September 7th, 2012
12:45 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney fires back with 'straight talk'

Sioux City, Iowa (CNN) – Mitt Romney fired back against Democrats Friday, the morning after being skewered by the president and top party officials on the closing night of the Democratic National Convention.

The GOP nominee, who emerged Friday from five days spent largely behind closed doors preparing for the upcoming presidential debates, accused President Obama of using his convention speech to recycle old promises instead of offering new ideas to turn around the economy.

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"There's certainly nothing that he said last night that gives the American people confidence he knows what he would do to create jobs or build a stronger economy," Romney told reporters during a press conference on an airport tarmac in Sioux City. "I think that the message from last night was that the president's plan is four more years of the four last years, and I don't think the American people want four more years of the four last years."

While political pundits overwhelmingly gave Democrats kudos for holding a livelier convention, Romney immediately claimed the political advantage Friday with the release of new unemployment numbers that showed the economy was stagnant.

He expressed satisfaction in his own convention, held in Tampa, Florida a week earlier, even though it did not result in a substantial bump in the polls.

"I'm very pleased that people got to know me better," Romney said in response to a question about his small bounce in the polls. "Those that took the time to watch and to listen in depth to the things that were said in the convention, I think, got a better picture of what I stand for and what I'd do to get America working again."

The Republican nominee – who on Wednesday told reporters he did not plan to watch the president's convention address – slapped back at Obama over a dig on Romney's foreign trip this summer.

On Thursday Obama quipped that his opponent "might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing" given the uproar he caused in London this July by publicly questioning whether the city was prepared to hold the Olympics.

Romney turned that jab around Friday by echoing his Republican predecessor, Sen. John McCain.

"I'm very pleased that my Olympic experience allows me to talk about the Olympics in a straight talk manner," Romney said. "And I think it would be appropriate if the president would talk to China in a straight talk manner."

Romney also faced more questions about why he did not mention the war in Afghanistan during his own convention speech. He repeated the same response he gave a day earlier, pointing to his speech at the American Legion convention in Indianapolis the day before he took the convention floor.

"I took time out from our convention to go to the American legion and speak to our veterans and speak about our commitment in Afghanistan and elsewhere," Romney said. "The president apparently didn't have time to go to the American legion as I did."

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Mitt Romney
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. DaveC

    Romney was preparing for the debate by looking in the mirror and debating with himself. He has changed his mind so many times trying to keep up with the polls its a wonder he can remember what position he is on right now.

    September 7, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. W.G.

    Romney said he was happier that people now know him better . Well.... he hasn´t explained yet how giving rich people more" tax welfare " and uping the taxes on the middleclass to pay for it by charging them another $2000.00 dollars
    is helping us ?? He´s a CROOK .

    September 7, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. Beverly - NYC

    Mitt's lips are moving, so he must be lying. I didn't hear a lot of substance in your speech, or that of your pint size running mate , and judging by your ratings neither did anyone else. Are you praying for America to fail Mitt? If McCain had 30 months of job growth the Mission Accomplished banner would have been dusted off and shown every 20 seconds during the Tampa festival of lies. Mitt, your lying dogs don't hunt!

    September 7, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. bob jones

    Obama is just not a very good executive and his lack of interest or experience in economic matters has really hindered the recovery. As a small business owner watching the economy tank, I was dumbfounded watching him spend two years on the ACA when that should have been a sidelight or done after getting an economic package through.

    The recession was contributed to by both parties, and had the country adopted fiscally conservative policies we would have never been in. The problem really is that both parties have been fiscally irresponsible, when traditionally that has been left to the Democrats.

    September 7, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. RealityBites

    Forget four years ago: We're worse off now than in 2011 -CNNMoney

    September 7, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    Aw – c'mon. The CBO said Ryan's plan alone would cut 3 million jobs in the 1st year. What the heck is Romney talking about? his arithmetic doesn't match ryan's arithmetic doesn't match the CBO report.

    I think R/R is a HOAX.

    September 7, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. Pete in S.C.

    Mitt is critical of Obama for no new ideas. Lets see, cut taxes and do away with regulations, ever heard that before?

    September 7, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  8. ART

    OK but I'd like to know just what his plans are ? He has not given any specifics on any policy,and still has not let the American public who have a right to know about his TAXES and where he is hiding his wealth to avoid said taxes. He is a perfectly lubricate weather vain and his running mate has a problem with the truth. What a fine pair they make.NOT

    September 7, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  9. Randy, San Francisco

    Romney should give a little straight talk about his tax returns, off shore Cayman Island bank accounts, and the $77,000 tax break for the fancy dancing horse. He has nothing in common with the average hard working American.

    September 7, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  10. Airpuff_2000

    weak... I'll take four more years of the last four years ANY DAY over any more years of discredited Republican theories. How much of this sluggishness is due to the fact that Obama allowed the tax cuts for the wealthy to endure this long? The moment the rates return to the Clinton-era rates, watch this economy take off! And I want Obama to be piloting this ship as it happens. Yes, I can feel it!

    September 7, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  11. Marty, FL

    There is nothing 'straight talk' about Romney, the biggest flip-flopper ever witnessed in politics.

    September 7, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  12. Abadone

    straight talk to China?....hahahah lol

    September 7, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    Romney and Ryan have both lied so much they just make up numbers and hope no one remembers when they change their minds again.

    I don't trust either one of them as far as I can throw a bull by the tail.

    September 7, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. Cann't Fool me

    4 more year of last 4 years is better than 4 more years of the previous 8 years. I would hope Romney as a CEO would know that. Look at the trend Mitt.

    September 7, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. John

    The GOP house has not passed a single jobs bill in the 2 years they have controlled the house. Now Romney and the GOP are complaining about jobs??????

    September 7, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. Older Citizen

    I haven't seen a shiftier character since Richard Nixon. I never thought I would say that I long for the old GOP but at least with them, for the most part put Country first rather than Party. I did not agree with most of their ideoligies (sp) but at least the two sides could talk and move the country forward. According to the information that I have read, the large corporations are doing fine with fewer people on their payrolls. They retain their profits by working the little guy to death for little pay and no benefits. The oil companies have fires in their refineries or an oil spill due to faulty maintainance and rather than pay for it out of their profits, they raise the price at the pump and stick it to us again. I will take the slow and steady recovery of Obama/Biden any day over giving the greedy more tax breaks and less regulations. I thought from the beginning of his term that it would take more than one term to clean up the mess. I think we would have been farther along had we gotten some co-operation. Yes we had the majority but it wasn't enough of one to overcome the filibusters, etc of the GOP.

    September 7, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  17. kate

    Mitt Romney has no plan for the economy. At least the Pres. has a plan. All the Romney campaign can do is tell the American people how wrong and no good the Pres. is. They have no plan or do they, they will spring it on us after the election(if they get elected). Watch out and hang on. Like former Pres. Clinton said at the convention, "no president, no president no matter which party they are can not straighten out the economy in just 4 years." He ought to know. I am neither republican or democrat but Pres. Obama will get my vote.

    September 7, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  18. Demforlife

    I watched both the RNC and DNC Convention.....First of all Mr. Romney..did not give not one..I say again not one piece of infomation how the he would create 12 million jobs, or what he would do with medicare for my elderly mother, how he would help the young people with college tuition rate/loans at that! You Republican have shot down every idea, thought, this intelligent BLACK MAN could think of to help the American people. He wanted to work with all these people...the man even has an open door policy if you fools have reasonable ideas that will benefit the All American, MIDDLE CLASS people. But you crying because he asking you all to pay your fair share of taxes...if we have to file and pay for making just alittle bit of money why can't you all cough it up.... because you are selfish, and don't care about hte american people. Mr. Obama is a well rounded person.....I get FAKE AND PHONY from Mitt the Twit! Then you all want to pull back handed things with the voting rights! My people Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, Jesse Jackson, etc....died and walked holes in their shoes for our right to vote.....I will be doing my part voting for someone who knows what it like being like me.....I GOT YOU BACK IN 2012 and I will make sure all my younger and older folks have your back as well.....4 more years! OBAMA4THEPEOPLE

    September 7, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. Hey Seed

    Mr, Romey,

    Please enighten us by telling us what specifically you are going to do to create jobs and grow the economy?

    ????.......crickets chirp.........????.......Still waiting here................................................

    September 7, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
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