WASHINGTON – Former Governor Mitt Romney tonight blasted President Obama, going after him using a line of attack that opponents have utilized before: competency for the job.
“He’s trying awfully hard,” Romney said during an appearance on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News. “The problem is, he just doesn’t know what to do.”
Romney said that not only were President Obama’s policies misguided, but that he had been “cavalier” in dealing with the economic woes facing the nation.
“It’s sad to watch in some respects because obviously we care very deeply with what’s happening with the country, we want people to get back to work,” Romney said. “But he just doesn’t know what the right things are that he’s got to do to make that happen. He’s really put in place over the last two years about the most anti-investment, anti-business, anti-jobs regimen that we’ve seen probably in the past couple decades.”
It marked a sharp tone for Romney, and came the day after President Obama called for bipartisanship in his State of the Union address.
Romney, when asked whether repealing Obama’s signature health care plan should be the top priority, said, “Oh, sure. A new spending entitlement for the federal government is absolutely the wrong idea.”
Health care is thought to be a major hurdle for Romney in seeking the Republican presidential nomination because the national plan closely mirrors the one that Romney helped pass in Massachusetts.
Romney also criticized Obama’s call for a five-year freeze on discretionary spending, saying it wasn’t enough.
“His idea of running spending up to the highest level in American history, and then saying why don’t we freeze it there – it’s almost laughable, given the scale of the challenges we face,” Romney said, pointing to budget cuts he made as governor of the Bay State. “But you have to cry instead when you think of all the people that are suffering because of it.”
Romney is widely expected to announce that he will run for president, but was coy about that decision tonight.
“You know, no decision at this point,” he said. “We’ll give that some thought, obviously, and we’re doing the things we need to to keep in the public eye.”
The longtime businessman then said it was important for the field to have a businessman.
“I don’t know who all is going to get in the race, but I do believe that it would be helpful if at least one of the people who’s running in the Republican field had extensive experience in the private sector – in small business, in big business,” he said.
Matt Viser can be reached at email@example.com.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.