The former Massachusetts governor, pitching himself as a candidate with the business know-how to turn around the economy, added: “The Obama prescription for the economy didn’t ail what hurt us. Instead it made things worse. And I believe it’s time for someone who’s actually had a job do the job of getting jobs for the American people.”
A day after officially launching his second presidential campaign, Romney sought to place blame for the country’s 9.1 percent unemployment, home foreclosures and growing debt squarely on Obama.
“Look, he’s a nice guy,” Romney said. “He’s well spoken. He can talk a dog off a meat wagon. And yet he hasn’t delivered. . . . He can’t keep blaming George Bush. This is now his economy, and what he has done has failed the American people. And the borrowing and the spending and the $1.6 trillion deficit — these numbers are his, they’re on his back, and it’s why he’s going to lose.”
Romney’s town hall began as Sarah Palin was finishing breakfast with Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) at the Golden Egg Diner in nearby Portsmouth. The former Alaska governor’s trip through the Granite State trumped Romney’s on the front page of Friday’s Manchester Union Leader. The newspaper trumpeted her visit with a big headline — “Palin hits the Seacoast” — and relegated a story of Romney’s announcement to Page A3.
Before leaving the state, Palin said she not only plans to visit the key early caucus state of Iowa on one of her upcoming bus tours but also South Carolina, another early primary state. But she offered no further insight into whether she will be a candidate.
Meanwhile, Romney spoke for about 45 minutes in a lecture hall at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester, addressing an array of issues in answers to about eight questions from the audience.
On spending, Romney said there are worthy domestic programs that the country can no longer afford, but he did not delineate which ones he would cut or eliminate.
Addressing the defense budget, he acknowledged that “there’s a lot of waste” in the Pentagon, but said any savings obtained through efficiencies at the Department of Defense should be used to rebuild aging systems. He said the government should use that money to modernize the Navy and Air Force, increase the number of soldiers in the Army and improve care for veterans.
Romney said more substantial savings should be found in mandatory entitlement programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid. Asked about Medicaid, a program that provides health care for the poor, Romney said: “I would send [it] back to the states. I would let the states care for their own poor and their own uninsured in the way that they think is best.”