“When the president’s characterization of our economy was, ‘It could be worse,’ it reminded me of Marie Antoinette: ‘Let them eat cake,'” Romney told The Huffington Post aboard his campaign bus, where he is campaigning ahead of Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses.
“This is not a time to be talking about, ‘It could be worse.’ It’s a time to recognize that things should be better,” Romney said.
“And the president’s policies have failed the American people, have led to 25 million people still being out of work. He didn’t cause the recession, but he has made it deeper and has made the recovery more tepid and the pain last longer.”
Romney in Iowa has ripped Obama over comments he made during a Wisconsin town hall meeting in 2010, when he said “it’s hard to argue sometimes, things would have been a lot worse” had it not been for the controversial stimulus package.
“This has been already the worst recovery since Hoover. [Obama] may say it’s getting better and try to take credit for the fact that the economy recovered. But the economy will always recover,” Romney said.
“We’ve never gone into permanent recession or depression. The economy will come back after recession. The question is, did he help it or hurt it? Did he prolong the pain or reduce the pain? The truth is he made things harder to recover, he made more people suffer longer.”
Barack Obama’s reelection campaign and the allied Democratic National Committee were quick to respond to Mitt Romney’s personal attack on the president with character-related attacks of their own.
“It is actually laughable that the ‘Quarter-Billion-Dollar Man’ would call President Obama out of touch — and use the example of a French monarch to make the point,” DNC spokeswoman Melanie Roussell said in a statement to The Huffington Post on Thursday evening.
“This is the same guy who joked that he was ‘unemployed,’ offered a $10,000 bet as casually as one might buy a cup of coffee, and said ‘corporations are people.’ He’s also the same person who, as a former corporate buyout specialist for Bain Capital, made his fortune firing thousands of workers, cutting benefits, bankrupting American companies and outsourcing jobs overseas. He’s the one who won’t release his tax returns — most likely because we would all learn that he pays a lower tax rate than middle class wage-earners. Laughable.”
Tightening the screws a bit, Obama campaign Press Secretary Ben LaBolt quickly followed suit, tweeting out a link to a video of Mitt Romney speaking French for an introduction of the volunteers at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Romney’s choice to attack Obama and skip his GOP adversaries indicates how quickly the Republican landscape has changed, reports New York Daily News. Romney was clearly in the lead in Iowa — at 25% – in a recent CNN/Time/ORC International poll, with the once-formidable Gingrich trailing in fourth place at 14%.
As for his chances in Iowa, where he is increasingly seen as a favorite to win or come in a close second to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), Romney acknowledged that he is “all in” in the Hawkeye State, having announced that he will campaign here every day from now until the caucuses, with a quick trip to New Hampshire on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.
“If Ron Paul wins Iowa, Ron Paul will have won Iowa. I will not have won Iowa. Now, what that means down the road is a different matter,” Romney said, expressing confidence in his campaign’s preparation for a long primary battle.