Politics

Romney, Obama tussle over economic records

GOP presidential candidate on 'Fox & Friends'

 

President Obama and Mitt Romney traded blows on each other's economic and fiscal records Monday, in the latest sign that the issue of jobs will remain at the heart of the 2012 race. 

Obama, still recovering after he stumbled Friday and said the private sector is "doing fine," released a tough new television ad Monday morning that goes after Romney's record as Massachusetts governor. It accuses him of piling up debt while in office, and overseeing one of the worst job-creation records in the nation. 

"America can't afford the same results," the campaign said in a statement. "The bottom line is simple -- Romney Economics didn't work then, and it won't work now." 

The ad came a day after the Romney campaign slammed Obama as out of touch in a web video that contrasted Obama's "doing fine" quote with a rapid-fire smattering of news reports on May's dismal jobs report. 

"He's had a number of very revealing comments which show just how far out of touch he is with what's happening in the country," Romney told Fox News on Monday. "The president is really out of touch with what's happening across America." 

Romney also said recent suggestions by the Obama campaign that he wants to cut teachers and firefighters are "absurd," considering those decisions are made at the local level. Further, he described Obama's "Forward" campaign slogan as "absurd," considering the latest Federal Reserve report that showed American family wealth dropping 39 percent between 2007 and 2010 -- though Obama did not take office until 2009. 

The Romney campaign separately released a statement challenging the latest Obama ad on Romney's gubernatorial record. 

"President Obama has overseen trillion-dollar deficits, soaring national debt and the first credit downgrade in history. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, closed a $3 billion budget shortfall, balanced four budgets, left a $2 billion rainy day fund and received a credit rating upgrade," spokeswoman Andrea Saul said, accusing Obama of trying to "distract" from his own record. 

The ad is selective in its economic data. The Massachusetts economy improved slightly while Romney was governor, but its average employment growth was among the nation's worst. Romney was governor from 2003 to 2007. 

The ad airs in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. 

Obama was scheduled to hit a round of fundraisers in Baltimore and Philadelphia Tuesday, while Romney was campaigning in Florida. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.