September 2nd, 2012
10:12 AM ET
10 years ago

Gibbs: No 'disappointment' among 2008 supporters, though enthusiasm lags

Washington (CNN) – Republicans' attempts to target disillusioned supporters of President Barack Obama won't work, a top adviser to the president said Sunday.

"I don't think that there is voter disappointment," Robert Gibbs, an Obama campaign senior adviser, said on CNN's "State of the Union." "The voters understand that we have been through a traumatic economic experience in the country, unlike anything that we have ever seen."

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Throughout last week's three-day convention, Republicans repeatedly argued that despite Obama's appealing personal attributes, voters shouldn't feel bad about voting against him. They specifically went after voters who supported Obama in 2008, arguing his soaring rhetoric and lofty campaign promises haven't led to an improved economic outlook.

"President Obama is the kind of politician who puts promises on the record, and then calls that the record," Paul Ryan, the GOP vice-presidential nominee, said in his speech. "But we are four years into this presidency. The issue is not the economy as Barack Obama inherited it, not the economy as he envisions it, but this economy as we are living it."

Mitt Romney followed suit, saying in his speech that Obama's promise of "hope and change" had a powerful appeal, but that four years later had amounted to little.

"If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn't you feel that way now that he's President Obama?" Romney asked. "You know there's something wrong with the kind of job he's done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him."

Gibbs, speaking to CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley, said no one in Obama's campaign "is sitting up here saying this is 2008" in terms of voter enthusiasm.

"What has happened since the election in 2008 and right now, again, is this huge economic calamity caused by a series of bad decisions that were made before the president ever got there," Gibbs continued.

He said recent Republican economic proposals are simply a new version of a plan that has proven to be flawed.

"In Tampa, we saw nothing but insults and old slogans and tired old ideas," Gibbs said. "In Charlotte, the president is going to focus on a plan to provide the middle class in this country necessary and needed security by investing in research and innovation."

The former White House press secretary was echoing the president's remarks in Iowa on Saturday, when the Democratic incumbent told a crowd at a campaign rally that the Republican convention might as well have been viewed on a black and white TV.

"It was a rerun. We'd seen it before," Obama said of the Republicans' economic agenda.

Obama's speech formally accepting the Democratic presidential nomination, scheduled for Thursday, will contain essential elements that Gibbs claimed Romney omitted.

"The Mitt Romney speech was about two people: Mitt Romney and Barack Obama," Gibbs said. "President Obama's speech will be about the 300 million people who live in America."

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Ya Know,
    Obama really had big plans. You hear it all the time. He has gotten his plan down to perfection. He learned it all in Vaudvliie. WITH YOUR MONEY AND MY BRAINS WE WILL GO PLACES. The Republicians always make the same mistake, they think all of you can handle your own affairs. But you have been voting the other way. You need the Nanny State. Romney is going to take away your Rubber Ducky, make no mistake. Have fun.

    September 2, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. RNC's movie moment: 'Empty Chair vs. Warm Stool' featuring Batty Harry!

    While I would qualify as a "disappointed" Presient O supporter, to take that to mean I would ever vote for a member of the rabid Reich, would be very self-deceiving for the GOP.

    I will once again pull the "all Dem" lever before ever voting for the party that pledged to make "America fail"!

    September 2, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I was amused that the "Daily Show' showed the red states that get more money back from the federal government than they pay in. I wonder if Mittens will outsource those states, and keep only the ones that can make it on their own.

    September 2, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    By the way, Georgia gets more federal tax dollars from the government than it pays in. That make GA a 'nanny state.'

    September 2, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  5. Chris

    What gets me is hows these libreals think obama is there god and believes everything that comes out of his mouth.if yall like the govt taking care of u and giving u handouts why dont u move to china they do that. And obamas cheif of states hero is the founder of chinese communist the say man who butcherd 50 miilion people its afact u can look in any news archive and u will find it but u liberals here facts and change the subject.go ahead and vote obama and lose ure freedom but yall dont care because u like handouts and the govt taking care of u.

    September 2, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. I remember

    To all of you who want to know why Obama didn't do more in his first two years, does the name Norm Coleman ring any bells? He's the GOP loser who refused to step down, calling for recounts, sueing, dragging his feet and stirring discontent that kept Sen. Al Franken from being sworn in for 8 months! Franken finally gave the senate the 60-vote filibuster proof majority needed to actually force things to begini moving forward in the senate.

    September 2, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. Anonymous

    Hey, John Boehner. Where are all the jobs you promised your party would help Barack Obama create? Oh, that's right. You all were all too busy mocking him, trying to make him a one term President. Including Paul Ryan, who it now has been determined, was a member of the Mitch McConnell "how to make Obama a failure" Inauguration Day luncheon crowd. All the while folks were losing their jobs, their homes, and their dignity.

    Heck of a job, Republicans ... and shame on each and every one of you ... !

    September 2, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. Chris

    U liberals say romney dances around everything. Obama has done that from day 1 and still doesnt give u straight answer. Made promises and didnt keep them. Was in senate 3 years and only spent 6 months in office and the rest running for president. Last 4 years of bush house and senate were run by dems first 2 years if obama dems ran house and senate and nothing got done. Nobody is doing there job fire all including the president u would in any buisness.

    September 2, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Chris – I think President Obama is our duly elected president, not a God. He has done well in spite of the treasonous obstruction of the GOP. I don't know where you get your lies and misinformation, but I will bet that Fox foreign owned media is involved.

    September 2, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. MalcolmJamalWarner

    I'm not surprised that evey republican voter shows the highly educated view of an 8th grader, especially when they don't know the difference between the words there, their and they're, or your and you're. I also object to the use of the letter u as a substitue for the word you. There is also no such word as "ure" Chris, your illiteracy is showing.... (that means you cannot read or write properly)

    September 2, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. politics as usual

    No voter disappointment?!! You can count me and everyone else I know who voted for Obama!

    September 2, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Nanny State Ray – Romney has promised to take away women's rights, change social security, give vouchers instead of medicare, wants a war with Iran, promises to give tax cuts to the wealthy, and has promised to end the regulations put in place that will prevent another Wall Street and big bank economic meltdown.

    September 2, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. RNC's movie moment: 'Empty Chair vs. Warm Stool' featuring Batty Harry!

    My enthusiasm for this race is indeed less than in '08.

    Is it so low that I will Ignore the ultimate sacrifice tens of thousands have paid so I can exercise my civic duty and go vote?

    Not a chance!

    September 2, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. PJ

    So, some of you think Romney will reduce your taxes. Great. He will then turn every program that exists over to
    the States and they will raise your taxes to keep things going. He will claim lower taxes, and the Governors
    will be left raising taxes. I guess that's a fair trade off.
    All of this screaming about a failed health care plan is questionable. Most of the plan does not kick in until 2014,
    and those who now have insurance for their children up to age 26 and those who have coverage for
    pre-existing illnesses might disagree with you. So your yelling before you have been bitten is laughable and
    shows a distinct lack of fact finding skills, or do you even care?

    September 2, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  15. independent, in Texas

    I am not at all dissapointed in Obama !...........and I wish him the best in the upcoming election.

    September 2, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. T'sah From Virginia

    When the media is "constantly" saturated with Romney for the past four years and the fact that I have never been polled, maybe 'that's' the reason why it 'seems' we're not enthused – We are and we will ROCK THE VOTE once again!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward – And YES, We Know You Built That – We All Did!!!

    September 2, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. Larry L

    @Ray E. (Georgia)

    Ya Know,
    Obama really had big plans.
    It is a shame that Republicans planned from the very first day to obstruct all progress to help their political situation. Of course not team can achieve 100% of the goals when half of the coaches and players are trying to lose.

    Too bad Republicans couldn't put patriotsm ahead of greed, hate and bigotry. This has hurt Georgia – one of the biggest recipients of federal monies. If Romney and Ryan have their way an kill Medicare that should just about finish-off the senior citizens in the South. Maybe you can all slip across the border into Mexico...

    September 2, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  18. Ann

    Well, there is no disappointment for Hillary's supporters who can say now "I told you so, idiots! Look what have you done". Honestly, I never expected Mr. Obama will do better than he did, these 4 years were for him sort of "getting on-the-job training". Is he at least better now?

    BTW, what is the slogan of his current campaign? The 'Yes we can' and 'Hope and change' are gone, isn't it? Does anybody still have a 'crush on Obama'?

    September 2, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
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