The Washington Times - May 9, 2012, 01:13PM

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney swung through Colorado on Wednesday, where he employed what could be described as the “I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I” line of attack against President Obama.

Speaking at a small oil and gas production company north of Denver, Mr. Romney said the Obama administration adheres to a kind of liberalism that is well past its shelf life.

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“His policies are rooted in perspectives of the past,” Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, said. “His ideas about energy are simply out of date. His other policies flow from the thinking of liberals from years ago. Their view was, if there was a problem in the economy, the government ought to take it over and run it.”

The remarks came after Mr. Obama formally launched his re-election campaign over the weekend by himself, warning that Mr. Romney’s polices are relics of the past that would send the nation back to an era of deregulation and trickle-down economics that sparked the financial crises.

“We are not going back — we are moving this country forward,” Mr. Obama said at his campaign kickoff in Ohio.

The dueling messages came as polls that show Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney are in a virtual tie.

Mr. Romney is honing a message that casts Mr. Obama’s way of thinking as outdated. On Tuesday, he told a crowd in Michigan that Mr. Obama’s approach puts him to the left of President Bill Clinton, who said the era of big government was over and signed off on welfare reform in 1996.

And on Wednesday, Mr. Romney argued that Mr. Obama’s old-school brand of liberalism is seen in his federal health care overhaul, call for higher taxes on small businesses and the massive increases in the national debt.

“We have to understand that those old policies of old liberals are wrong,” Mr. Romney said.

“I know that we are feeling kind of down with an economy that is not performing like it ought to be, but that’s because we are applying policies from the past that just don’t work,” he added.