GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Mitt Romney responded aggressively to President Obama’s attacks on his career in private equity on Tuesday by trying to turn Obama’s lines against him and saying it was not he but the president who is the “outsourcer-in-chief.”
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee noted that Obama has been running “some interesting attack ads” that have filled the airwaves in Colorado and other swing states that focused on the role the investment firm he helped start, Bain Capital, had played in outsourcing American jobs overseas.
“This president has been outsourcing a good deal of American jobs himself, by putting money into energy companies — solar and wind-energy companies that end up making their products outside the United States,” Romney said. “If there’s an outsourcer-in-chief, it’s the president of the United States, not the guy who’s running to replace him.”
At a town hall meeting in Grand Junction, Romney went after Obama’s latest tax plan by saying he had “added insult to injury with another kick in the gut.”
“He has a plan, he said, to lower taxes,” Romney said. “Now, we were all excited when we heard that. But you’ve got to be careful. When people in Washington say they’re lowering taxes, hold onto your wallet.”
Romney said Obama’s plan would keep taxes at the same level for many Americans while raising taxes on what he called “job creators and small businesses.” Romney cast the plan as “the sort of thing only an extreme liberal could come up with.”
“This old-style liberalism of bigger-and-bigger government and bigger-and-bigger taxes has got to end, and we will end it in November,” Romney said, drawing loud applause from a crowd of about 900 people inside a high school gymnasium.
Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith responded to Romney’s appearance in a statement that said, “Mitt Romney just doesn’t get it.”
“There’s a stark difference between where he and President Obama want to take this country,” Smith’s statement said, adding: “The American people deserve a President who will fight to create jobs here in America, not the Outsourcer-in-Chief Mitt Romney promises to be.”
Romney took a wide assortment of questions from supporters here, over second amendment gun rights (he said he supports them), abortion rights (he said he opposes them) and criminal justice (he said he favors the death penalty).
One questioner, in a reference to the Democrats’ recent focus on Romney’s personal wealth, asked Romney why the Obama campaign and the media “want us to think that we should be more angry with what you do with your money than what Obama has done with mine?”
Romney responded by saying, “I’m not going to apologize for success at home, and I’m not going to apologize for America abroad. And, yeah, I went out and began a business, and the business turned out to be far more successful than I ever would have imagined.”
Romney told another questioner that he believes he faces a biased national media, saying, “I realize, now and then, I’m fighting an uphill battle in some organs of the national media.” Although many conservatives often complain of biased media — this became a theme in John McCain’s 2008 campaign — Romney rarely talks about such matters.
A third questioner asked him, “How are you planning on fighting the fourth wing of the Democratic Party, which is the media?” The man added that Republicans “need a fighter out there,” and he suggested Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), a provocative freshman with tea party roots, as Romney’s running mate.
“I’ve been listening to Allen West talk,” the man told Romney. “He’d make a great vice president. He’s a fighter, and that’s what we want.”
Romney responded simply, saying, “Thank you. All suggestions are welcome.”