Back on the attack: Romney hits Obama for spending cuts
March 1st, 2013
02:47 PM ET
9 years ago

Back on the attack: Romney hits Obama for spending cuts

(CNN) - Is it 2013–or 2012 again?

Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney blasted President Barack Obama over the forced, across-the-board spending cuts–known in Washington as the sequester–scheduled to kick in Friday.

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"Well, no one can think that's been a success for the president. He didn't think the sequester would happen. It is happening," Romney said in part of an interview that aired Friday on Fox News. "But to date, what we've seen is the president out campaigning to the American people, doing rallies around the country, flying around the country, and berating Republicans. And blaming and pointing. Now what does that do? That causes the Republicans to retrench and then put up a wall and fight back. It's a very natural human emotion."

Romney has almost entirely stayed out of the spotlight since he lost the presidential race in November. The comments mark the first time the former Massachusetts governor has publicly criticized the president since the election. Romney met privately with Obama at the White House in late November, but few details about their conversation were released.

The Fox News interview, which will air in full on Sunday, came the same day Obama again charged Congressional Republicans with failing to compromise and work with Democrats to craft a deficit-reduction deal.

Republicans, in turn, say they already compromised on the issue when Congress passed a fiscal cliff bill two months ago that included an increase in tax rates. House Speaker John Boehner reiterated Friday the real focus should be on spending reductions, not more tax reform.

In preparation for the budget slashing, the Immigration Customs and Enforcement decided to release hundreds of "low-risk, non-criminal detainees" this week in order to keep detention levels within the agency's overall budget. The White House said the decision was made without its knowledge or input.

Asked about the decision, Romney said: "I think the president has to act in the interest of the country."

"And that means if we need an aircraft carrier in the Gulf - and I believe we do, I thought we needed one more - he should do it," he continued. "I think if there are people who are incarcerated, he should make sure that we're able to keep them in jail."

Romney further chalked up the move to a political ploy.

"Look, it's politics. It's, 'OK, How do we do something that will get a headline that will make it look like those terrible Republicans aren't willing to come together?"

Read more: Campaign was a 'roller coaster,' Romney says

Filed under: Debt • Deficit • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (139 Responses)
  1. tykl

    Guaranteed there would have been no sequester with Romney – the guy only knows success and compromise. Sometimes idiots what they deserve in their elected "leader" – have fun with this sequester story and the million more coming in the next four years about what an incompetent failure of a hypocrite o is (oh, but you on the left can gush about how you love his teleprompter speeches and how you would love to have a beer with him)

    March 1, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. much thunder.little rain

    here is a idea to save away with stupid columbus day one cares , except government works who get another day off for nothing....

    March 1, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. Martha in CF

    Sorry CNN, please don't make Romney a Palin.......nothing that Romney has to say is relevant anymore. He can go back to counting his homes or cars or money for that matter.

    March 1, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. Thedreamer

    This is in no way the fault of the president. We should be blaming over foolish congressmen who believe that going on vacation is more important than the welfare of the country and its economy. They are all better off so they dont care. There should be some cuts in their salary.

    March 1, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  5. schwarzfuss

    Really, Mittens? Still upset over the loss are we?

    March 1, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. maf

    At least it's NOT ROMNEY having to deal with the sequester!!!

    You LOST Mitt, time to go back into the shadows and do what you do best . . . well, we don't know what you do best as you have been campaigning for the past DOZEN years or so . . .

    Mr. Romney, maybe you could be part of the solution and advise your GOP counterparts to get back to the table and negotiate a strategy to get out of this mess!! Instead, you stand up and POINT YOUR FINGER!!
    Not very helpful at this POINT!!!

    March 1, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Seems the one and only thng the GOP/Teatrolls are good at is reqriting history and then living in their carefully constructed alternate reality. Sequestration would never have happened or even been suggested if the GOP/Teatrolls hadn't entrenched themselves irrevocably in the first place. They're not entrenched because Obama gave them a sad by going to the people to explain his proposals and get support. They're entrenched because a black Dem was elected POTUS, they're facing demographic armageddon in the next couple decades and they've decided that it's either now or never on their decades-long agenda to "starve the beast" and hand control over the country to the elite, wealthy plutocrats they've cultivated for 60+ years via supply-side economic policies.

    March 1, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. Wake up People!

    CNN, I am so disappointed in you. Not only have you fed the RWNJ's red meat all week, you don't even bother with real journalism anymore. You know good and well the GOP has fought this POTUS tooth and nail since the day he was elected in 2008. You could print facts but you won't. And whenever I say something about it you delete my comment. I would expect this from Fox but not you.

    As for Willard, no one cares what you have to say you pathological lying SOS.

    Planning to run again in 2016? Hillary will beat the brakes off you.

    March 1, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Imagine that. Republicans blaming a Democrat for making apending cuts. They're just posturing themselves for the inevitable recession if these cuts are sustained.

    March 1, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    This is fun. Mittens' appearance on the scene is guaranteed to do more damage than good for the GOP/Teatrolls.

    Please proceed, governor.

    March 1, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  11. ST

    People should not fall in this trap especially republicans at the moment. You have to ask yourselves; who is Romney and what will he do to the country now if not coming with obstructions because he is a sore loser.He can say negative things about his former opponent, as he knows there is no chance he can get to try and bit him.

    March 1, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. Lisa

    Give it up, Mittens. No one gives a crap about what you think. You want a carrier in the Gulf, pay for yourself. You turkeys scream about all those things you want, yet no plan to pay for them. Isn't that a big part of why we are here...two unfunded wars on the national credit card? Pay your taxes without your corporate welfare tax breaks and maybe the country could support your GOP wish list. You, sir, make me sick.

    March 1, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. TheTruth

    Mitt where have I heard that name???

    March 1, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  14. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Mitt... YOU LOST! Now go away.

    March 1, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  15. kayla

    who let the dog out?

    March 1, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    As much as I would love to comment on this man, I think it is time to put this partisan stuff aside. This need of his to continue his anti-Obama bashing is do more to sour grapes than anything else. It is wrong for his party. It is wrong for his country. And it is wrong for Mitt Romney. Reading today's comments is nauseous. A country tearing itself apart doesn't bode well for the political party more interested in settling scores than it is in moving forward. The Grand Old Party has become an embarrassement to itself and to America.

    March 1, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  17. rs

    Brilliant! The man who was going to INCREASE Defense spending by a third, while cutting taxes on the rich (again) chimes in. With what? Been there done that. That is why things now are what they are.

    March 1, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. Wake up People!

    Come on all you RWNJ''s time to hear you all whine about how we should have elected Willard and all would be right with the world.

    Of course he could get something done, it's his party that is holding the country hostage. Bottom line is the GOP hates feeling like they have to listen to someone they could have gotten rid of easily, permanently and with ZERO repercussions just 50 years ago.

    March 1, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  19. Pete

    Back to your cave Romney,we've had enough of you the Mormon moron for another decade...Romney remember you lost last November ,hasn't it hit you yet or you think you still have a chance in 2016!!Remember we 47%ers don't want to hear your whinning anymore and be like a defeated republican after midterms and disappear for God sakes you elitist idiot!!

    March 1, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  20. Expat American

    Romney is launching his campaign for 2016.

    March 1, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  21. Taroya

    yeah, Boehner didn't think it would happen either.
    He was very happy with 98% of that. He assumed that Obama wouldn't be elected, and he still wouldn't be held accountable for a House that he can't lead.

    March 1, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. Penobscot11

    Romney would be a better President.

    Obama just keeps getting worse.

    March 1, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  23. Lilli

    You LOST....GO AWAY!!!!

    March 1, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  24. freedom

    Romney is speaking the truth – "I think the president has to act in the interest of the country."
    That means not inciting division, not igniting racism (how ironic), working toward our fiscal stability, and providing for our national defense. Obama has failed on all of these.

    March 1, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  25. jane

    Mittens: you lost, fair and square, despite all the Republicans' attempts at suppressing voting, etc. Go away.

    March 1, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
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