Romney hammers Obama over sluggish GDP numbers
September 27th, 2012
01:01 PM ET
8 years ago

Romney hammers Obama over sluggish GDP numbers

Springfield, Virginia (CNN) - Mitt Romney on Thursday blamed President Barack Obama for revised GDP numbers that revealed the economy grew more slowly in the second quarter than originally thought.

"This is a real challenge for us," Romney told a group of veterans at a rally in Springfield, Virginia. "And this is not just one quarter. This has been going on now for years."

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GDP or gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation's economic health, grew at an annual rate of 1.3% from April to June, the Commerce Department said Thursday, slower than the 1.7% rate the government last reported in August.

The downward revision came as a surprise to economists who were largely expecting the figure to remain unchanged. It also marked slower growth than in the first three months of the year, when GDP accelerated at a 2% annual rate.

Romney on Thursday warned that a weak economy showed weakness on a military front, as well. The Republican presidential nominee, who's recently sought to bolster his foreign policy credentials, pointed to two other countries as prime examples for the need to maintain a healthy economy.

"Russia tried for a while, the old Soviet Union, tried for a while to maintain a grade A, if you will, military. But they had a Grade B economy and they couldn't keep up," Romney said. "They finally had to – well they collapsed."

Adding that the economies in both Russia and China are growing at several times the pace of the U.S. economy, Romney faulted the president for using the "same series of policies" over the last four years that "have not worked."

"I know what it takes to get us working. He's put us on a road to Europe," Romney said. "Europe doesn't work in Europe, all right? I want to get us back to being America."

Alan Krueger, the chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, wrote in a post on the White House's website that the downward revision in GDP was due, in part, to the Midwest drought, the effects of which he said the Obama administration "continues to take all available steps to mitigate."

Obama's campaign, meanwhile, responded to Romney's remarks Thursday, saying his proposal to overhaul Medicare would have negative effects on veterans.

"His plan could result in deep cuts to the VA and he has suggested privatizing veterans' health care. And because of his refusal to lead his party and demand that Congressional Republicans, including his running mate, drop their opposition to asking for a penny more from millionaires and billionaires, he's stood in the way of preventing devastating automatic defense cuts," campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said in a statement.

Romney on Thursday also hit on the defense cuts scheduled to take place at the beginning of 2013, if Congress fails to come up with a new budget plan by the end of the year. The automatic spending decrease would especially pound Virginia's economy, home to several military bases.

Describing the cuts, known as sequestration, as a "gun-to-your-head" approach originally proposed by the White House and passed by Congress, Romney said the impact on Virginia would be "devastating."

He also cautioned the world was too "dangerous" to chip away at U.S. military power and surveyed what he views as the greatest threats to security.

"Look around the world. Look at North Korea. They continue to develop nuclear capability on their own part and export it to others. Syria, 20 or 30 thousand people killed in Syria. Iran, closer and closer to having nuclear capabilities. Egypt, now with a Muslim Brotherhood president. Pakistan, highly, um, tumultuous. Afghanistan, our men and women still in Afghanistan," Romney said.

He continued: "The idea of cutting our military commitment by a trillion dollars over this decade is unthinkable and devastating."

Both Romney and Obama are hitting the trail in the crucial battleground of Virginia on Thursday. A recent CNN Poll of Polls, which averages the latest three polls of likely voters in the state, shows the president ahead of Romney, 50% to 44%, in the Old Dominion.

Obama won Virginia in 2008, carrying the state for Democrats for the first time since 1964.

- CNN's Ashley Killough, Rachel Streitfeld and CNNMoney's Annalyn Censky contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Department of Defense • Mitt Romney • Veterans • Virginia
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Yonni

    This guy is waiting for events to fall on his hand to blame Obama. Reaction, I can do that better, but I am not really qualified (prepared/aspired) to run the presidency. Doesn’t he have to generate some original idea for him to be qualified for the highest post in the world?

    September 27, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. ART

    Yes but can you emagime how much worse it would of been had Romney been President.? He would have done nothing to help our auto industry and the 47% of the population would of been left to go homeless and starving.

    September 27, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. Name

    Romney wish had policies that most Americans liked but he doesnt and his only political ploicy is to deter voters from President Obama's strategy not to convince voters that his policies are better!!!!!!!

    September 27, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  4. Canuck

    "Mitt Romney on Thursday blamed President Barack Obama"

    Enough of this broken record – tell us what YOU'D do.

    September 27, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  5. BIGLARRY1047

    Here’s the latest lie. Now it’s Obama fault the National Debt has run up. WOW!!! You really have to go a long way to get to this one. First there was Bush with his 2 wars borrowing over 10 Billion a month from Chain to pay for them for the 8 years he was in office. And due to the recession he caused, our GNP was never enough to enable us to even pay the interest on that and all of our other debts; driving our National Debt even high. All this before we even elected President Obama. Yet, somehow, in trying to turn all this around, it’s his fault. But, I wouldn’t get too concerned; next week they’ll try to feed another lie to the people. Just think how they would do if they could actually win an election for President. WOW!!!!

    September 27, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. truth hurts

    BTW, the recession officially ended THREE YEARS AGO. It ended 6 months after Obama took office and before he did virtually ANYHTING. It ended as all prior recessions did, 18 months after it started. (and they didn't need a TRILLION in "stimulus")

    What we have now is a crappy Obama/Democrat European socialist economy. 8.1% unemployment is the new normal. Abysmal 1-2% growth is the new normal. Massive government debt is the new normal. Masisve government deficits is the new normal. Welcome to the new America people. Send your thank you cards to Obama and the Democrats.

    September 27, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. Bootstomper

    This guy is really pathetic. He's been campaigning for president for 8 years and he is really unqualified for the job.completely out of touch with real Americans and American values. Perfect photo op was Romney and jack Nicklaus the poster child for country club living.OBAMA BIDEN 2012!

    September 27, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |

    Once again I say Willard, if you have a problem wth sequestration, take that quarrel up with your running mate Lyin Ryan who voted YES for it.

    September 27, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. Sluggish Numbers? Have Your Seen Your Polling In Virginia?

    "Europe doesn't work in Europe, all right? I want to get us back to being America," Romney says.

    Pardon me, I'm trying not to spew my coffee on my computer screen.

    Nothing really fires up the veteran voters like the revised GDP numbers......... Somebody wake up the guy in the front row, if you will.

    September 27, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  10. James Mason

    Stop the presses! Mitt blames Barrack! Dog Chases Cat! Sky reported "blue"!

    September 27, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. Dave

    For the millionth time, what would Romney specifically do to fix this? On that question we get nothing.

    September 27, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  12. California Gary

    The gun-to-your-head approach he's talking about.........would that be the same one that his running mate voted for? If anyone knows about gun-to-your-head politics, it would be the GOP (see credit downgrade last year as a result of the GOP employing these tactics). The Mittster is talking out of an oriface other than his mouth.

    September 27, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  13. Victoria

    Mr. Romney, you are one of the main reasons why China's economy is growing. You have some blame in this situation as well.

    September 27, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. basky72

    What have you done for me lately, other than criticizing me that 'am loser, a victim and a govt. handout beneficiary.
    No mitt I am a hard working Tax payer, I work hard every day to take care of my family and I don't think you deserve anybody's vote, Honestly you don't.

    September 27, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  15. once upon a horse

    Point and Blame is NOT working Romney...time to try something else. It only works with the people that don't plan to vote for Obama anyway. When will you learn that?

    September 27, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  16. lmc11

    Obama has an excuse for absolutely everything. Now he is blaming the entire US economy tanking on the drought. How totally pathetic. No more excuses. Romney 2012!

    September 27, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  17. Romney loseing election

    Romney that why you loseing because you blame Obama for everything..Romney blame the the republicans who
    didnt pass the veterans job bill. Romney what about the farm bill that the republican walk away.
    Romney I have not heard you blameing republican congress passing any job bill.
    Romney I hope you lose.

    September 27, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. MK

    So Obama gets blamed for everything thats going wrong, while no credit is given to whats going right. Eg: MITT ROMNEY, where is your praise for Obama on the report that says that we gained all the jobs that were lost since the recession began?

    September 27, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  19. B.

    Romney ought to look Back to his own record in Massachusetts before bringing-up GDP numbers !!

    He left his state at 47th in the country...!

    What a Fraud he is.

    September 27, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  20. Four and The Door

    "Mitt Romney on Thursday blamed President Barack Obama"
    Enough of this broken record – tell us what YOU'D do.
    Apparently you have not been paying attention because Mitt Romney has been very clear about the changes he would make and the results we would see. In general, he would run the federal government in support of economic growth rather than government growth. It involves reforming ineffective regulation and reforming the huge tax burden putting American businesses at a competitive disadvantage and developing effective trade agreements to bring new markets to American businesses. A smaller, more efficient government pulls fewer resources out of the private economy and in that way also allows those resources to grow the economy instead of the government. It is a very different approach than the Obama Administration has taken and from what we see by current results, very likely this itself is a good thing.

    September 27, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  21. Jeannie

    It appears that the continuous Obama bashing is only causing the President's pole rating to increase. For that I say keep it up mr. romney. You look like a very desparate man.

    September 27, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. Four and The Door

    I can't wait to see what excuses Obama brings to the debates. He can be very creative when his job is on the line.

    September 27, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. mcskadittle

    if the republicans in congress cared more about our country then getting Obama out of office, things would be a lot better by now

    September 27, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  24. Ray E. (Georgia)

    I wish all of you voting for Obama next election good luck. The most immedeate problem is jobs. Still mostly stagnent.. Witeness the 16000 let go at Bank of America. Obama wants to Tax those making more than $200,000.00 a year, mostly Small Business. Small Business isn't hiring until they see how the Next Election turns out. You may have a job-good job today. Whewre will it be 2 years from now. Witness the 1600 let go at Bank of America.

    P.S. The huge 16 trillion dollar Federal Debt has been growing for the last 75 Years. All put in place by Liberal, Democrats. But good luck to all.

    September 27, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  25. Wrenn_NYC

    Since we do know that part of the old Soviet Union's problem was running a war in the middle east and military build up at the expense of domestic devolopment...

    His argument doesn't hold up. It actually works against him.

    He's not calling for spending cuts to the military, he's calling for more military spending. (ads to that effect are running)

    September 27, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
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