Romney offers 'report card' for Obama's first term in return to campaign trail

ADVERTISEMENT
In his first campaign event since a week-long foreign tour, Romney contented that the president has failed at encouraging job growth, bringing down the unemployment rate, and reducing the deficit — while as governor of Massachusetts, he had succeeded on similar metrics.

"Obviously I got to do the grading here today, which is good," Romney joked. "But you can check up on me with this."

The White House hopeful said he was doing so to hold the president accountable for the campaign promises he had made.

"The reason I took you through that, I know that in campaigns, talk can be cheap," Romney said. "You can say anything. But the results, they can be real expensive."

In a conference call earlier with reporters, senior Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom said that the scorecard was intended to argue that the president lacked a plan for his second term, while having failed in his first.

"The economy is not just downshifting, it's shifting into reverse," Fehrnstrom said. "There's a lot at stake for the middle class, and it's shameful America has a sitting president who has offered no policy agenda for a second term."

But the push by the Romney campaign is also intended as a rebuttal of Obama's recent attacks on the Republican candidate's tax plan.

During a pair of campaign stops Wednesday, the president cited a new report from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center that concludes a tax plan similar to the one proposed by Romney "would provide large tax cuts to high-income households, and increase the tax burdens on middle- and/or lower-income taxpayers." On Thursday, the Obama campaign released a new commercial citing the study.

But Fehrnstrom blasted the report as "a joke" and said it "doesn't take into effect elements of the governor's plan that will have positive" effects on economic growth.

"There are serious problems with the authorship of that study, and the methodology," the Romney aide added. "It was co-authored by a member of the Obama White House."

At the event, Romney said his total economic package would create 12 million new jobs and improve pay for those already employed. Romney said such gains would be possible by seeking energy independence by the end of the decade and establishing a "Reagan Trade Zone" with Latin American countries that allowed the free exchange of goods.

Romney also referred to his Massachusetts record — where he encountered a heavily Democratic legislature — to argue he could bring bipartisanship back to Washington.

"Let's work together to get the American people working," Romney said.

More in News

Transgender heckler: Obama's response 'heartbreaking'

Read more »