Springfield, Virginia (CNN) – Mitt Romney on Thursday blamed President Barack Obama for revised GDP numbers that revealed the economy grew more slowly in the second quarter than originally thought.
"This is a real challenge for us," Romney told a group of veterans at a rally in Springfield, Virginia. "And this is not just one quarter. This has been going on now for years."
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GDP or gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation's economic health, grew at an annual rate of 1.3% from April to June, the Commerce Department said Thursday, slower than the 1.7% rate the government last reported in August.
The downward revision came as a surprise to economists who were largely expecting the figure to remain unchanged. It also marked slower growth than in the first three months of the year, when GDP accelerated at a 2% annual rate.
Romney on Thursday warned that a weak economy showed weakness on a military front, as well. The Republican presidential nominee, who's recently sought to bolster his foreign policy credentials, pointed to two other countries as prime examples for the need to maintain a healthy economy.
"Russia tried for a while, the old Soviet Union, tried for a while to maintain a grade A, if you will, military. But they had a Grade B economy and they couldn't keep up," Romney said. "They finally had to – well they collapsed."
Adding that the economies in both Russia and China are growing at several times the pace of the U.S. economy, Romney faulted the president for using the "same series of policies" over the last four years that "have not worked."
"I know what it takes to get us working. He's put us on a road to Europe," Romney said. "Europe doesn't work in Europe, all right? I want to get us back to being America."
Alan Krueger, the chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, wrote in a post on the White House's website that the downward revision in GDP was due, in part, to the Midwest drought, the effects of which he said the Obama administration "continues to take all available steps to mitigate."
Obama's campaign, meanwhile, responded to Romney's remarks Thursday, saying his proposal to overhaul Medicare would have negative effects on veterans.
"His plan could result in deep cuts to the VA and he has suggested privatizing veterans' health care. And because of his refusal to lead his party and demand that Congressional Republicans, including his running mate, drop their opposition to asking for a penny more from millionaires and billionaires, he's stood in the way of preventing devastating automatic defense cuts," campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said in a statement.
Romney on Thursday also hit on the defense cuts scheduled to take place at the beginning of 2013, if Congress fails to come up with a new budget plan by the end of the year. The automatic spending decrease would especially pound Virginia's economy, home to several military bases.
Describing the cuts, known as sequestration, as a "gun-to-your-head" approach originally proposed by the White House and passed by Congress, Romney said the impact on Virginia would be "devastating."
He also cautioned the world was too "dangerous" to chip away at U.S. military power and surveyed what he views as the greatest threats to security.
"Look around the world. Look at North Korea. They continue to develop nuclear capability on their own part and export it to others. Syria, 20 or 30 thousand people killed in Syria. Iran, closer and closer to having nuclear capabilities. Egypt, now with a Muslim Brotherhood president. Pakistan, highly, um, tumultuous. Afghanistan, our men and women still in Afghanistan," Romney said.
He continued: "The idea of cutting our military commitment by a trillion dollars over this decade is unthinkable and devastating."
Both Romney and Obama are hitting the trail in the crucial battleground of Virginia on Thursday. A recent CNN Poll of Polls, which averages the latest three polls of likely voters in the state, shows the president ahead of Romney, 50% to 44%, in the Old Dominion.
Obama won Virginia in 2008, carrying the state for Democrats for the first time since 1964.
– CNN's Ashley Killough, Rachel Streitfeld and CNNMoney's Annalyn Censky contributed to this report.
NOT Romney, definitely because –
1. No one knows what Romney stands for!
2. Out of touch rich guy, who has no clue about what the life of a poor or struggling middle-class family looks like. He will end up pandering to his rich friends by giving further tax deductions to himself and his friends and pushing the burden on people.
3. Republicans will force him to adopt the Bush policies of tax cuts and wars and thus repeating the epic failure of Bush rule during ’04-‘08
4. For Romney, Presidency is a trophy for his family and his Mormon community. He will have no interest to address people’s problems.
5. Romney has proved to be the worst diplomat US can have in a President. He will pander to Israel not as an ally but as their servant by running to BB at BB’s beck and call. This is an insult to our sovereignty.
6. Every citizen in the country knows it’s not just the US economy, but even the world economy (especially Europe) is stuttering. In spite of republicans in the house not working along with the President, the country has started to recover slowly.
7. Romney himself supports healthcare law (even though he is not able to say that openly), but opposing it because of pressure from conservative pressure. Obama’s affordable care act will be a long term success for the country, even though it may go thru further adjustments from future Presidencies.
8. Finally, Republicans spent all the last four years dissing Obama and ensuring that they wouldn’t work with him to make Obama’s Presidency a failure (in the words of Mitch McConnell)
@Truth Hurts. You don't really understand the budget or economy. Some basics. Part of the current budget are for programs the were previously approve (ie funded by Congress), after a depression Government steps in with spending (ie. Interstate).
Where is the credit that we have gained 4.4 million jobs since he took office, we are out of Iraq and the country is heading in a better direction. Educate yourself.
@Imc11. You do realize that less farm production. If not than you may have missed something is school.
Hey LOOK!! This must be that 1 in 10 attacks that the Omedia team reports on Obama vs Romney.
This guy keeps on slamming Obama on everything . I may have missed it but I guess be blames Obama on Emergency landing of the plane where his wife is. But the truth is the more be gets to the Microphone the more the polls are widening in the battle ground states in favour of Obama.
fact: Romney is losing!
fact: Obama is winning!
Wonder how much better it would be if Rmoney invested in the U.S. instead of China? He's hoarding money instead of investing in this country. How Un-American can Rmoney get--
Come on Obama, you're not fixing fast enough the econmoic disaster the GOP left you 4 years ago. You just need to do everything the GOP wants and then everyone will be happy.
@Ray in Georgia: is your memory so short you've forgotten the trillions Bush added to the debt? Go heavens, he was a magician. he took a surplus budget in 2000 and turned it into a trillion dollar deficit faster than the eye could see. And Romney's plan to fix the deficit is to give 5 trillion $s in tax cuts to the wealthy cuz they feel picked on.
The merits of your concerns, are directly joined with your contributions gentlemen. i cant hear at least 47% of you
The truth is that companies will NOT start hiring until Obama and the Democrats are OUT of power. They have proven themselves to be anti-business, anti-capitalism. They saw Obama takeover publicly held companies. They see their entire healthcare costs thrown in the air with Obamacare. For businesses to grow and hire they require stability and predictability, two things which Obama and the Democrats have refused to provide.
"Mitt Romney on Thursday blamed President Barack Obama for revised GDP numbers that revealed the economy grew more slowly in the second quarter than originally thought."................................so really, I ask this question because it's really important in the WHOLE sceam of things...................What responsibility does CONGRESS have with all this? Why aren't people in the media asking the sorry repuks in Congress WHY on earth did they NOT do anything to help America during these times?
Seems that Americans don't seem to grasp facts and figures but rather listen to the same old feel good drivel from Obama.
Obama is going to destroy the standing of your country , at home and abroad.
So we've heard...Romney has been advised to keep his message about the ECONOMY. But he continues NOT TO SAY MUCH AT ALL EXCEPT TO BASH PRESIDENT OBAMA ABOUT THE ECONOMY...completely ignoring the advice to specify what HE WOULD DO TO FIX THE ECONOMY...other than to simply say "he's going to fix it!!!!" BOY, HE SURE HAS ME CONVINCED...NOTTT!!! :-)!
Romney .......... No honesty no integrity
Romneyhood .......... Give to the Rich take from the poor
Romney and Ryan ......... Laurel and Hardy of the 21st century
Romney has acquired a permanently apolectic look as of late.
He's losing it...and the election.
Too bad. So sad.
Obama 2012. Seriously America.
Ray E. (Georgia): P.S. The huge 16 trillion dollar Federal Debt has been growing for the last 75 Years. All put in place by Liberal, Democrats. But good luck to all.
"All put in place by liberal Democrats." Wow! I've got some news for you pal. Bill Clinton handed George W. Bush a surplus. The debt clock was turned off. Then Bush happened. Sorry, pal, but those are the facts. Have you perhaps been listening to that entertainment news channel for your information? That's not real news, it's entertainment news where you will not necessarily be told the facts.
@ four and the door, i appreciate your indepth explanation ofglobal economics, but we have tried giving tax breaks to the wealthiest, and all the other, thay took the money and ran, why cant you get it, reganomics does not work
All I can say is Willard stop it! For a while I was getting a kick out of you making an utter fool of yourself, but the closer we get to election time, I'm starting to feel sorry for you. You are an embarrassment to the US and it's citizens. Instead of saying what you would do to make things right, you sit up at night scouring the web, hoping to find something to bash the POTUS about. You are now finding out it's not your turn and the people want a real leader, not someone bought and paid for by billionaires. You have to be the biggest liar I have ever laid eyes on and you know nothing about being Presidential. As wealthy as you are, you still have no class.
November can't get here soon enough for me.
Wonder how much better it would be if Rmoney invested in the U.S. instead of China? He's hoarding money instead of investing in this country. How Un-American can Rmoney get–
Sorry Joe, but you are confused. First, he invests more heavily in America than anywhere. But like every one of us American citizens we are free to invest our own money wherever we want. We have that freedom.
And second, who cares? From the sorry state our nation is right now and every clear sign that it is only going to get worse if we stay on the current path, what we should be looking at is who is capable of fixing the economy, the unemployment, the runaway national debt and the exploding cost of government. We know who. Romney/ Ryan 2012.
Mar 27, 2009 – Economic activity decreased 0.9 percent in the December 2008 quarter, the fourth consecutive decrease.
Suck on that for awhile repubs.
Romney has never answered "The Call of Duty" which should make one question why does he want to be President, what's the real reason. He's already stated he doesn't care about the 47% of Americans, so what's Romney's real reason for wanting to be president.
C'mon Mr. Romney- give us details on WHAT YOU WILL DO. The Ryan plan builds the deficit and strips Americans of Medicare.
Meanwhile- perhaps you can outline what the GOP has done in the last four years to help Americans.
Yeah- the treason party did nothing. Why should we think you'll be any different?
ok so corporations won't start hiring unless Obama and the Democrats are out of power? So I guess in the meantime they'll be content sitting on the TRILLIONS of dollars of profit, giving CEO big bonuses, and enjoy the tax loopholes like big oil gets that Obama wanted ended. But I guess since corporations are peole too we people should be happy for them. Our new CEO just got a big bonus while not hiring anybody new for 5 years.