Romney: Obama's economic policies 'a moral failure of tragic proportions'

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Although Romney's critiques did not break particularly new ground — the Republican candidate has been hammering President Obama over the economy since the early days of the campaign — Romney retooled his speech Thursday to draw deep philosophical contrasts with the president.

"President Obama trusts in the wisdom of government. I put my trust in the ingenuity and creativity and commitment to hard work of the American people, and that we must restore," Romney said.

And while Romney did not directly address recent jobs numbers that showed the nation's unemployment rate rising, he made multiple allusions to the economic struggles of the nation.

"These are not statistics, these are our fellow Americans. As your president, starting on day one, I will do everything in my power to end these days of drift and disappointment … I will not be that president of doubt and deception. I will lead us to a better place," Romney said.

The speech was the latest in a series of more substantive policy addresses that the Romney campaign has debuted since clinching the nomination. Once a week, Romney breaks from his traditional stump speeches and addresses issues like education or foreign policy.

But the Romney campaign clearly sees their candidate gaining traction with a continued focus on the economy, especially as the Obama administration is struggling with a souring jobs outlook.

On Thursday, the Obama campaign released a new television ad defending his record on jobs and criticizing congressional Republicans for obstinance.

“We’re still fighting our way back from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression," Obama says in the ad. “Our businesses have created almost 4.3 million new jobs over the last 27 months, but we’re still not creating them as fast as we want.”