On Wednesday, at a campaign appearance in San Antonio, Texas, Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) asserted that President Barack Obama deliberately allowed the economic recovery to falter, according to Talking Points Memo's Live Wire blog.
The Republican nominee claimed that the president knew that passing his signature piece of domestic legislation, the Affordable Care Act would damage the economy, but pushed it through purely out of vanity.
Romney was citing The New Republic senior editor Noam Schreiber's The Escape Artists, which bills itself as a history of how the president's economic team "fumbled" the recovery. Interestingly, Schreiber maintains in the book that the stimulus was too small and too focused on the financial sector, a contention that sounds fairly Krugman-esque, and not the sort of thing one would expect to hear from a Republican candidate on the stump.
In fact, as recently as May 15, Romney was decrying the president's $787 billion economic stimulus package in a campaign speech in Des Moines, Iowa as "the biggest, most careless one-time expenditure by the federal government in history." Worse, still, Romney said, "the stimulus wasn't just wasted -- it was borrowed and wasted. We still owe the money. We're still paying interest on it and it will be that way long after this president's out of office."
Schreiber maintains that the president's desire to "make a mark on history" overrode his desire to stitch back together the economy, a belief that Romney echoed yesterday.
"A book that was written in a way thats apparently pro-President Obama, was written by a guy named Noam Scheiber and in this book he says that there was a discussion about the fact that Obamacare would slow down the economic recovery in this country and they knew that before they passed it," Romney said, "But they concluded that we would all forget how long the recovery took once it had happened, so they decided to go ahead" a decision that the former governor said, "deserves a lot of explaining."
Watch video of the remarks below, embedded via Talking Points Memo: