Obama: Romney planning "inside job" in Washington?

President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign rally at G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, September 21, 2012. AFP

(CBS News) President Obama hit back at Mitt Romney on Friday by suggesting his rival may be planning an "inside job" if he is elected president.

On Thursday, Romney criticized President Obama for saying "you can't change Washington from the inside," saying Mr. Obama "threw in the white flag of surrender again."

"He said he can't change Washington from inside, he can only change it from outside," Romney said in Florida.

In Woodbridge, Virginia on Friday, Mr. Obama stood by his earlier comments, saying, "I said you change it from the outside. You change it because people are mobilized."

The president then mocked Romney for seizing on the comments, saying, "for some reason my opponent got really excited" and wrote a new speech about them.

"He proudly declared I'll get the job done from the inside," Mr. Obama said. "What kind of inside job is he talking about? Is it the job of rubber-stamping the top-down, you're-on-your-own agenda of this Republican Congress? Because if it is, we don't want it."

The phrase "inside job" is usually used to describe a crime in which someone inside the organization being targeted is involved.

Mr. Obama's comments, before an estimated 12,000 people in a crucial swing state, also included criticism of Romney's "47 percent" comments, in which the Republican presidential nominee dismissed nearly half the country as dependent on government. The president criticized Romney for having written off "half the nation as a bunch of victims" and vowed to fight for all Americans, whether or not they vote for him.

"I will be fighting for you no matter what," he said. "I will be your president no matter what. I'm not fighting to create Democratic jobs or Republican jobs, I'm fighting to create American jobs."

Mr. Obama said the following on Thursday in Florida: "I think that I've learned some lessons over the last four years, and the most important lesson I've learned is that you can't change Washington from the inside, you can only change it from the outside. That's how I got elected, and that's how the big accomplishments like health care got done - [it] was because we mobilized the American people to speak out. That's how we were able to cut taxes for middle-class families."

Romney responded: "Well, we are going to give him that chance in November -- he is going outside. I can change Washington; I will change Washington. We will get the job done from the inside. Republicans and Democrats will come together. He can't do it. His slogan was 'Yes we can.' His slogan now is 'No, I can't.'"

Comments