Mitt Romney: You know if Barack Obama governed a little more like Bill Clinton did we’d be in much better shape now

posted at 11:21 am on May 9, 2012 by Morgen Richmond

Romney’s delivery on this still needs a little work, but I think he might be on to something with this line of attack. The Obama team would probably love it if Romney called either the President or his policies “socialist”, because it would play into their narrative that Romney somehow represents the radical fringe of the Republican Party. But by (accurately) pointing out just how far left Obama is compared to Clinton, Romney can accomplish much the same thing without ever using the “s” word, which he fears, rightly or wrongly, would be a turnoff to more independent-minded voters. Voters, for example, that may have supported Hillary Clinton in 2008, and who carried some bitterness into the general election even though most of them probably voted for Obama anyway. But some of them may be having second thoughts, and Romney’s pitch here seems to be directed squarely at them.

Could Romney’s pandering to the legacy of “new Democrats” in the 90′s further depress enthusiasm for his campaign on the right? I suppose, but given the disastrous trajectory of government spending and deficits the past 3 years, I think more conservatives have at least a grudging appreciation for Clinton’s record on fiscal responsibility. Even if Newt Gingrich and the Republican revolution of 1994, not to mention a rapidly growing economy, were mostly responsible for this. If this is the beginning of a concerted effort on Romney’s part to define Obama and his policies as outside the mainstream, even among Democrats, then I think he’s off to a decent start.

By the way, with Clinton backing Obama’s re-election effort, expect him to personally attempt to defuse this line of attack sooner rather than later. But I’m not sure how convincingly he’ll be able to defend Obama’s record on spending; after all, Obama pretty much ignored the deficit reduction plan championed by Clinton’s long-time budget adviser, Erskine Bowles. But then again if anyone can polish this turd, I’m sure Clinton will find a way.


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A 26% increase in spending is really a decrease in spending.

The Clinton haters all of a sudden love Clinton because Romney says he loves Clinton too.

Increased fees imposed by Romney are super duper terrific. But fees imposed by Obama are awful.

Ladies and gents, I present to you the mind of a Mitt Romney cult member.

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:19 PM

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Ed, how old are you? I only ask because your personal attacks sound like the ones I often hear teenagers and young frat boys hurl at one another.

Longing4Lincoln on May 9, 2012 at 2:20 PM

The libertarian Cato Institute took a swipe at Romney’s handling of the budget squeeze in its 2006 fiscal report card on governors.

“Romney will likely also be eager to push the message that he was a governor who stood by a no-new-taxes pledge,” the report card said. “That’s mostly a myth. His first budget included no general tax increases but did include a $500 million increase in various fees.”

A Boston Herald editorial in 2003 scolded Romney’s “over-reliance on new and higher fees” during his first 100 days as governor while praising his overall performance.

Romney’s fee increases were driven by a desire to boost state revenues and there was no real analysis of the cost of the services being provided, Widmer said.

Romney, playing up his business management skills, has said he erased the state’s budget gap primarily by cutting government waste and reducing nonessential state spending. But Widmer said Romney also relied heavily on boosting state revenues.

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Ed, how old are you? I only ask because your personal attacks sound like the ones I often hear teenagers and young frat boys hurl at one another.

Longing4Lincoln on May 9, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Oh yeah? Well. YOUR MOM!

Washington Nearsider on May 9, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Now you’re in full spin mode. I said Romney increased spending and revenue….

Nice try twisting my words.

The other point is “fees” that are paid annually like car registration and license fees are no different than income or sales taxes. Yes, it is voluntary to drive or register a car. But the reality is 99% of the adult population does both every year. So a $500 increase in those “fees” paid by someone is no different than a $500 increase in sales tax or income tax paid. Which is why this defense of “well it’s only fees that went up, not taxes” is pure BS.

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:00 PM

When did you say Romney “increased revenues”? You keep blathering on about “increased spending” ignoring the surplus at the end of his term (and the deficit he had to contend with when taking office). Next, what’s your proposal to fund the government? I’m still thinking it has something to do with unicorns since you had no response. And just out of curiosity, where did you come up with the “99%” statistic and the $500 figure for the fee increase you cite?

Buy Danish on May 9, 2012 at 2:23 PM

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Reading comprehension failed you? Switch your comparison off of FY03 to FY02, and then re-read my comment. I won’t hold my breath for your apology.

Longing4Lincoln on May 9, 2012 at 2:15 PM

As I tried to explain to happyed, Romney’s first budget was the FY2004 one. But ed can’t admit his own stupidity in not knowing that, because it blows his entire “argument”.

Look at the evolution of this thread. When he first swung in here on his vine, ed said “Romney increased spending by 26%”.

Since that time, it has magically evolved into ed’s pathetic “during Romney’s time in office, govt spending increased by 26%.”

It’s important to remember that as Governor, Romney had to deal with a State Legislature where 85% of the members were Democrats. Many of his attempts to cut spending were overriden.

And when it came to his Judicial Appointments (which we haven’t even scratched the surface of here) all of them had to go thru an 8-person all-Democrat Panel.

Del Dolemonte on May 9, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Romney, playing up his business management skills, has said he erased the state’s budget gap primarily by cutting government waste and reducing nonessential state spending. But Widmer said Romney also relied heavily on boosting state revenues.

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:21 PM

So… Romney cut spending and increased revenue, leading to a surplus.

And you have completely lost your mind over this… why?

Oh. Right. You’re an Obama voter. Cutting spending is a cardinal sin.

Washington Nearsider on May 9, 2012 at 2:23 PM

A 26% increase in spending is really a decrease in spending.

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:19 PM

I just proved it wasn’t a 26% increase.

But like your hero George Costanza, a Lie isn’t a Lie if you Believe it.

Del Dolemonte on May 9, 2012 at 2:25 PM

I was never a fan of Clinton, but there is a lot of truth in what Romney said. In fact, I have thought something very similar myself. I took myself to the woodshed for thinking things under Clinton were soooooo bad. Never thought it could be worse . . . and then came Obama.

Voter from WA State on May 9, 2012 at 2:20 PM

You are beyond insane if you think things during Clinton were bad. Sean/Rush zombie in a nutshell.

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Del Dolemonte on May 9, 2012 at 2:23 PM

See, this is what I mean. I just don’t know where on earth Ed finds the time or the energy to so relentlessly and so dishonestly attack Mitt Romney. It has to be motivated by something more than his sadness that we didn’t nominate a certified conservative, it’s more personal with him. It’s almost as though he were getting… compensated for it somehow.

Longing4Lincoln on May 9, 2012 at 2:27 PM

A Boston Herald editorial in 2003 scolded Romney’s “over-reliance on new and higher fees” during his first 100 days as governor while praising his overall performance.

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Don’t you even bother to read what you cut and paste before making a fool out of yourself? Obviously not!

Del Dolemonte on May 9, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Del Dolemonte on May 9, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Good luck babysitting Sunshine Bear. I’m heading out.

Washington Nearsider on May 9, 2012 at 2:27 PM

And just out of curiosity, where did you come up with the “99%” statistic and the $500 figure for the fee increase you cite?

Buy Danish on May 9, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Wow you are obtuse. I was using it as an example. $500. $5. $5000. Whatever the number is. If the typical citizen is taxed that extra amount every year or pays it in fees every year it’s the same thing.

Do you dispute that 99% or close to it adults own a car and/or have a drivers license? Romney increased fees on both. Which means pretty much everyone paid higher fees. Which means your argument that those fees were voluntary is BS.

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Voter from WA State on May 9, 2012 at 2:20 PM

You are beyond insane if you think things during Clinton were bad.

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Please name Clinton’s “Accomplishments” as pResident, other than becoming the very first elected pResdient to be Impeached and the first pResident to be held in contempt of court. Oh, and his leaving his successor that 9/11 thingy.

Del Dolemonte on May 9, 2012 at 2:29 PM

The libertarian Cato Institute took a swipe at Romney’s handling of the budget squeeze in its 2006 fiscal report card on governors.

“Romney will likely also be eager to push the message that he was a governor who stood by a no-new-taxes pledge,” the report card said. “That’s mostly a myth. His first budget included no general tax increases but did include a $500 million increase in various fees.”

Cato recognized the $500M “fees” were just taxes by any other names. Anyone can see this. Well anyone except Romney cult members like Deli and Buy an Apple Danish.

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Please name Clinton’s “Accomplishments” as pResident, other than becoming the very first elected pResdient to be Impeached and the first pResident to be held in contempt of court. Oh, and his leaving his successor that 9/11 thingy.

Del Dolemonte on May 9, 2012 at 2:29 PM

I don’t know what’s stranger.

1. You hate Clinton with a passion yet love Mittens who is to his left

2. Can’t recognize that absolutely incredible economic years of the late 90s. Were you living under a rock from about ’97 to ’00? This is what listening to Rush does to people. Sad.

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Del Dolemonte on May 9, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Good luck babysitting Sunshine Bear. I’m heading out.

Washington Nearsider on May 9, 2012 at 2:27 PM

A little more fire should send him over the edge.

Del Dolemonte on May 9, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Good lord, forget about marriage licenses for a second. He increased DRIVERS LICENSE FEES and CAR REGISTRATION FEES. So in your little cult of Mitt world, raising gas prices is hurtful. But raising car (and truck/tractor/trailer, etc) registration is just fine.

And how about raising the cost of business licenses? Does that raise the prices of goods/services? Mittens raised business license fees. In some cases by 1000%, yes 1000%, in this case for putting up signs. But hey, that’s not a big deal, right, all those fees are voluntary.

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:16 PM

You idiotic “cult” theme is incredibly tiresome, but I digress. Where do you get the CAR REGISTRATION FEES from? I find all sorts of fee increases but see that nowhere. I did find:

In all, then-Gov. Romney proposed creating 33 new fees and increasing 57 others — enough, he said, to pull in an extra $59 million for the cash-strapped state.
Horseback riding instructors, prisoners, those seeking training to combat domestic violence and used car shoppers were asked to dig a little deeper.
Romney and Democratic lawmakers ended up approving hundreds of millions in higher fees and fines, making it more expensive to use an ice skating rink, register a boat, take the bar exam, get a duplicate driver’s license, file a court case, install underground storage tanks, sell cigarettes or alcohol, comply with air quality rules and transport hazardous waste….
Under Romney’s plan for Massachusetts, the cost of registering firearms would have jumped from $25 to $75. He also called for increases in the cost of firearm identification cards, application fees for a license to carry firearms, and gun dealer fees…
The plan also included motor vehicle related fees, like doubling the cost of a learner’s permit for new drivers from $15 to $30, which was approved.
There were some fees even Romney couldn’t endorse. He vetoed a legislative proposal to increase the cost of a marriage license from $4 to $50.

Buy Danish on May 9, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Del Dolemonte on May 9, 2012 at 2:29 PM

I don’t know what’s stranger.

1. You hate Clinton with a passion yet love Mittens who is to his left

2. Can’t recognize that absolutely incredible economic years of the late 90s. Were you living under a rock from about ’97 to ’00? This is what listening to Rush does to people. Sad.

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:33 PM

First of all, thanks for admitting you can’t answer my simple question about Clinton’s “accomplishments”. You did so by bringing Romney into a post where I never once mentioned him. F-

Second, the late 1990s “incredible economic years” were a myth; Clinton never had a budget surplus because he cooked the numbers.

Read and Weep.

I’ll give you another shot. What did Clinton “accomplish” as pResident?

Del Dolemonte on May 9, 2012 at 2:41 PM

A little more fire should send him over the edge.

Del Dolemonte on May 9, 2012 at 2:34 PM

I think we can all agree that Ed has been “over the edge” for a long time now.

Longing4Lincoln on May 9, 2012 at 2:41 PM

You people have been so brainwashed by Sean/Rush that you think the late 90s were a depression. It’s truly sad.

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Wow you are obtuse. I was using it as an example. $500. $5. $5000. Whatever the number is. If the typical citizen is taxed that extra amount every year or pays it in fees every year it’s the same thing.

Do you dispute that 99% or close to it adults own a car and/or have a drivers license? Romney increased fees on both. Which means pretty much everyone paid higher fees. Which means your argument that those fees were voluntary is BS.
angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Ha! I’m not “obtuse”. I don’t know what the actual number is, I just wanted to know if it was based on actual data or just pulled out of your butt. You used a $500 figure but if the average number was closer to $100.00 that would make the fees endured by the citizenry less onerous, no?

And yes, I dispute your claim that 99% own a car. And the driver’s license fee increase was peanuts so bfd, not going to get outraged over that.

Still waiting for your alternate plan…

Buy Danish on May 9, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Second, the late 1990s “incredible economic years” were a myth; Clinton never had a budget surplus because he cooked the numbers.

Read and Weep.

I’ll give you another shot. What did Clinton “accomplish” as pResident?

Del Dolemonte on May 9, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Now that’s cute. Clinton didn’t have a surplus. But Romney did. I suppose anything is possible in Mitt-tard ville where a 26% increase in spending really means a spending cut.

You guys are too much some days.

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:46 PM

You people have been so brainwashed by Sean/Rush that you think the late 90s were a depression. It’s truly sad.

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Right, cause that’s what we said. Bill Clinton did more to disgrace the office of the President than any President before him. He was, however, fortunate that Obama came 8 short years later and has been doing his best to take the new record.

Longing4Lincoln on May 9, 2012 at 2:48 PM

And yes, I dispute your claim that 99% own a car. And the driver’s license fee increase was peanuts so bfd, not going to get outraged over that.

Still waiting for your alternate plan…

Buy Danish on May 9, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Fine 95%. Happy? I don’t know the exact number, but I think it’s safe to assume 95%+ of adults have a license. I’m not outraged, I’m simply pointing out that your claim of “voluntary” fee increases is absurd if close to everyone is paying.

My alternate plan….CUT SPENDING INSTEAD OF INCREASING TAXES. Crazy, right?

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Cato recognized the $500M “fees” were just taxes by any other names. Anyone can see this. Well anyone except Romney cult members like Deli and Buy an Apple Danish.

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:31 PM

FTR, Cato is a Libertarian, not a conservative org. Now, One last time, what alternative do you propose? Whatever it is has to be a feasible plan which could be approved by a Democrat-controlled legislature. I have to go out – I’ll check back later to see what you’ve come up with.

Buy Danish on May 9, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Right, cause that’s what we said. Bill Clinton did more to disgrace the office of the President than any President before him. He was, however, fortunate that Obama came 8 short years later and has been doing his best to take the new record.

Longing4Lincoln on May 9, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Will you shut up with this stupidity. Disgraced the office cuz he got a BJ. Oh no, how will the Republic ever survive after that? You people are so sexually repressed.

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:50 PM

My alternate plan….CUT SPENDING INSTEAD OF INCREASING TAXES. Crazy, right?

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:49 PM

He did cut spending. Also see that pesky part about Democrat legislatures…

Buy Danish on May 9, 2012 at 2:51 PM

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:50 PM

No, disgraced the office because he “got a BJ,” lied about it under oath, attempted to cover it up, got impeached… and stayed in office.

And lest you think his sexual indiscretions were of no concern, consider the potential for blackmail and improper leverage that could have been asserted.

What would you consider those actions? Honoring the office?

Longing4Lincoln on May 9, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Here you go Deli:

http://browser.massbudget.org/CompareCurrentYear.aspx?typ=Past&bgt=18,19,20,21,22,23&infl=nominal&c1=19&hf=Past#topOfTable

Budget in 2002: 24,398,706 (budget before Romney)
Budget in 2007: 30,710,957 (Romney’s last budget)

That is a 26% increase.

Anything else?

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 1:19 PM

But he eliminated the deficit. You can spend as much as you want as long as you don’t create a deficit.

Gelsomina on May 9, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Right, cause that’s what we said. Bill Clinton did more to disgrace the office of the President than any President before him. He was, however, fortunate that Obama came 8 short years later and has been doing his best to take the new record.

Longing4Lincoln on May 9, 2012 at 2:48 PM
Will you shut up with this stupidity. Disgraced the office cuz he got a BJ. Oh no, how will the Republic ever survive after that? You people are so sexually repressed.

angryed on May 9, 2012 at 2:50 PM

No, not because he got a BJ. Because he got a BJ in the hallway off the Oval and then lied about it under oath, and because perjury and obstruction of jutice are extremely serious crimes, especially for the nation’s chief enforcer of the laws.

If there’s any stupidity around here it’s the claim that he was impeached for private sexual activity. If that were the case he would have been impeached in 1993; his sexual activities were hardly a state secret. It was only when he lied in a legal proceeding that he got himself and the presidency into serious trouble.

Chuckles3 on May 9, 2012 at 3:02 PM

He did cut spending. Also see that pesky part about Democrat legislatures…

Buy Danish on May 9, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Obviously Romney should have just shot them on the spot, duh. The fact that he didn’t proves he is a dirty RINO who probably hates guns and punts kittens for fun.

thirtyandseven on May 9, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Wasn’t “polishing the turd” Monica Lewinski’s job?

djaymick on May 9, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Bubbah wasn’t burdened with the likes of Harry Reid.

Terp Mole on May 9, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Well, I’d be much happier if we had the same deficit under Obama that we did under Clinton.

talkingpoints on May 9, 2012 at 3:41 PM

I hate Clinton, but I must say that Clinton in my eyes didn’t hate America, Obama Hates this Country and shows it

Conservative4ev on May 9, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Mitt Romney: You know if Barack Obama governed a little more like Bill Clinton did we’d be in much better shape now

Yes Mitt that’s correct, if Obama were constrained by a Republican Congress like Clinton was, we’d all be in better shape. But today the Democrats control the Senate and Boehner our Republican House Speaker is a weak leader caving to the Democrats at every opportunity.

And this is what scares Conservatives, if you are elected President and govern hard left as you have whenever you have been elected, what damage will you do to America.

RJL on May 9, 2012 at 4:32 PM

My first reaction is to agree. I think this is a good tactic.

sdbatboy on May 9, 2012 at 4:50 PM

You are beyond insane if you think things during Clinton were bad. Sean/Rush zombie in a nutshell.

fake, but accurate just fake on May 9, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Hey, remember when “angryed” was passing himself off as a diehard Conservative who despised Romney for not being conservative enough? I guess he and ObaMao would call this simply “evolution” or something.

cicerone on May 9, 2012 at 5:49 PM

There is no denying that the Clintons Liked Money.

Fleuries on May 9, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Maybe it is me, but this seems a bit lame because:

You know if Mitt Romney Obama governed a little more like Governor Bill Clinton did Mass. would be in much better shape now

Romney dare not push 0bama’s record too hard or someone like me will call him on his own.

DannoJyd on May 10, 2012 at 4:10 AM

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