The Romney and Obama campaigns continued sparring over their respective economic policies today. Mitt Romney appeared in Florida this morning where he gave a speech on the deficit.
“The President has had three and a half years to bring down the deficit and has not,” Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement about the speech. “We can’t afford four more years of empty talk and broken policies that are leading us in the wrong direction.”
President Barack Obama’s campaign spokeswoman, Lis Smith, countered with a statement of her own accusing Mr. Romney of making “dishonest claims- both about President Obama’s record and his own” in Florida.
“Mitt Romney ignores that when President Obama took office, he was handed the largest deficit relative to the economy since the end of World War II, largely due to failed economic policies that Mitt Romney would bring back,” Ms. Smith said. “Mitt Romney simply wants to return to the same policies that caused the economic crisis and weakened the middle class: budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans that do nothing to grow our economy and letting Wall Street write its own rules which crashed our economy. Loading the country up with debt to give tax breaks to the wealthy that they don’t need and didn’t ask for—America can’t afford Romney Economics.”
Ms. Smith also accused Mr. Romney of “a wholesale whitewashing of his own record in Massachusetts.”
“He refuses to mention how he raised state spending by 6.5% each year and increased Massachusetts long-term debt by 16% in just 4 years, leaving it with the largest per-capita debt of any state in the nation,” Ms. Smith said.
With the recovery from the financial crisis continuing to move slowly, the economy has emerged as a central issue in this election. Today’s back-and-forth with Mr. Romney arguing the president has not done enough to improve the situation and President Obama arguing he inherited an economic crisis caused by the same Republican policies endorsed by Mr. Romney is exemplary of the strategies both campaigns have employed in the debate over the sluggish economy.