Andrews: Romney plan ‘not a pretty picture for the middle class’

TRENTON – U.S. Rep. Robert Andrews, (D-1), criticized Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney today for statements made over the weekend in which Romney said he would consider making cuts in the Department of Education and Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Andrews joined Sen. Chuck Schumer, (D-NY), on Monday afternoon in a joint press conference they called “What’s Romney Hiding?”

“Part of the mystery of the Romney campaign is beginning to unravel…it’s not a pretty picture for the middle class,” Andrews said.

The conference call comes on the heels of a “hot microphone” incident at a private Romney fundraiser in Florida, in which the GOP frontrunner was overheard by reporters outside saying he might make cuts in the Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development if elected.

Reporters from the Wall Street Journal and NBC News heard the comments outside the event, according to media reports.

Andrews laid out a few scenarios on how Romney might make cuts in those departments, adding, “there’s only a couple of places you can go,” citing scenarios of raising the prices of student loans or making the loans more difficult to acquire, and even slashing need-based scholarships.

“I don’t think people want to go there,” Andrews said.

Schumer called the Florida incident a “moment of candor where (Romney) gave his unvarnished views.”

“As Rob Andrews said, this would certainly mean fewer teachers in the classroom,” Schumer said.

He continued: “Gov. Romney won’t just cut aid for education and housing, he’ll also raise taxes on the middle class.”

Andrea Saul, a Romney spokesperson, issued a prepared statement in anticipation to the conference call.

“It’s ironic the Obama campaign would accuse anyone of not being forthcoming on the same day a top official from President Obama’s scandal-plagued GSA is hiding behind the Fifth Amendment before a committee of Congress,” Saul said.

“President Obama cannot bear to face his own record of high unemployment, tax increases and massive debt.  No matter how hard President Obama tries to run from his record, Gov. Romney is going to continue talking about his plans to get the country back on the right track.”

Andrews: Romney plan ‘not a pretty picture for the middle class’