Romney targets Obama in speech laying out his plan for economy

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney aimed his fire at President Obama in a speech Tuesday that laid out the economic plan he would implement if elected.

The former Massachusetts governor pledged to sign five executive orders on his first day in the Oval Office, including one granting a wavier from "ObamaCare" to all 50 states. 

Romney also said he'd put all regulations implemented under Obama's presidency on hold pending assessment, boost domestic energy production, sanction China for what he called the "worst example" of cheating on trade agreements and ensure American workers get a secret ballot on votes to unionize.

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He also displayed a list of five bills that he would submit for congressional action within 30 days of his presidency, which included cutting all federal spending, except military spending, by 5 percent.

"In the first five years, this plan will grow the economy at approximately 5 percent per year each year," Romney promised. "It will add 11 and a half million new jobs."

Romney has fallen behind Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) in recent polls, but remains among the front-runners in the race for the GOP nomination. He has made the economy the focal point of his campaign, and his campaign played up the 59-point plan on jobs and the economy that Romney presented in his Tuesday speech. 


Romney began his address with a jab at the president's often criticized use of a teleprompter. "I don't have at teleprompter here," Romney pointed out, to loud applause.

"Nothing wrong with that," he added. "I use it from time to time."

Romney them moved to the economy, criticizing the speech Obama plans to give on the topic of jobs Thursday before a joint session of Congress. "I haven't read it, but I know what's coming," he said.

Romney said Obama would push stimulus spending, which Romney called an outdated strategy that he compared to a pay phone.

"Your pay phone strategy does not work in a smartphone world. Our vision requires dramatic change ... not more coins in a pay phone strategy," he said.

Romney held back on personal criticism of the president.

"He's not a bad guy," Romney repeated twice, speaking of Obama. "He just doesn't have a clue what to do. ... He's never worked in the economy. To create jobs, you've got to have had a job. And I have. I look forward to [Obama] coming back into the real economy."

A spokesman for Obama's reelection campaign fired back at Romney after the speech in a statement that slammed Romney's plan for hurting the middle class.
 
"For the middle class to succeed we must embrace the value that hard work and responsibility are rewarded and ensure that everyone plays by the same rules," Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said. "Governor Romney repackaged the same old policies that helped create the economic crisis."

On the other side, Perry spokesman Mark Miner also released a statement following the speech slamming Romney for failing to "institute many of the reforms he now claims to support" when he was governor.

Romney and Perry have sparred in the past over their gubernatorial records on jobs, and Perry's campaign has challenged Romney to match the Texas governor's "pro-jobs record."

Romney previewed his plan in an op-ed Tuesday in USA Today, where he pledged to lay out 59 specific proposals for job growth, including 10 "concrete actions" he would take on Day 1 of his presidency.