(CBS News) WAUKESHA, Wis. -- Even before President Obama, Mitt Romney on Tuesday was chiding the president for blaming the current state of the economy on Republicans.
"Instead of standing up and saying, as the president, his policies have not worked, he of course will look for someone else to blame," Romney said while campaigning at a sub shop in Waukesha, Wisconsin, in remarks that appeared to serve as a prelude to the spirited fight likely to take place over the next six months.
"Maybe he'll look for the party that had no power whatsoever for the first two years of his administration, maybe he'll say, 'Oh, it's the Republicans.' But, you know, he had a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate for his first two years. He gets full credit or blame for what's happened in this economy, and what's happened to gasoline prices under his watch, and what's happened to our schools, and what's happened to our military forces."
Romney's comments came before a speech Tuesday in which Mr. Obama methodically took apart the House-passed budget of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., point by point, and ridiculed Romney for calling the Ryan plan "marvelous." Ryan was at the campaign stop with Romney.
The former Massachusetts governor referred to a new Obama campaign ad that attacks "Big Oil," an industry that Democrats say is eager to help Romney because of his support for tax breaks for the industry.
"The president put an ad out yesterday, talking about gasoline prices and how high they are," Romney said. "And guess who he blamed? Me! Maybe after I'm president, I can take responsibility for things I might have done wrong. But this president doesn't want to take responsibility for his mistakes. I mean, you talk about someone who is running as far away from Harry Truman's dictum as possible. Harry Truman had the sign on his desk that said, 'The buck stops here.' But this president is always looking for somewhere else to point."
Romney told the lunch crowd that as president, he would take responsibility for his failures along with successes.
"There may be some things that don't work out as well as I'd hoped," he said. "I will acknowledge that. I will say that I take responsibility for what goes well and what doesn't."