WASHINGTON — White House hopeful Mitt Romney joined the latest chorus of criticism launched by fellow Republicans at President Barack Obama on Wednesday, attempting to take the shine off the Democratic convention.
The Republican nominee, who hunkered down in New England as the Democrats held their gala, emerged from two days of debate preparations to take to try yo spike his opponents’ big guns, like former president Bill Clinton.
“You’ve heard no one stand up and say that people are better off today than they were four years ago,” Romney told reporters in West Lebanon, New Hampshire, where he made brief stops at a supply store and a pizza shop.
“They really can’t say that, they can’t say it in all honesty.”
Republicans have seized on the quadrennial talking point that pops up during every presidential election — “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” — to paint Obama as having failed to deliver on the economy.
Romney has largely stayed above the fray this week, but with buzz building ahead of a Clinton speech, Romney’s supporters highlighted differences between the two Democratic presidents and undermine Obama’s claim on a second term.
John Sununu, the former New Hampshire governor who has served as Romney’s attack dog, said Clinton’s “blast from the past” appearance may well “induce nostalgia for the days of balanced budgets and bipartisan accomplishments.”
But, while Obama will seek to “borrow credibility from the nation’s 42nd president, the contrast between Bill Clinton and Barack Obama — particularly when it comes to economic and fiscal issues — couldn’t be greater,” he wrote.
“In ushering in new levels of fiscal recklessness, President Obama doesn’t simply depart from the Clinton legacy — he shatters it with a sledgehammer and runs over it with a steamroller,” he said, in the New Hampshire Union Leader.
Clinton’s 1993 to 2001 administration is credited with creating 22 million jobs and the largest-ever government surplus.
Sununu pointed to Obama’s “dramatic” expansion of government and the addition of more than $5 trillion to the national debt, results of policies that promoted “uncontrolled spending” and “unlimited taxation.”
Romney piled on, saying: “We’ve gone from $10 trillion (of national debt) that the president inherited from all prior presidents to $16 trillion.
“More people have fallen into poverty, one out of six Americans are now in poverty. There’s just no way that he can square those numbers with the idea that America is doing better because it’s not.”
At the supply store, Romney sat for television interviews, including one with a local Fox affiliate in which he said “this has not been a good time for the American people.
“Anyone that wants to let him try it again I think would be making a big mistake,” he said of a second Obama term.
“The great majority of Americans who recognize we are not better off than we were four years ago recognize that his policies are not what is needed to get the middle class growing with more take-home pay and more jobs.”
Among those making the case Tuesday for a second Obama term was First Lady Michelle Obama, who delivered what many critics described as a stunning speech.
Romney declined to take issue with Mrs. Obama, whom polls show is more popular than her husband.
“I didn’t see that (speech) and I’m certainly not going to make any comments about the first lady’s speech other than that I respect her and think she’s a lovely person and a fine mom.”
Here are 7 wild, bizarre and pathetic moments from Trump’s ‘campaign launch’
On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally that was billed as the official launch his re-election campaign — though he has never really stopped holding campaign rallies.
As expected, the president ranted, lied, and engaged in the raucous attacks that are central to his connection with Republican voters. Some of it was actually just sad, such as his continued obsession with Hillary Clinton.
Here are seven of the wildest, disturbing and pathetic moments from the rally:
1. He said Democrats "want to destroy our country as we know it."
Trump casually accuses Democrats of "want[ing] to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/4K79KlbEeR
British PM candidates clash over Brexit as Boris Johnson skips debate
Candidates to become Britain's next prime minister clashed over Brexit strategy at their first debate on Sunday but the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, dodged the confrontation.
The 90-minute debate on Channel 4 featured the five remaining candidates and an empty podium for Johnson, the gaffe-prone former foreign secretary and former mayor of London.
In sometimes ill-tempered exchanges, four of the five candidates said they would seek to renegotiate the draft Brexit divorce deal agreed with Brussels even though EU leaders have repeatedly ruled this out.
Michael Cohen ordered back to Congress on March 6
President Donald Trump's so-called "fixer" is being asked to return to Congress for more questioning on March 6.
Outside of the closed-door committee hearing Thursday, Cohen said that the House Intelligence Committee is seeking further information, according to Washington Examiner writer Byron York.
Michael Cohen finished closed-door testimony before House Intel Committee, says he's coming back for another session March 6. Again: No reason for secrecy. Transcripts should be released ASAP.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 28, 2019