Romney pledges 'big change' but offers few specifics
October 26th, 2012
03:10 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney pledges 'big change' but offers few specifics

Ames, Iowa (CNN) – Mitt Romney renewed his bid for independent voters Friday, pledging in a formal speech to unite a fractious Washington and deliver "big change" to reset the country's course.

"This election is a choice," Romney told more than a thousand voters on a windy Iowa afternoon, saying Americans faced "a choice between the status quo - going forward with the same policies of the last four years - or instead, choosing real change, change that offers promise, promise that the future will be better than the past."

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The speech, billed by aides as a major address on the economy, was largely a repeat of remarks Romney had given on the stump at rallies across Ohio a day earlier. The GOP presidential nominee did not outline new policy positions, instead using lofty rhetoric to make his final pitch to undecided voters.

Reading remarks from a teleprompter – an aid the campaign uses only during formal speeches – Romney criticized the president for focusing on "the small and the petty" in his campaign and failing to capitalize on America's great potential during his term in office.

"President Obama frequently reminds us that he inherited a troubled economy," Romney said. "But a troubled economy is not all that he inherited. He also inherited the greatest nation in the history of the earth."

In response to a slightly better-than-expected third quarter economic numbers released Friday, Romney said the nation's rate of growth was still "discouraging" and fell far short of what Obama had promised four years ago.

And the Republican nominee continued to moderate his appeal to voters in a key swing state in the final days of the election, focusing particularly on the theme of bipartisanship and saying he would make good on Obama's promise in 2008 to tame partisan rancor in the nation's capital.

"The President's campaign falls far short of the magnitude of these times. And the presidency of the last four years has fallen far short of the promises of the last campaign," Romney said. "Four years ago, America voted for a post-partisan president, but they have seen the most partisan and political of presidents, and a Washington in gridlock because of it."

Even before Romney gave his remarks, Democrats were predicting he would deliver little that was new.

In a statement released after the speech, Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith sought to tie Romney to "the same failed policies that crashed our economy in the first place."

"True to form, Mitt Romney's most recent 'major policy speech' included dishonest attacks and empty promises of change, but no new policy," Smith said. "That's because all Mitt Romney has is a one-point economic plan that he's been running on for two years: the very wealthy get to play by a very different set of rules than everyone else."

Filed under: 2012 • Economy • Iowa • Mitt Romney
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Karl Jonas

    Puhleese... every presidential candidate for the last 20 years has promised he could work across the aisle and tame the division in Washington. How well has that worked out? But Romney can do it. Yeah right.

    Of course Romney blames Obama for the division in Washington. No mention of those "no compromise no surrender" House Tea Party Republicans, led by his running mate Paul Ryan. Oh sure, Romney and especially Ryan will usher in bipartisanship.

    October 26, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. Yanni

    Mitt doesn't have any idea what to do with the presidency; he just want to become the president of USA

    October 26, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. ted

    that is Mitt. Big statements that mean virtually nothing because he has no idea what he said nor will he say it like that again. He leaves the details up to his staff which typically provide cover for Mitts incompetence, arrogance and ignorance. This guy is very dangerous and cannot be allowed to win the election. If he does, then the neocons will take over and all of our liberties and freedoms will be gone. They are already trying to exert power over female control of their own bodies. YOU are next if you vote for Mitt

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 26, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. 333maxwell

    We allknow the kinds of 'Big Chane'Governor ROmney would like to see enacted.

    The Governor said in his 'big speech' today 'I know what it takes to lead, I am a leader.

    How silly..

    The Governor has NOTHING to say to concerned women.The Governor has shown us time and time again what kind of leader he would be when the going get's tough.EVERY TIME there seems to be an issue that is 'hard', he avoids it like the plague.His mode of operation seems to be that if he just avoids anything 'tough' people just give up and move on to something else.That is not leadership, that is extremely weak and spineless.

    This is a man HE ENDORSED this week for high office and will oversea women's health legislation, and NOW he has 'no comment'.'Gods Will' has NO place in the same sentiment as 'rape'. Not even in some abstract Lenny Bruce joke.

    My boy just returned in August from whatever it is they are still doing in Iraq, and we SEND kids overseas to combat extremism brought around by the 'Gods will' mentality. It has ZEROplace here at home in the US Government.Governor Romney is a disaster, you can not like the President, but at least he takes stands and you know where he stands on stuff like this.

    The Governor is acting like a pathetically weak and spineless chicken. Expect for Governor Romney to continue him to exhibit ZERO leadership when it is needed.

    October 26, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  5. emma

    He just lies. Berlusconi has just received 4 years for tax evasion. Romney is next. He is and ungodly flopper. He will be disgraced by the end of nov 6.

    October 26, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. Al-NY,NY

    "Big change" I'll bet. But too bad Flip's "changes" are counterproductive and reflect thinking that is no longer valid. Women are not chattle. Gays are real people. Abortion is the law and your relgious beliefs have no bearing. Giving the wealthy tax breaks DOES NOT create jobs. Deregulating everything DOES NOT create jobs, but of course pollutes the air, water and ground. The GOP's idyllic world of Ward and June Cleaver is gone. Too bad they don't see it that way

    October 26, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Romney ffers "big change", but offers few specifics.

    Well, duh. That was already the general consensus before he gave this speech, any suggesting this speech was nothing more than a means for highlighting his new word of the day: big.

    Apparently they were correct in their assumptions.

    October 26, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. No crap

    Really big change from Rob-me/Ruin.....yes big changes for the absolute worst.
    How come he has not done any interviews outside of fox.

    No one can ask him any straight questions because his handlers don't want him talking.

    October 26, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  9. Zymra

    I think I've said it before but I think Romney is so incompetent. I thought the presidency was for 4 years, however he keeps promising to get things done the first day? What about the other 1,459 days...can Obama have them if you win? You won't use them anyway.

    Proudly voting Obama/Biden 2012

    October 26, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. Ancient Texan

    Romney has a record of working across the aisle, and Obama has a record of makinga show of willingness to be bipartisan, then insulting his opposition and insisting on everybody must agree with him. It's all for political show.

    October 26, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. Syd

    Wow, Mitt gives a speech with few specifics? I am so shocked.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 26, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. Mikey

    Few specifics should be Romney's nickname. In the foreign policy debate, after months of criticizing, he agreed with almost everything the President has done. He says he will pay for his 20% across the board tax rate cut, but offers no specifics at all as to how. He promises 12 million jobs (which by the way, is the consensus job growth under current policy), but offers no explanation of how. He says he will repeal Obamacare, but has no specifics regarding what he would replace it with. He won't answer a simple question if he supports fair pay for women. He has said that he favors the repeal of Roe v Wade and would sign a personhood bill, but is now waffling with no real position.

    He says he will cut taxes, increase military spending, AND balance the budget. He won't give any specifics as to how, but perhaps it doesn't matter, becuase anyone who can add and subtract knows he is lying.

    October 26, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. taxmitt

    Mitt had to work across the aisle in Massachusetts. The dems hated him there as he tried to veto many of their bills. They pushed them through anyway as they had control of the legisature. He was a lousy, lousy Govenor who ran on his business record coupled with all sorts of promises he then broke. He is the last person who has the confidence of Democrats.

    October 26, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. Wake up People!

    OMG!!! Did Willard use a dreaded TELEPROMPTER??? Of course he didn't give specifics because if he did he would lose a lot of support. So he did what he has been doing for the past year. Lie and attack. I'm sick of these lying repubs blaming President Obama of not working across the aisle. Are people really that stupid that they think President Obama didn't try??? Come on Mr. President, it's time for an ad showing Mr. sheet and hood himself, Mitch Mcconnell, stating their# 1 goal was to make you a one term POTUS. That ad should run continuously in all states until election night.

    OBAMA 2012!

    October 26, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. K Macnamara

    What a surprise!!!!! Ever wonder why Romney was a 1 term governor? Because we wouldn't re elect him after all his lies. He hasn't changed one iota. America wake up!!!!

    October 26, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |

    Gov. Romney is getting endorsements from major democratic cities - blacks cannot sit on the sidelines and hope for obama magic. the onus is on blacks to step forward and get involved in romney rallies - blacks need to take the initiative and ask romney what exactly he will do for them that bush and obama did not do - GOVERNOR ROMNEY , WHAT WILL MAKE YOU SO DIFFERENT? HOW WILL YOU HELP US?????? blacks should not complain and incite unrest if obama loses -and they never took tthe time to learn what they have won –what's your opinion CNN?

    October 26, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. No crap

    Big change so we can move closer to becoming the United States of Monsanto or the Koch Republic. You think it's bad now, wait until you have to pay taxes on rain water and clean air.....aaaaaahhhhhhh....smell that sulfur.

    Furthermore, how did Ryan supposedly write a plan that he can't explain and doesn't know what's in it?????

    No one has a real clue about Romney, and he feels he deserves to be president....this is absolutely pathetic!!!

    October 26, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. Gurgyl

    That tells all about this Flip-Flop idiot of GOP thugs group.

    October 26, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. MUGger

    Romney promises big change and no details? How uncharacteristic of him - color me shocked!

    October 26, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. Namejkane sfl a vote for lady parts romney the tax cheat and lyin lady parts ryan willcut your moms medicare and soc sec . .can you afford to pay for them???

    I'll tell you what the big change is romney the tax cheat and lyin Ryan are going to be on the unemployment line in ten days along with bachmann ,cantor ,Ryan atkins and mcconnel !!!!

    October 26, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. Jill

    I heard him say big at least 4 times in his speech last night replayed on NPR this morning ... big, big, big, big but Rmoney gave no specifics at all. I say big deal!

    October 26, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. Paul "Look at MEEE!!! I'm working in a soup kitchen!!!" Ryan

    Willard let me see his tax returns for the last 20 years. WOW!!!!!!!!! NOW I know why he isn't releasing them!!!!!! hehehehe. Quick boys set up the cameras....take a picture of me working in coal mine. Yeah! A coal mine! Cheeeeeese!

    October 26, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  23. idb

    Obama got away with that trick, so why wouldn't it work for Romney?

    October 26, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |

    If all the 100% see is a apair of bags full of hot air running for president, then either way our next president for the next four years will be a bag of hot air - MISTER PRESIDENT HOT AIR SIR

    October 26, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  25. scmom

    I know how to lead so I'm a leader. PATHETIC is not the word for this PATHETIC man.

    October 26, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
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