Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney hit hard at President Barack Obama Tuesday night, describing him as a “failed” president on everything from job creation to promoting America’s strengths around the world.
“We’re the underdogs and we’re going to have to fight very hard to break through the clutter of the charges, and the attacks, and the efforts to dissuade people from looking at his record,” Romney said in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “In the final analysis, I think the people that voted for him and were disappointed are going to vote for me in the fall.
“This is a presidency that has failed to put in place the kinds of policies that would help the American people,” the former Massachusetts governor said. “Folks are having a hard time out there and this president and his policies failed us.”
Romney, looking and sounding comfortable and in command of his new role as the party’s leader going into the fall elections, said he was looking forward to the battle ahead now that his GOP primary rivals “have all decided that we’re going to work together.”
But he acknowledged the difficulty of facing a well-bankrolled campaign and what he described as and “incendiary effort” on the part of the Obama team to portray him as an uncaring candidate who is out of touch with most Americans.
Romney said his campaign would focus on telling “the truth” about the important challenges facing the nation and present them in “an honest and adult way.”
“I think that what people have learned is what he says and what he does are not necessarily the same thing,” Romney said of Obama. “And I think that’s one of the reasons that people are disappointed in his presidency.
“The last four years have been harder, harder than they were told they would be,” Romney said, adding that he believes people are going to take “a very long and careful look at each of us, at what our plans are, and decide who has the credibility to actually get this economy going again.”
“This is a race about helping America do a better job caring for the people of America, creating great opportunities for people in the middle class, helping people come out of poverty,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about. And to suggest that Republican, or that I, don’t care about any dimension of our society is simply misguided, it’s wrong, it’s dishonest”
In the interview, Romney repeatedly spoke of what he called Obama’s failure to play up America’s strengths both at home and abroad. On foreign policy, he the president had pursued policies built on appeasing and “making friends with some of the world’s worst actors.”
“The right direction is to communicate our strength, our determination and to indicate that if people want to be friends with America that they’re going to have to hold to the principles that we find dear,” Romney said.
He pointed to Syria as place where the United States should be leading an international effort to pressure President Bashar Assad out of power.”
Romney said the Obama administration should have done more to promote democracy and freedom in the Middle East following the Arab spring uprisings, which he said had become an “Arab winter” on the president’s watch.
Asked about the president’s use of anniversary marking the killing of Osama bin Laden to promote his re-election effort, Romney said it was “appropriate” for the president to describe his role in getting the al-Qaida leader.
“But I think it was a big mistake for the president to try and make this a political event by suggesting that I would not have done the same thing,” Romney said, adding that “almost any American would have said . . . ‘press the button and get rid of the guy.’ Of course, I would have. That was the right thing to do.”
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