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. sandra

    you lost so shut up please romney why do these clowns think we miss them we don't!

    March 1, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Alsoran McHasbeen screams "I'm still relevant....I'M STILL RELEVANT!!!!!" at the moon. Story at 11.

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

    Romney ... who?

    March 1, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. chilly g

    mitt you are really an out of touch man with the average american, so just shut up you lost but you are not a loser but
    will never be president.

    March 1, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. PtBarnumBoy

    I'm starting to feel sorry for this guy. To have all that money and not be able to be the Prez must be a real kick in the pants.

    March 1, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. just sayin

    the country refused to vote for an adult who could help solve our fianacial problems and instead voted for a lying conniving narcicist that refuses to lead and accept responsibility for his own actions. we deserve every bit of the suffering we will all endure over the next 4 years. remember, it was the democrats and leftist radicals like obama that did this to this once great country.

    March 1, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. v_mag

    Rob-money's one and only plan is, and always has been: Bash the President and ignore the fact that the Repugnant congress has sat on its hands for years. He lost big-time on that plan. Why trot it out again, CNN?

    March 1, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    "That means not inciting division ... "

    So says the gullible fool inciting division.

    March 1, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. Candace Clough

    Romney who?

    March 1, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. mary costello

    go away forever!

    March 1, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. Sandy

    The party that wanted spending cuts is complaining about.... spending cuts!?

    March 1, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  12. Mark

    You have to post Romney's comments because you have no back bone to call the President out on the games he plays that hurts all of us! CNN wake up and just report facts!!!!

    March 1, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. Linda Luttrell

    Coulda, shoulda, woulda...Mittens is back!

    March 1, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. Veteran Expat

    Sore loser.

    March 1, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  15. CryBabies

    A smart savvy 'Capitalist" vs a puppet"Socialist". Boy oh boy, the "Wannabees" on this page are upset that MR speaks his mind regarding our "transparent" king. Why does he bother " you people" so much?

    March 1, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. GOP = Greed Over People


    I can remember when activating the majority of voters was called listening to "the will of the people".

    Welcome back Mitt the Twit and Ann "Marie", "your people" have missed you, this is gonna' be so much fun!

    March 1, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. Jim

    Mitt, nobody is asking your opinion. Now go fade off into Sarahland.

    March 1, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. Tony in Maine

    I see the freepers are out again. Don't you guys work? Or are you using the boss's computer?

    In the words of a Republican in 2002 -"We won, you lost. Deal with it."

    March 1, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. Scout

    Ya lost, now shut up.

    March 1, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  20. GOP = Greed Over People

    And speaking of politics, Robme, the optics of the House baggers heading out on vacation on sequester eve, does not exactly denote deep concern over the affects of sequester.

    March 1, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. John

    Mitt Romney don't be another Saran Palin and keep opening her mouth and just go away you lost and get over It.

    March 1, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  22. lottie

    Romney go work on your elevator . I agree with the prez these cuts are dumb but what do you expect from a party that ran mittens for president?

    March 1, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    If Republicans, conservatives, Tea Partiers, or whatever they want to call themselves, had even just a brushing touch with reality, then they would realize that a Ranting Romney is not going to help them. Republicans are aleady negatively viewed as the guardians of the wealthy. Do they think of Romney as their savior for rebranding the right wing?

    March 1, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    Someone here described Romney as an adult, and said Obama was a lying, conniving narcissist: really? The man who wrote off almost half the population, stating that they were not his concern, and then tried to convince us he never really meant it? Please. The only reason why the GOP ever accepted the sequester was because they were sure they would win, and now they can't admit they were wrong. Its Dick Morris all over again, misreading polls until they are slapped by reality and rejected by the majority of the people of this country.

    March 1, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  25. Winning

    "That causes the Republicans to retrench and then put up a wall and fight back. "

    They put up a wall and fight out of reflex no matter what. The whole reason the President has to go out and campaign for his positions is because the Republicans have stalled and obstructed for 4 straight years. If they would quit acting like children and actually try to get something done, the President wouldn't have to use the bully pulpit. All Republicans ever do anymore is obstruct and refuse to cooperate, and then cry like babies and blame the media/the president/liberals/etc. when people don't just give in and let them have their way.

    Republicans: you control 1/2 of 1 branch of government. In order to get anything done, you're going to have to compromise. Simple playground logic.

    March 1, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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