Washington (CNN) - Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney is coming out against the debt ceiling deal reached late Sunday by the White House and Congressional leaders.
In a statement Monday, the former Massachusetts governor said he opposes the framework because it calls for a special Congressional committee that will consider tax increases and cuts in military spending.
That plan, Romney said, "opens the door to higher taxes and puts defense cuts on the table."
"President Obama's leadership failure has pushed the economy to the brink at the eleventh hour and 59th minute," Romney said. "While I appreciate the extraordinarily difficult situation President Obama's lack of leadership has placed Republican Members of Congress in, I personally cannot support this deal."
For weeks, Romney has avoided weighing on the specifics of the debt ceiling negotiations between political leaders in Washington, drawing scorn from Democrats and his Republican presidential rivals.
Romney did support the "Cut, Cap and Balance" legislation that would have dramatically slashed federal spending and forced a vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.
That plan passed a House vote but was dead on arrival in the Senate.
His opposition to the debt agreement puts him on the same side of the issue as Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, the GOP candidate nearest to him in the polls.