"That clock up there shows our national debt," Romney said at a campaign rally, pointing to a debt clock set up by his campaign in a high school gymnasium in this Columbus suburb. "When I began this campaign it started with 15 trillion. ... Now there's over $16 trillion in debt. If (Obama) were reelected, I can assure you, it will be almost $20 trillion in debt."
Recent polls show that while Romney trails the president on issues including taxes, international affairs, and the handling of entitlement programs, the one area where he continues to have an edge is on addressing budget deficits and the national debt. Romney seized on the topic Wednesday, calling the current debt "an unthinkable amount" and arguing that the Federal Reserve has compounded the problem by keeping interest rates low.
"What's going to happen when those interest rates go up?" he asked a crowd 1,000 that gathered at the first of three stops in Ohio Wednesday. "That bill's going to get bigger and bigger. It is crushing. That's the course this president has put us on."Continue »
(CBS News) VANDALIA, Ohio - Trailing President Obama in some polls by as much as 8 percentage points in this pivotal battleground state, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan are pulling out all the stops on a two-day, five-city bus tour in hopes of making up important political ground.
Romney flew to western Ohio after spending the morning talking foreign policy and education in New York City. There, he was joined by Ryan, who had begun the day with a morning stop in Cincinnati. Both projected confidence to a crowd of more than 3,500 people who waited at the Dayton airport for hours to see the candidates.
"We are going to win Ohio," Ryan told the crowd.
"If I'm president of the United States," Romney started to say, and then corrected himself as the crowd yelled in protest: "When I'm president of the United States ..."
Romney, who has called for across-the-board cuts in the federal income tax, said President Obama will spend a second term raising taxes. "He's got one new, one new idea," Romney said. "I admit this, he has one thing he did not do in his first four years (that) he said he's going to do in the next four years, which is to raise taxes."Continue »
(CBS News) PUEBLO, Colo. - Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Monday attacked President Obama for referring to ongoing unrest in Middle East as "bumps in the road," and said that as president, he "will shape events" in the region.
Speaking to a crowd of more than 1,500 people in this town in southern Colorado, Romney said, "This is a time for a president who will shape events in the Middle East, not just be merciful or be at the mercy of the events of the Middle East. I will get America on track to have the kind of leadership we need so we can shape the future of this part of the world and keep America strong."
Romney offered no specifics about how he would shape events in the historically volatile and war-prone region. While he has largely tried to keep his focus on the economy and high unemployment numbers, Romney took the opportunity to go on the offensive on foreign policy after Mr. Obama was asked in a "60 Minutes" interview on Sunday about the pro-democracy uprisings in the Arab world that have led to creation of governments with ties to extremist Islamic groups.Continue »
Mitt Romney said Sunday that he trails in key swing states because of President Obama's "very inaccurate portrayals" of his positions, and criticized Mr. Obama's decision to decline federal campaign matching funds, even though he, too, has opted not to accept them.
Speaking to reporters aboard a flight to Denver, Romney said he has had trouble getting his message out because the Obama campaign has distorted his position on several issues.
"I think that the president's campaign has focused its advertising in many cases on very inaccurate portrayals of my positions," he said. "They've been very aggressive in their attacks both on a personal basis and on a policy basis. I think as time goes on, people will realize that those attacks are not accurate and we'll be able to have a choice which is based upon each others' accurate views for the country."Continue »
"He really believes in what I'll call a government-centered society. I know there are some who believe that if you simply take from some and give to others, then we'll all be better off. It's known as redistribution," Romney said. "It's never been a characteristic of America. ... I believe the way to lift people and help people have higher incomes is not to take from some and give to others, but to create wealth for all of us."
Romney also said. "The question of this campaign is not who cares about the poor and the middle class. I do. He does. The question is who can help the poor and the middle class? I can! He can't!"Continue »
However, Romney declined to say whether he would continue President Obama's executive order allowing some children of undocumented workers to remain in the country, and he was heard in a video recording saying his quest for the White House would be easier if he were Latino.
On a day that the Republican challenger devoted to Hispanic issues and message-making, a video clip of Romney's appearance at a private fundraiser earlier this year was published by the liberal Mother Jones website. In the video, Romney is heard saying, "My dad, as you probably know, was the governor of Michigan and was the head of a car company. But he was born in Mexico ... and had he been born of Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot at winning this. But he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico. He lived there for a number of years. I mean, I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino."
The website said it obtained the video from someone at a private fundraiser earlier this year. Romney says that while women are open to supporting him, "We are having a much harder time with Hispanic voters, and if the Hispanic voting bloc becomes as committed to the Democrats as the African American voting block has in the past, why, we're in trouble as a party and, I think, as a nation."Continue »
(CBS News) An ongoing investigation into a fatal early-morning plane crash in Pueblo, Colo., led Mitt Romney's campaign to cancel plans for a Sunday afternoon rally in the southern Colorado city.
Pueblo police said the crash of an "experimental plane" around 9 a.m. at the Pueblo Memorial Airport killed one person who was on the plane. forcing the closure of two runways, according to the Pueblo Chieftain newspaper. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.
"We do not want to interfere with the investigation of any emergency response efforts," Romney spokesman Rick Gorka said in an email.
Those were just a few of the personal details revealed in a light-hearted interview with ABC's Live! with Kelly and Michael, which taped on Friday morning in New York but won't air until next week. Romney and his wife, Ann, sat for an interview with the show's hosts, Kelly Ripa and former New York Giant Michael Strahan (who recently replaced Regis Philbin), after the Republican nominee pulled in more than $4 million at a Manhattan fundraiser.
Though most of the interview was soft in tone, Romney was asked to name an area in which he agrees with President Obama. He cited the decision to take out Osama bin Laden and the importance that both men place on family.
"I think he's a fine husband and father, and I think the role model for our nation of being a good father is a very good thing. I appreciate that," Romney said. "We're concerned about schools and health care and I think the budget. We go about these things in different ways. We have different approaches to those things."Continue »
"The idea of using something that some people consider sacred and then parading that out in a negative way is simply inappropriate and wrong. And I wish people wouldn't do it," Romney said in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos.
But, he added, "Of course, we have a First Amendment. And under the First Amendment, people are allowed to do what they feel they want to do. They have the right to do that, but it's not right to do things that are of the nature of what was done by, apparently this film."
The statements aired Friday were strikingly similar to what President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been saying since anti-American protests in Cairo and Benghazi and the attacks that killed four diplomats in Libya.Continue »
(CBS News) FAIRFAX, Va. - In his first rally since attacks in the Middle East thrust foreign policy to the forefront of the presidential campaign, Republican nominee Mitt Romney on Thursday attempted to shift the focus back to the issue he hopes will decide the election: the economy.
Just one day after Romney accused the Obama administration of "sympathizing" with protesters who attacked U.S. embassies in Cairo and Benghazi, Romney simply offered condolences for the four diplomats whose lives were lost. When a heckler briefly interrupted him and accused him of trying to "politicize" the tragedy, Romney scrapped a planned moment of silence. "One gentleman doesn't want to be silent so we're going to keep on going," he said.
Romney did stay on offense at his rally in this Washington suburb, but his target was President Obama's economic performance. He cited to disappointing numbers that he said Obama avoided talking about during his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention.
"I would have expected that with 23 million Americans out of work or having stopped looking for work or underemployed, I would have expected that when the president gave his address at the convention a couple weeks ago, that he would have spoken about the unemployed, but he didn't," Romney said to an audience of more than 2,500 gathered at a park.Continue »
(CBS News) JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Moments after reiterating his criticism of the Obama administration for its handling of the diplomatic crisis unfolding in Libya and Egypt, Mitt Romney attacked the president on another foreign policy front, telling supporters at his campaign office in Florida that he couldn't "imagine ever saying, 'No,'" to a request for a meeting with the Israeli prime minister.
The comment came a day after the Israeli news media reported that President Obama could not find time in his schedule to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu when the Israeli prime minister travels to the United Nations in New York City later this month.
"I can't ever imagine, if the prime minister of Israel asked to meet with me, I can't imagine ever saying, 'No,'" Romney said while shaking hands with supporters. "They're our friends, they're our closest allies in the Middle East."Continue »
Romney's vice presidential choice, Paul Ryan, also differentiated himself further from Romney by refusing to say that he would reject a hypothetical debt reduction deal - composed of a 10-to-1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases - which Romney (and other GOP candidates) rejected during a presidential primary debate last year.
"You know, it depends on the quality of the agreement," Ryan said on ABC's "This Week." "It depends on the quality of the policy. Our negotiators in the 'supercommittee' offered higher revenues through tax reform. John Boehner did as well. . . . What really matters to me is not ratios but what matters is the quality of the policy."
During the interview with NBC's David Gregory, Romney said President Obama is to blame for provisional defense cuts that were part of the deal with Congress. When Gregory noted that Republican Congressional leaders agreed to the so-called sequestration provision, Romney responded:
"And that's a big mistake. I thought it was a mistake on the part of the White House to propose it. I think it was a mistake for Republicans to go along with it. The president was responsible for coming out with specific changes they'd make to the defense budget. ... The American people need to understand how it is that our defense is going to be so badly cut."
(CBS News) Ann Romney on Friday declined to answer questions about same-sex marriage and birth control during an interview with an Iowa TV station, calling them "hot-button issues that distract from what the real voting issue is going to be ... the economy and jobs."
In the interview with NBC affiliate KWQC in Davenport, Romney delivered a message to female voters: "Trust my husband, he does not fail, he will not fail." But when asked for her thoughts on whether a lesbian mother should be allowed to marry her partner and if employer-provided health insurance should be required to cover birth control, she said she was doing the interview to talk about her husband Mitt Romney and economic issues.Continue »
Appearing in Orange City, Iowa, Romney highlighted the video shown on opening night in Charlotte that stated "Government is the only thing that we all belong to." After conservative commentators castigated the message, the Obama campaign disavowed it, saying that the video was produced by the city's host committee.
"Boy, they sure got that one wrong, didn't they?" Romney asked a crowd of more than 2,000 people gathered in a college gymnasium in northwest Iowa who cheered their agreement.
Romney used the example to make his case for a limited government that answers to the people. "The government belongs to us," he said. "We value the government we have, and we pay for it too. It ain't free."
In a swing state further west, Ryan told a group of 1,500 voters in Reno, Nev., that the root of Obama's problems lay in his policies, not his personality.
"President Obama is not a bad guy. He's good at giving great speeches, he's just really bad at creating jobs," said Ryan, who was raising money in Los Angeles as the president spoke on Thursday evening. "Here's the problem, when you think that the road to success and prosperity is more borrowing, more spending, more taxing, more regulating, a government-centered society with a government run economy these are the kinds of results we will get. And if we want the next four years to be any different than the last four years, we need a new president."Continue »
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Friday called the latest jobs report "disappointing," saying in an interview with Fox News that it confirms his argument that "we're going in the wrong direction."
The Labor Department estimated that the U.S. economy added 96,000 jobs in July, and that unemployment fell to 8.1 percent because hundreds of thousands of Americans gave up looking for work.Continue »
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