Mitt Romney hammered President Obama over the economy and jobs Tuesday in the Republican nominee's first public appearance since disappointing jobs numbers were released Friday morning.
Romney said blame for the economy's continued struggles resided squarely with the incumbent president, and not the man only a few miles down the road from the Fort Worth, Texas, event — former President George W. Bush.
"He hasn't put forward a plan to get us working again. I know we're getting close to an election so I'm sure he'll come out with one soon. But three and a half years later, we're waiting. All he has now is excuses," Romney said.
Romney said that the president would try to pass blame for lagging jobs numbers on to Europe or his predecessor, eliciting boos and groans from the partisan crowd.
"This is Obama's economy, not George Bush's economy," Romney said to cheers.
Romney also hit the president specifically on Hispanic economic issues. Earlier Tuesday, the Romney campaign released a Web ad highlighting disproportionately high unemployment and poverty rates among Hispanic Americans, and the Republican nominee hammered at those data points. The event in Fort Worth was held at a office supply company owned by two Mexican American brothers.
"This Obama economy has been hard particularly on Hispanic businesses and Hispanic business men," Romney said, noting that a third of those living in poverty were Hispanic. "I can tell you if I'm the next president of the United States, I'll be the president for all Americans and make sure this economy is good for all Americans, Hispanic and otherwise."
The vast majority of Romney's remarks were focused on his economic theme, with the candidate relaying multiple stories of men and women he had met on the campaign trail who had started their own businesses.
"Entrepreneurs are alive and well in America and that's what drives our economy, the spirit of entrepreneurialism," Romney said.
The Obama campaign said in a statement earlier Tuesday that Romney lacked credibility on Hispanic economic issues because he prescribed solutions similar to those of Bush, under whse administration the economy fell into recession.
“Hispanics stand to lose the most from Romney’s insistence on the same failed economic policies that created the economic crisis,’” said Obama campaign spokeswoman Gabriela Domenzain, who pointed out that the Hispanic unemployment rate is down nearly two points since the height of the financial crisis.
The Republican presidential nominee will host a private fundraiser in Dallas later Tuesday evening.