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Mitt Romney: Obama Presidency an "Abject Failure" and "Most Divisive in History"

Mitt Romney
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks to the Values Voter Summit, held by the Family Research Council Action, Friday, Sept. 17, 2010, in Washington. AP

WASHINGTON -- Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney ripped apart President Obama's performance in office today, calling his first two years as president an "abject failure" and "the most divisive [presidency] in history."

"Instead of focusing on the economy, he used the crisis as cover for his agenda," Romney said that the Values Voter Summit, hosted by the Family Research Council. The president, he said, "exploited the economic crisis instead of solving it."

By stalling pending free trade agreements, pushing for "cap and trade," creating new debt and so on, Mr. Obama "hasn't ended the crisis, he made it deeper, longer and more painful," Romney said.

He predicted voters would "repudiate Obama-style liberalism" in this election and the next -- making Mr. Obama a one-term president.

At a conference largely focused on moral and social issues, the former -- and potentially future -- presidential candidate spoke mostly about economic policy, suggesting Washington would benefit from more leaders with private sector experience (perhaps like himself).

Mr. Obama "incessantly" reminds Americans that he inherited the economic crisis from the Bush administration.

"That's why we argued during the [2008] campaign that this was no time for on the job training," Romney said. "If he or his economic advisers had any experience in the real economy, he would have known that the first three rules for any turnaround are focus, focus, focus."

Instead, Romney said, the president has pushed "the most anti-jobs measures we've seen in our lifetimes."

He added, "Isn't it fitting that those who have such contempt for the private sector will soon find themselves back in it."

The Obama administration not only "prolonged" and "added to the burden" of the economic crisis, Romney said, but is also threatening to alter the fabric of American society.

"They're trying to fundamentally change the way America works, and we will not let them do it," he said.

Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.