(CNN) – Top Romney surrogate Rob Portman blamed President Obama Tuesday for impeding the nation's economic recovery through ineffective policies and poor leadership
"We gave him the ball," the Ohio senator said. "It's time to give the ball to someone else. He fumbled the ball."
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"He has the experience, the record and the policy to do it," said Portman, affirming his support for the conservative contender at the Associated Builders and Contractor's Convention in Washington, DC. "That's why I'm supporting Mitt Romney."
Portman, a swing state leader and prime vice presidential option for the presumptive Republican nominee, confirmed to CNN that he met with Romney staffers while in Boston fundraising for the candidate over the weekend.
Highlighting the current administration's record of slow job growth, Portman said that in comparison the United States is almost 5 million jobs down from the recovery effort under President Reagan's leadership after the 1981 recession, with 7 million jobs created then.
Portman decried Obama's Monday announcement advocating for an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for those who earn $250,000 or less only.
Obama in an East Room speech said: "We need policies that grow and strengthen the middle class. Policies that help create jobs, that make education and training more affordable, that encourage businesses to start up and create jobs right here in the United States so that's why I believe it's time to let the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, folks like myself, to expire."
But Portman countered: "I know it may be good politics for the president to play the class warfare, but it's bad economics." He also called for full tax cut extensions, including the cuts for those making over $250,000.
House Speaker John Boehner, who also addressed the convention, echoed the Ohio senator's remarks, questioning why job creators are being taxed.
"It's not a problem that our taxes are too low, it's that our spending is too high," said Portman of the national deficit, warning that under Obama's economic leadership the United States could follow Greece into bankruptcy.
The two conservatives also took on Obama's Supreme Court healthcare victory, agreeing with Romney's classification of the mandate as a tax, not a penalty.
Boehner vowed to repeal Obamacare noting Wednesday's upcoming house vote to do just that. The Senate however is likely to avoid following through on the legislation as it has done time and again in the past.