Romney: Obama has failed on the economy

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 18, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And tonight on "Hannity," as we review the Obama record, you will hear from the president in his very own words from the promises that he's failed to keep, to the very standards that he set for himself and has been unable to meet.

Now, much has changed from the moment that Senator Obama accepted his party's nomination on that state in Denver back in 2008. And the Romney campaign is seeking to remind voters in Charlotte, North Carolina, about those changes as that is the site of the Democrats 2012 convention. We'll be there. But let's take a look.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country, we measure progress by how many people can find a job to pays the mortgage, whether you can put electoral money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma.

GRAPHIC: On September 3, 2012, Barack Obama and the Democrats will meet in Charlotte, North Carolina. Here's what you won't hear at the convention.

OBAMA: We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage.

GRAPHIC: North Carolina has lost nearly 50,000 jobs since President Obama took office. That's twice the size of the arena where the convention will be held. Unemployment rate is 9.9 percent. In Charlotte, unemployment is even higher, 10 percent. In total, 450,000 North Carolinians are unemployed, up 13 percent since Obama took office.

OBAMA: If I don't have this done in three years, then there's going to be a one term proposition.


HANNITY: Now, we measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage, as candidate Obama suggested, I think voters will likely take the president up on that proposition.

Joining me now tonight from the campaign trail, republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Governor, welcome back. Thanks for being here.

MITT ROMNEY, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thanks, Sean. Good to be with you, again.

HANNITY: You know, I look at this ad and I look at the ads the RNC has been putting out, and I have to be honest, I think the most effective thing -- and I think this may actually be the reason why David Axelrod wants to talk about dogs -- which I will get to in a second. The most effective thing is Obama in his own words, his promises he made, promises that are not fulfilled. Explain why that ad is, in your mind, powerful.

ROMNEY: Well, you are going to have the Democratic National Convention here where I am today in Charlotte, North Carolina. When he was in Denver, he said, they measure progress by whether more people have jobs to pay for a mortgage. Of course, under this president, he was not able to turn around the economy. Fewer people have jobs and of course, there have been record number of home foreclosures. He said progress would be measured by whether people had rising incomes or falling incomes.

Well, under this president, there have been falling incomes. Median household income is down $3,000. He also said, we would measure progress by whether there were new business startups, actually new startups have fallen by 100,000 a year under this president.

So, by his own measures, he has failed and that's why I believe you'll see him being replaced in November 2012.

HANNITY: It seems that the president and his campaign, and I noticed that David Axelrod took to Twitter today. And I asked you this question a long, long time ago, and it was many, many years ago, where you had a family vacation and you put the dog kennel I guess on top of the car. And I think your dog's name was Seamus and they tried to make this an issue today, just like they tried to make Sandra Fluke an issue when the president called her and the president has been engaging in all these other issues. Do you think this is by design?

ROMNEY: Of course, it's by design, but in the final analysis, the people of America are going to choose a president based on jobs, not dogs. And the president's failed on the measure that people care most about, which is a strong economy, creating good jobs and rising incomes, where people can have homes that they have a confidence, that they can be able to pay the mortgage.

Look, he has failed on these fronts. It's been three-and-a-half years. The blame game has gone on a long time and that's kind of wound down now because he has been there so long. Now he is trying to find away to divert attention from the issue people care about which is the economy, and it won't work. Because the American people want someone who understands the economy, knows how to create jobs, can stop the massive growth of debt that we have in this country and can create a brighter future for the current generation and for the coming generations.

HANNITY: You know, when you look at this statistic, and maybe this is why they want to talk about dogs in this campaign, he has now the worst economic record since any President since Jimmy Carter. The worst jobs record. He probably will end his first four years in office and I don't think he will have a second, without having created a net single job, we will have job losses, rising unemployment, anemic growth at best. Five trillion dollars, we passed this mark in terms of debt. And he called George Bush unpatriotic for $4 trillion in debt in eight years. What is your reaction to the debt number?

ROMNEY: Well, the debt number is alarming. And gives you great concern, of course, because we are, we are moving toward the Greek-type numbers. My guess is by the way, at the Democratic Convention, he will not be appearing in front of Greek columns like in Denver. He won't want to remind people of Greece. This is an administration that is adding debt at an alarming rate and that has the potential of causing our economy to go into a tailspin, at some point, but it certainly has the very real risk of causing the next generation not to be able to realize the American dream because of the debt and the interest they will be paying off during their lifetimes.

HANNITY: All right. Do you want to deal with the dog story? You had a dog named Seamus. And after this came out, it's sort of like the Sandra Fluke controversy and then the comments that were made about your wife. But tell us about your dog. And what did you think of the revelation it went viral today. In the president's book, he admitted eating dog when he was growing up in Indonesia and grasshoppers -- and I didn't make that up.

ROMNEY: Sean, you know, I'm going to talk about jobs and the economy.


ROMNEY: -- and getting America working again. I am going to talk about the debt, I'm going to talk about the measures that people care about.


HANNITY: All right. Fair enough.

ROMNEY: All of these extremist stories.


HANNITY: Let me ask you though. One thing I did want to ask you about, is the comments that were made about your wife Ann, and this gets personal. And we showed tape of President Obama, then candidate Obama, saying that hey, my wife is, you know, out of bounds. That crosses a line. He even said it was low. What do you make of this person, close to the DNC, making these comments about your wife, that she never worked a day in her life? Does that anger you?

ROMNEY: You know, I think it's extraordinarily unknowledgeable and unfortunate. I think she recognizes it. She apologized for it. Every mom is a working mom. People make different choices in their life. But those who choose to raise kids are working. A lot of folks are working at home, taking care of kids and also working in the day going to a job or night going to another full time job.

Look, it's tough being a mom, whether you are working outside the home or not. And, you know, I think people in this country understand that. And, you know, again, let's respect people for the choices they make and recognize the struggles that various people have. My wife's struggles have not been so much economic as they have been health-wise. And she's a champion, in my view. She's my hero. She has done the most important thing that's ever been done in my life, and that she's helped to raise our five sons and made terrific young men out of them and for that, I owe her anything.

HANNITY: All right. Let's look, interestingly, the president has been really, really hammering this class warfare message, which I would anticipate is going to grow stronger as the campaign goes on. He has mentioned it at every stop. It doesn't seem to be working. We have just this week, four new polls out. One has you up by five. That's a Gallup poll. Rasmussen has you up by three, Fox News has you up by two. The New York Times/CBS poll has the raise even. But by all accounts, there has never been a race at this point with an incumbent president with these numbers, this low, that has gone on to win the presidency. So, I assume you probably pretty energized by these numbers.

ROMNEY: Well, it's better than the alternative of course. But at the same time, I recognize polls go up and down. A lot is going to happen between now and November 6. But I do believe that if we are able to continue to talk about the president's record and the fact that he is over his head and swimming in the wrong direction, that he is not created the jobs he said he would create. He has not held unemployment below eight percent. It's been above eight percent in fact for 38 straight months. That incomes have been falling. That record number of foreclosures have occurred and he's done all that, by borrowing trillions of dollars that's passed on to the next generation and threatens even this one. If we talk about those things, I think he's in real trouble.


ROMNEY: What he is going to try and do and he's already began it, is to try and find any way to divert from his record, to divert the attention of the voting public. And I frankly, I think Americans are too smart for that.

HANNITY: What is the big difference, I'll ask you this one last question, because the president, you know, interestingly, had a very different tone back in 2007 and 2008, but also then, he didn't have a record. It seems the one thing that he can't run on is the answer to this question -- are you better off than you were four years ago? Can you afford $5 trillion more in new American debt, if he had another term? So, as you go forward, how do you battle the class warfare that seems to be a strategy, the negativity that I think is fairly predictable at this point?

ROMNEY: You know, I think the American people recognize that we are one nation under God. This is the greatest nation in the history of the earth, not because we have battled fellow Americans. But instead, we have come together at critical times and made the sacrifices necessary to preserve our liberty.

So, a campaign based on attacks, a campaign based on demonizing one another, that's just not going to be successful. This country is going to be successful by pulling together, by recognizing that we have some common challenges and working together to overcome those things. The president's a nice guy. But we just can't afford him for four more years. Our kids can afford them. We got to get back to someone who knows what it takes to get America strong again. And I spent my life in the private sector, I want to use that experience to get America working again for the American people.

HANNITY: All right. Governor, good to see you. And hopefully, we will see you out there in the campaign trail in the days, weeks and months ahead. Thanks for being with us.

ROMNEY: Thanks, Sean.

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