Obama, Romney wrangle over economy in weekly addresses
October 6th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
8 years ago

Obama, Romney wrangle over economy in weekly addresses

(CNN) - President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney sparred in their weekly addresses Saturday over whose vision and policies are best for the country.

"Under President Obama, we will have a stagnant economy that fosters government dependency and chronically high unemployment," Romney said, asking for voters' support. "But if you elect me as president, we'll have pro-growth policies that foster upward mobility, strengthen the middle class and lift people out of poverty."

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Obama argued that the country was recovering from the recession and "we're seeing signs that, as a nation, we're moving forward again."

"After losing about 800,000 jobs a month when I took office, our businesses have now added 5.2 million new jobs over the past two and a half years," he said. "And on Friday, we learned that the unemployment rate is now at its lowest level since I took office. More Americans are entering the work force. More Americans are getting jobs."

Obama was citing job numbers released a day earlier showing the unemployment rate dropped from 8.1% to 7.8% in September.

That number was based on the government's household employment survey, which found 873,000 more Americans were employed in September than August. The Labor Department's survey of employers found 114,000 jobs had been created in the month and revised upward the July and August numbers.

The unemployment rate has not been that low since the month Obama was inaugurated, in January 2009.

Romney said his economic plan would lead to significantly more economic growth.

"On the economy, President Obama's plans for a second term all come down to more taxes, more borrowing and more spending," he said. "My Plan for a Stronger Middle Class will lead to rising incomes for everyone and create 12 million new jobs in my first term alone."

He also criticized Obama over his health reform law and handling of the national debt.

Obama did not name Romney in his address, but called for Congressional Republicans to work with him, accusing them of working instead to undo his policies.

"For some reason, some Republicans in Congress are still waging an all-out battle to delay, defund and dismantle these commonsense new rules," he said, citing banking regulations and other measures. "Do they think undoing rules that protect families from the worst practices of credit card companies and mortgage lenders will make the middle class stronger? Do they think getting rid of rules to prevent another crisis on Wall Street will make Main Street any safer?"

In the separate Republican Party weekly address, party chairman Reince Priebus argues that Obama has not done his job as president, and that Romney is better suited for the job.

"Midway through the debate, I think the president realized that he's been president for the past four years, and it was his policies and his agenda that have failed to produce any of the results that he promised us as a candidate," Priebus said.

Obama has placed campaigning ahead of holding the office, Priebus said.

"As a party chairman, I understand that the president must campaign," he said. "But he also has a job to do. While Barack Obama enjoys being president, he doesn't seem to enjoy the work required of being a great president."

Priebus went on to make the case for electing Romney, who he said is better than Obama on the economy and foreign policy.

Romney makes the case for himself Saturday when he hosts an early evening event in the battleground state of Florida.

Obama is off the campaign trail Saturday.

Filed under: 2012
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    If President Obama had been as rude and bullying as Romney, you republicans would have said:

    "Who is that uppity black man to talk to a wealthy white man like that."

    Admit it.

    President Obama didn't fall for his little trick - with the first blatant lie, Obama knew what Portman had taught Romney.

    October 6, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  2. LesPaul23

    Explain to me again how 47th in job creation, run away to France to evade the draft Romney is better than Obama on the economy and foreign policy? Face it, the economy is improving even though the republicans have done their best to prevent it.

    October 6, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Republicans have not upheld their oath to the American people. Even birthers should be ashamed of the party they cling to. Republicans are as obvious in supporting the destruction of our country as al Qaeda and the Taliban has been.

    October 6, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. Beached

    Has there been any research into how Romney made out in the meltdown. Is it possible that the tax returns from that year would reveal a well crafted strategy to profit from the chaos? I feel as though Romny just needs to get rid of the voters so the Capital Markets can continue to have things their way.

    October 6, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. bushpoverty

    According to Mittens there is a "jobs crisis", while unemployment numbers consistently continue to drop with every new jobs report. The only "jobs crisis" there is, is in Mitt's mind, like alot of other things are in his mind that just don't add up. Mitt Romney, liar in our minds, legend in his own mind!

    October 6, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Economic success to a republican involves the loss of 8 million jobs in three years, $6 trillion added to the national debt with unfunded wars, unfunded drug programs, unfunded bank bailouts, and unfunded tax cuts for those who least need it, at the expense of the middle class and the poor.

    October 6, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. kevin

    Well here come all the excuses! If the president was a truely confident man he wouldn't need excuses for his policies or his debate performance. Who you saw on Wednesday was the real Obama. A confident man would say he made a decision, it didn't work, so we must do something else. Instead it's Bush's fault, and everyone's else fault and there was a full moon. You make excuses you totally lack confidence and leadership. Any person who is really honest cannot say Obama's policies have wroked. The unemployment rate will be readjusted up at the end of the month but you can bet no one in the media will say a thing. Also the number is skewded because it doesn't include those who have quit looking for work. I just don't understand how in August more jobs were created and the number fell only 1/10% and Sept less jobs were created and it dropped 3/10%?

    October 6, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  8. Anonymous

    Well, according to the media, Mitt Romney now has the presidency all wrapped up. Not sure I'm buying it, but then again I CAN imagine my fellow Americans going all out to vote in a pathological liar as president. What they will expect of him and what he'll deliver is another thing altogether. But, hey. Romney's showing us his kinder, gentler self now. And he promises - no matter what - he'll THINK of us ... all 100% of us. And he won't cut taxes on the rich after all. And he won't cut funding for ANYTHING. And he'll add 12 million jobs. And he'll increase military spending. And he'll balance the budget and reduce the deficit also too.

    October 6, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  9. Larry L

    Romney is simply talking about trickle-down economics. He's flip-flopped so many times but it seems to want little or no tax on investment income or capital gains – the primary form of income for the wealthy. He wants to weaken Medicare until it dies – leaving seniors at the mercy of insurance companies. He plans to take away deduction on interest on mortgages. His proposed 5 trillion reduction in debt is completely impossible without tax increases – a fact supported by the entire economic community. His idea to increase defense spending to levels above that requested by the Pentagon is just a gift to defense contractors. Romneycare is Obamacare – but without any plan to provide funding. It's the Bush Administration again.

    October 6, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
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