Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney accused President Barack Obama on Saturday of standing by while a looming budgetary calamity unfolds in Washington as he sought to regain his footing after a tough week on the campaign trail, reports Reuters.
Mitt Romney leaped into the debate over the “fiscal cliff,” the potential for an end-of-the-year uproar when some $109 billion in across-the-board spending cuts kick in unless President Obama and Congress reach a deficit-reduction deal to avert them. Bush-era tax cuts also expire at year’s end.
“Political gridlock threatens to plunge us back into recession, but instead of seeking bipartisan solutions, President Obama is passively allowing us to go over a fiscal cliff,” Romney said in his weekly podcast.
The Republican presidential nominee, who has vowed to build up the U.S. military if elected on November 6, has singled out for criticism the $54 billion in defense cuts that would kick in at year’s end. He says this is no time to shrink the Pentagon’s budget.
“What kind of commander-in-chief forces Americans to choose between massive tax hikes that will undermine the economy and massive cuts to our military that will undermine national security?” said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul.
On Friday, The White House said in releasing a breakdown of the cuts that it was congressional Republicans who are standing in the way of a deal because they refuse to accept a more balanced approach.
The White House and Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, including Romney’s vice presidential running mate, Paul Ryan, agreed on the automatic cuts under an August 2011 deal.
It was a rough week for Romney, who fell behind Obama in the polls and came under criticism from Democrats and some Republicans for making a campaign issue of the deaths of four Americans killed by Muslim protesters at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
Romney’s campaign has sharply escalated its attacks on President Obama’s “confusing” foreign policies, assailing the president for a series of issues ranging from the death of an ambassador in Libya to the president’s refusal to meet with the Israeli prime minister, writes ABC News.
Richard Williamson, Romney’s foreign policy adviser, used much harsher language Thursday night, calling Obama’s administration “amateur hour.”
At the same time, Republican activists are incredulous: Why can’t Mitt Romney seem to break open a tight race withPresident Barack Obama given the nation’s sluggish economy and conservative enthusiasm to beat the Democrat?
“He ought to be killing Obama, and he’s clearly not doing that,” said 32-year-old R.J. Robinson, one of the thousands of activists attending the annual Values Voters Summit this weekend. “He should be doing better.”
According to Yahoo, their sentiments were echoed in interviews with more than a dozen GOP activists and social conservative leaders who attended the annual gathering focused on social and cultural issues and sponsored by the Family Research Council.
“He needs to be more visible,” said Dawn Hawkins, who works for the anti-pornography group Morality In Media. Even though Mitt Romney and his allies outspent Barack Obama and his backers for months on TV in battleground states, Hawkins said: “He’s not up on TV very often. He has very few ads running on TV and radio. Obama has ads everywhere.”