President Obama on Saturday said Mitt Romney had endorsed “extreme positions” and questioned if his opponent understood "what this job entails."
“I can’t speak to Governor Romney’s motivations,” said Obama in an interview released Saturday by the Associated Press. “What I can say is that he has signed up for positions, extreme positions, that are very consistent with positions that a number of House Republicans have taken.”
“Whether he actually believes in those or not, I have no doubt that he would carry forward some of the things that he’s talked about,” he added.
Ryan’s proposals as House Budget Committee chairman, in particular, have been a focus of Democratic criticism, with the Obama campaign claiming Ryan would cut spending for entitlements and on important infrastructure and pass on those savings as tax breaks to the wealthy.
In Obama's interview, which comes ahead of next week’s GOP convention in Tampa, Fla., the president hammered his opponent as holding positions outside the mainstream on economic policy and social issues and said his reluctance to confront his own party should worry voters.
Obama said Romney’s unwillingness to stand up to those in his own party showed a "lack of willingness to take responsibility for what this job entails."
Obama also hit back at one of Romney’s key campaign attacks, which claims Obama “gutted” the work requirement for welfare recipients. Republicans blasted President Obama earlier this year after the administration made a quiet policy change that could affect how states administer welfare.
At one point in the AP interview, the president issued a direct challenge to Romney over the welfare disagreement
"It will be a little tougher [for Romney] to defend face-to-face," Obama said, alluding to the upcoming debates.
Romney has launched a number of ads criticizing the welfare law changes, with one claiming the administration’s moves will leave poor families in a “cycle of dependency.”
Democrats claim new the policy allows states to test new approaches for boosting employment among low-income families through federal waivers that do away with the work requirement. States, however, would lose the waivers if they’re unable to prove that their methods are effective.
In his AP interview. Obama also offered a glimpse of a possible second term in which he vowed to work with Republicans lawmakers, although he didn’t delve into specifics.
"I'm prepared to make a whole range of compromises,” he said.
Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams said Obama’s record indicates otherwise.
“He promised to change how Washington works, but he admits the nation's capital is as broken as ever,” Williams said in a statement.