MILFORD, N.H. – Mitt Romney tried to present himself here Monday as an advocate for the middle class, saying that he is “not runni
ng for the rich people,” but to help working people struggling through the prolonged economic recession.
“Look, I’m not running for the rich people,” Romney said at a town-hall meeting in Milford. “Rich people can take care of themselves. They’re doing just fine. I’m running for middle-class Americans…. I want to help the people who’ve been hurt by the Obama economy.”
The former Massachusetts governor, who heads into Tuesday’s Washington Post-Bloomberg debate as the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, also trotted out a new line to blame the country’s economic ills on President Obama.
“In some respects, the Obama economy is the Where’s Waldo economy,” Romney said, referring to the popular children’s book series. “Finding a good paid job in this economy is harder than finding Waldo in one of his books.”
During a 50-minute town hall meeting inside a steamy Veterans of Foreign Wars hall here in leafy Milford, Romney did not mention any of his rivals by name. This was a marked departure from his recent campaign appearances. Last week in Florida, Romney said of Social Security that it risked becoming a “Perry scheme,” a snipe at one of his top rivals, Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Instead, Romney kept his focus on Obama and the Democrats. Asked by one of more than 100 attendees about the protests on Wall Street, Romney said:
“Are there bad actors on Wall Street? Absolutely. Are there bad actors on Main Street? Absolutely. And they have to be found and picked out and plucked up, but to say that somehow we should point and attack other Americans or other regions in America or industries in America, I think would be a mistake.”
Romney added that “all the streets are connected” and accused Obama of pursuing a divisive strategy of “class warfare.”
“I’ve been really disappointed and in some respects a little bit frightened by the president’s rhetoric, this class warfare, looking for someone to blame,” Romney said. “Stop blaming. Be a Truman Democrat. Say the buck stops here. Take responsibility and do not divide the American people.”