I mean come on people, seriously? How can you even pretend to keep a straight face supporting obama? Have you democrats forgotten that $1.2 TRILLION dollars in cuts begin in January?! $500 BILLION of social services get cut in January as it sure won't be the military taking the hit.

    June 14, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  9. Publius Novus

    So far, Mr. Romney has specified only two things he would do–cut taxes by another 20% and repeal the ACA. His promises to cut federal spending, send programs "back" (how do you send something "back" to a place where it never was in the first place?) to the states, and link the pay of federal workers to the pay of private sector workers. There are no specifics here. It is easy to say you are going to cut federal programs without saying which ones, or to send programs to the states, also without saying which ones. As they say, the Devil is in the details. As for linking federal pay to private sector pay, what does this mean? I am a retired federal employee. When I worked for the U.S. Department of Justice, I was responsible for federal litigation worth $15-20 billion. There are few, if any, private sector lawyers with such levels of responsibility, and those with responsibility even approaching that level are paid vastly more than I was. And, while I would never say that there are no federal employees who are overpaid, it is likewise true that many federal workers are underpaid–like federally employed physicians and scientists. Romney is right about one thing–talk is cheap–his talk.

    June 14, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  10. Jim

    Mitt Romney has lied about his job creation record, his desire to serve in Vietnam (which he didn't), about his stance about being pro-life/pro-choice, his position on global warming, his dog, etc. etc.

    This man wants to help the elite and the rich and screw the rest. You get what you deserve if you vote for Romney.

    June 14, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  11. FLIndpendent

    @KCRICK – "The real issue here is not cutting Federal or state employees but bringing their benefits and pay in-line with private industry."
    This is easy to say but what is the standard for private industry as different jobs, companies, states etc pay different wages? Why don't you people understand that it was the unions that set the wages and by getting rid of them it is going to be a race to the bottom. What private industry is going to pay good wages and benefits if they can get away with minimum wage and no benefits or else go out of the country for cheap labor? Would someone please answer this...thank you.

    June 14, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  12. paqrat137

    Question: Why would Mr. Romney want to do away with a law (with some flaws) that promotes better health for the American worker? A healthy worker is a productive worker – the better we protect our health the more the effect will trickle up. If people know they would have health care, no matter where they worked, they'd choose productive areas where they are interested and work harder at the job.

    Cutting health care in the way Mr.Romney says will, in the long run, hurt our economy not help it.

    June 14, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. BK

    All this chatter about how bad President Obama has been, in regards to job creation, the economy, etc...Actually he's done a steller job, what with all the resistance he's faced from a do nothing Congress, a Congress controlled by the Republicians, who's stated mission to make Obama a one term President at the expense of the country...I guess one can say the Republicans are content with "destroying the village" in order to "save it" Just to deny Obama a second term.

    June 14, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  14. Ron in California

    No only are Obama's words cheap, hey are often misleading or misinformed.

    June 14, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. s m in houston

    vote for the people that make the greedy rich. vote the greedy out in every election in this country from now on. start with romney and continue with every gop candidate until this counrty is rid of them. it takes money to make money. you can't grow the economy without people spending money

    June 14, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  16. paqrat137

    +1 BK! nothing more to add!

    June 14, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  17. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Obama's 'words are cheap'
    It is ALL he has, talk. Speech after speech after speech after speech after tv appearance after press conference after celebrity event after..... He's cheapen the Presidency in the process. But $5 TRILLION further is debt is NOT CHEAP. Obama has cost this country dearly. And all you young fools buying into the Obama drivel, YOU WILL BE PAYING THE BILL!!! WAKE UP!!

    June 14, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  18. FLIndpendent

    "dems have been destroying jobs and jacking up the debt since 2007. i blame bush for not using his veto power against pelosi, reid, frank, dodd, biden, and obama,"
    You must not have been paying attention as Bush had a record number of vetoes after the Dems took control. Anything the Dems tried to pass did NOT get passed so who's to blame???

    June 14, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  19. ThinkAgain

    Mittens claims that President Obama "doesn't understand how the economy works."

    Well, no duh! C'mon folks, let's all embrace Romney-nomics:

    1. Make millions breaking up American companies, laying off American workers and outsourcing American jobs.

    2. Give more tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires so they can continue using the extra cash to create jobs overseas where labor is cheap and environmental regulations don't exist.

    3. Let the foreclosure crisis play itself out, so folks can lose their biggest investment, "deserving" investors can buy up their houses cheap, and then rent those houses back to the original owners.

    4. De-regulate the financial industry, knowing that the market always "corrects" itself.

    5. Don't invest in infrastructure, education or renewable energy; instead, give that money to the rich in terms of further tax cuts (see above as to what happens to that extra cash).

    6. Start a war with Iran, because we all know that a healthy bottom line for the military industrial complex is all that really matters.

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice

    June 14, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. Four and The Door

    s m in houston
    vote for the people that make the greedy rich. vote the greedy out in every election in this country from now on. start with romney and continue with every gop candidate until this counrty is rid of them. it takes money to make money. you can't grow the economy without people spending money...
    I would prefer to see all Americans do better than all Americans do worse. Chill your hate down a tad. Romney 2012.

    June 14, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  21. Ronb

    LOL. REPUBLICANS cost you 40% of your net worth and you blame Obama?!?! Seriously?? Now you know why REPUBLICANS are against public education - you buy everything they sell when you're ignorant to the facts!

    June 14, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  22. nelson52

    I am certainly not a fan of the final version of the health reform act but this constant lie that is being perpetuated about it being the direct cost of increased healthcare costs needs to be stopped. I am the controller of a small business and all of the insurance carriers in our state were raising our premiums from 20-40% ANNUALLY starting in 2006, before anyone knew who Barrack Obama was. If you had not seen your premiums go up it's because your company probably beared most of the burden of the increases. Now that the economy has taken a down turn, companies cannot afford to pick up those ridiculous increases so they start passing them on to the employees. They get cheaper plans with higher deductibles to try and stem the tide. All of this was happening anyways, not because of the health reform act. The problem with the act is that it didn't do enough to help stem this monster rise in costs. Health insurance lobby wins again. I would just love to know why moving to Wisconsin helps that company that has has to do with the health care reform act. My guess is more that the state rules for insurance are different. For example, in Maryland, state law dictates that insurance companies certain things that other states might not. This makes insurance more expensive here. Nothing to do with health care reform act.

    June 14, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  23. Kimo

    Romney has no integrity and will say anything he thinks will get him elected. He knows that Wall Street is responsible for the economic crisis. He knows that speculators are primarily responsible for the price of oil and there is little a President do to affect it. He knows that the Fortune 500 enjoyed record profits this year and that industry is sitting on over 2 trillion dollars in cash reserves. He thinks the rich pay too much in taxes and wants to get rid of the capital gains tax which means that he would have paid virtually no taxes on the $20 million / year income that his investment manager made for him. Romney would be a disaster as President.

    June 14, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  24. ed galbraith

    Next year's headlines: "President Romney comes to the aid of the middle class and jobless"...sound wrong headed to you? Me too.

    June 14, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Out Of Touch with reality

    the name states it for obama, OUT OF TOUCH, socialism will not work and a revolution is coming, so stay out of touch obama and see what happens in November, the American people are preparing to start the steam roller.

    June 14, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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