Mitt Romney used an appearance at the Business Roundtable’s quarterly meeting to prebut President Barack Obama’s upcoming economic speech, saying that Obama might speak “eloquently” to the American people as he looks to buy himself more time in office, but that “words are cheap.”
“If President Obama speaks as he normally will tomorrow, his rhetoric will be soaring and eloquent, but I’d suggest a look at the record, more than the words,” Romney on Monday told more than 100 of the country’s top CEOs. “I think you know what his record shows.”
Obama, Romney charged, will stifle American energy resources, dramatically increase cost with the implementation of his health-care law, and increase the regulatory burden if elected to a second term. The Obama administration, he said, has been a foe of job creators like the executives he addressed.
“Government has to be the partner, the friend, the ally, the supporter of enterprise,” Romney said. “Not the enemy.”
“”In another in a long line of ‘major’ economic speeches, Mitt Romney made dishonest after dishonest claim about the President’s record and failed to offer any new ideas of his own on how to improve the economy and strengthen the middle class,” campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said in a statement after Romney’s speech. “Contrary to Romney’s rhetoric, the President took our nation from losing 750,000 jobs a month to adding 4.3 million private sector jobs over the last 27 months.”
Romney’s speech here comes a day before he and President Obama will both head to the key swing-state of Ohio.
While Obama will give his economic speech in Cleveland, Romney has a public event at Selikop Industries and a private fundraiser in Cincinnati. Romney will return to Ohio later in the week as part of his “Every Town Counts” bus tour, a five-day campaign swing through six battleground states, with a focus on small towns.
Speaking to the Business Roundtable, Romney slammed Obama again on his comments that the private sector is “doing fine,” Romney said Obama and his administration were likely stunned by the “incredulity that came screaming back from the American people” over his remarks, causing him to change direction.
“I think you’re going to see [Obama] change course when he speaks tomorrow, where he will acknowledge that it isn’t going so well and he will ask for four more years,” Romney said. “So instead of three years, and he’s out, he wants four more years. My own view is he will speak eloquently, but that words are cheap, and that the record of an individual is the basis upon which to determine whether they should continue to hold on to their jobs.”
“The record is that we have 23 million people that are out of work, or who have stopped looking for work or who are underemployed,” Romney continued. “That is a compelling and sad statistic.”
During his remarks, Romney continued to paint Obama as out of touch with average Americans and small business owners, a charge that was leveled at Romney by members of his own party during the GOP primary.
He said Obama has presided over the most “anti-investment, anti-business, anti-jobs series of policies in modern American history,” and added that this has been a “tepid and unfortunate recovery for the American people.”
“The reason it has taken so long for this recovery to gain traction and to put people back to work is in large measure because of the policy choices the president made,” Romney said. “He is not responsible for any improvement we might be seeing. Instead he is responsible for the fact that it’s taken so long to see this recovery and the fact that this recovery is so tepid.”
Romney was also expected to address the CEOs at a question-and-answer session Wednesday, but members of the press were ushered out of the room immediately following Romney’s remarks.