The morning after Republicans made historic gains in Congress, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) penned an op-ed sharply criticizing President Obama's economic agenda.

Romney — who could enter the 2012 GOP presidential primary for the chance to face Obama — wrote in The Washington Post that Obama missed opportunities in his first two years in office to mend the ailing economy. 

"President Obama could have focused on solving the financial crisis. He did not. He could have endeavored to conquer the looming threats to our future. Instead, he added to them," Romney wrote. "Now that voters have rejected his first two years in office, the president should not waste this political crisis: He should seize his 'Nixon to China' opportunity.

"The president can turn his party's losses Tuesday into a win for the country. It all depends on the course he sets," Romney added.

With the midterm elections having taken place, Romney's piece is a sign the 2012 race for the White House is set to begin.

Republicans appear emboldened after picking up 60 seats in the House Tuesday night, matching the expected wave observers believed would sweep over Democrats.

GOP leaders said in the aftermath of their win that they will prioritize reducing the size of government and creating jobs. Romney echoed those themes, calling for an extension of all the Bush tax cuts and a freeze on federal discretionary spending and hiring, to start.

"Government is a greater threat to America in 2010 than China was in 1972," Romney wrote. "Government is smothering the pioneering, entrepreneurial spirit that propelled our economy past those of older, larger nations. Ever higher taxes on small and big business, layers of red tape, onerous labor regulations, and punitive bureaucrats and lawsuits are suffocating U.S. economic vitality. So far, the president and his fellow travelers in Congress have made things worse: If Obama is serious about changing the way things are done in Washington, he must slay the job-killing beast Washington has become."

[h/t GOP12]