Obama: Romney has no 'single new idea'

2012-09-03 08:08

Boulder - US President Barack Obama accused Republican foe Mitt Romney on Sunday of failing to offer "a single new idea" and of being a relic of the last century as he revved up a pre-convention tour.

Rattling through battleground states en route to the Democratic National Convention this week in Charlotte, North Carolina, Obama also rebuked Romney for ignoring the Afghan war during his own nominating speech.

"It was something to behold," Obama told a 13 000-strong crowd in Colorado, as he picked apart Romney's keynote address in Florida on Thursday night that marked the climax of a three-day Republican convention.

"Despite all the challenges we face in this new century, what they offered over those three days was an agenda that was better suited for the last century," Obama said.

"It was a rerun... we have seen it before - you might as well have watched it on a black and white tv with some rabbit ears."

Democrats say that Romney, who used his convention to try to tell his personal story and improve his likeability ratings, may have given Obama an opening by offering only sketchy policy stands.

'Secret sauce'

They are also framing Obama as a candidate of the future, with his slogan "Forward", and to position the older Romney - he is aged 65 while Obama is 51 years old - as a contender from a bygone era.

Obama said that Romney, with whom he is neck and neck in the polls ahead of the November election, had refused to reveal the "secret sauce" that would help him create jobs: "He did not offer a single new idea."

"It was retreads of the same old policies we have been hearing for decades, the same politics that have been sticking it to the middle class for years," the president added.

He also ripped Romney for having "nothing to say" in his speech in Florida about the Afghan war, which the president has promised to end "responsibly" in the same way that he brought troops home from Iraq.

"We are bringing our troops home from Afghanistan. And I set a timetable - we will have them out of there by 2014. Governor Romney doesn't have a timetable. I think he is wrong."

Romney has criticised setting a withdrawal date for US forces, saying doing so would aid US enemies.

Blaming Bush

But he has also suggested that the "right timetable" for a withdrawal is by the end of 2014 - a date already set by Nato.

The Romney campaign meanwhile pounced on a slip by Obama supporter and Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, who was asked whether Americans were better off now than four years ago.

"No, but that's not the question of this election," O'Malley told CBS show Face the Nation, blaming former Republican president George W Bush for lingering agony in the US economy.

"We are not as well off as we were before George Bush brought us the Bush job losses, the Bush recession, the Bush deficits, the series of desert wars charged for the first time to... a national credit card."

Romney was quick to exploit the comment, which offered support for the central conceit of his campaign that Obama, despite good intentions and soaring speeches, has done little to improve the economic lot of the middle class.

"This president can ask us to be patient. This president can tell us it was someone else's fault. This president can tell us that the next four years he'll get it right," the former Massachusetts governor said in a statement.

'A tripod of lies'

"But this president cannot tell us that YOU are better off today than when he took office. America has been patient.

"Americans have supported this president in good faith. But today, the time has come to turn the page."

One of Obama's top political advisors, David Plouffe, meanwhile charged that Romney's campaign was built on "a tripod of lies" accusing him of misrepresenting the president's positions on welfare reform, healthcare for the elderly and small businesses.

Obama is on a four-day "Road to Charlotte" tour taking in territory that will decide November's election, in which his prospects are clouded by a painfully slow economic recovery and 8.3% unemployment.

He started in Iowa, the state that nurtured his unlikely 2008 presidential run and where he is now locked in a tight race with Romney.

After Colorado, the president heads to Ohio to celebrate the Labour Day holiday with working Americans on Monday.

Should Obama win Ohio, a perennial bellwether state and one where most polls show him with a narrow lead, he will be the hot favourite to win a second term in the White House.

No Republican has won the White House without having Ohio in his column.

Obama will travel to another swing state, Virginia, on Tuesday, before flying into Charlotte on Wednesday on the eve of his big convention address.

  • neville.chamberlain.509 - 2012-09-03 08:38

    Oh and you Barack "Yes You Can... oops... No We Can't" Obama has new ideas? Forward? Is that an idea or a nifty marketing slogan? The racism charge not holding now you've gone for slagging?

  • DSBennie - 2012-09-03 08:55

    well lets see, America was great in the last century, yet it is failing now, maybe ideas from the 1900's are not a bad idea

  • AfricanPete - 2012-09-03 09:30

    Neville, what an idiotic comment. "Racism?" Obama had to come up with new ideas to clean up the mess Bush made, and he is doing it. Will take more than 4 years to repair the damage. Bennie, new century, new problems and challenges. You cannot compare them. By your thought process Britain should go back to doing things the way they did 2 centuries ago...and the Greeks, Romans etc. DUH!

      neville.chamberlain.509 - 2012-09-03 10:24

      What an absolute load of horse manure - Chris Matthews of MSNBC and Obama's pet drummer boy has for the last few months not let a single opportunity go by to wave the "racist" flag at the Romney camp with the approval of the Democratic camp. Even Obama himself have made himself the "victim" of racism ot have you not read his very imaginative biography? As for the "we inherited it from Bush" myth - when Bush was in office the Democrats controlled Congress - of which Obama was an intricate member. And here is Obama's "solutions" thus far in a nutshell: Candidate Obama: - create five million new energy jobs; - reduce health care premiums by $2,500 for a typical family by end of first year; - guaranteed that his financial rescue plan would help "stop foreclosures." President-elect: - Obama predicted unemployment would not rise above 8 percent if the stimulus plan was passed. President Obama - pledged to cut the deficit he inherited in half by the end of his first term; - "lift two million Americans from poverty,"; - "jolt our economy back to life." None of that has happened

      neville.chamberlain.509 - 2012-09-03 10:28

      And Joe Biden - in a speech freely available if you want to read up on it - tells African Americans the Republicans wants to put them back in chains. If that is not race baiting then nothing is.

      AfricanPete - 2012-09-03 10:40

      Neville, Biden is a bit of a bumbling idiot (in the mold of Bush), so yes, there I can agree with you, stupid comment by him. I think you might agree with me that the time when the Dems controlled congress, the Repubs did everything possible to stonewall Obama on almost every piece of legislation. They are not team players.

      neville.chamberlain.509 - 2012-09-03 10:56

      I think you may have your timing wrong - when Bush was in office the Democrats ran Congress so it would rather be the other way around. Obama also could not come up with a budget for four years straight that was acceptable to the House - how is that the Republicans fault? Remember the Republicans only vetoed the last budget outright Surely a plan for deficit reduction of $140bn by reworking Medicare into Obamacare that ends up at an actual reduction of only $4bn indicates that the man has no plan whilst not reducing medical expenses by $2500.00 per family as promised (but rather increasing it). In fact, the US deficit almost doubled. How is that the Republicans fault? How did they "stonewall" Obama while he was on a spending spree?

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