Not that Obama and his surrogates are backing down on foreign policy. At the Democratic convention, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) ripped Romney’s Afghanistan policy as inconsistent, saying he has at times favored removing U.S. troops before more recently arguing to keep the forces there past Obama’s 2014 deadline.
Obama has built on that criticism. “He won’t tell us how he’ll end the war in Afghanistan, in fact, didn’t even mention it in his speech at his convention,” the president said in Kissimmee, Fla., on Saturday.
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Surrogates pile on
Other surrogates have piled on. Former president Bill Clinton, during his convention address, contended that Romney’s budget plan “doesn’t add up” because the former Massachusetts governor has not detailed which tax loopholes he would eliminate to make up revenue for the tax cuts he favors for the wealthy.
Obama picked up on the line Sunday in Palm Beach, Fla., after Romney avoided laying out specifics during an interview on “Meet the Press.”
“You add $5 trillion of new tax cuts, $2 trillion in new defense spending, and somehow you’re going to close the deficit without raising taxes on middle-class families?” Obama said of Romney’s plan.
On the flip side, Romney and Ryan have gotten help from Newt Gingrich, who during a CNN appearance on Sunday repeated the line Ryan used to mock Obama’s “Hope” poster as Republicans seek to portray Obama as failing to live up to his hype.
“Ryan’s line about the young person sitting in their bedroom looking out at the graying poster of Obama as it faded away sort of captured it,” Gingrich said.
The president has been just as aggressive in turning his rivals’ words around on them. During a Labor Day speech in Toledo, Obama parodied Romney for suggesting that the United States needs a “new coach” with a new “economic game plan.”
Obama told the crowd it was “time to punt” Romney’s budget plan and warned that his rival will throw a desperation “Hail Mary” pass by turning Medicare into a privatized voucher system.
“You don’t need that coach,” Obama said. “That’s a losing season.”