Mitt Romney brought his newly aggressive style of attack against President Obama to Ohio on Wednesday, hammering the president for his recent comments on small businesses and pledging to “fight for the soul of America” in the face of mounting pressure to release more of his tax returns.
Mr. Romney, at a town hall meeting in Bowling Green, noted that Mr. Obama has held a hundred fundraisers in the past six months, but no public meetings of his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
“So it makes it very clear where his priorities are,” he said. “He’s out of touch, he’s out of ideas, he’s out of excuses, and that’s why November, we got to get him out of office.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney said while the council hasn’t formally met recently, the president solicits and receives input from its members all the time.
Mr. Romney has been busy deflecting questions about his time at Bain Capital and whether he will release more of his tax returns, but remarks Mr. Obama made last week apparently have ignited a fire in the GOP challenger.
At a campaign stop in Roanoke, Va., Mr. Obama said, “If you have a small business, you didn’t build that,” making the point that other people, sources or government services inevitably helped it along.
Mr. Romney has hammered back since then, arguing the comments reveal Mr. Obama’s lack of knowledge about how the private sector works.
“This idea of criticizing and attacking success, of demonizing those in all walks of life who have been successful, is something which is so foreign to us we simply can’t understand it,” he said.
“The president certainly credited entrepreneurs and innovators with the creation of start-ups and businesses,” he said. “The president also said there is more we can do to improve the business climate.”
Mr. Romney’s campaign and national Republicans are also on the offensive with another new line of attack of painting Mr. Obama as a “crony capitalist.”
“Where did all the Obama stimulus money go?” asks the narrator in a television ad released Wednesday, complete with money ablaze in the background. “Friends, donors, campaign supporters, special interest groups.”
It cites the most high-profile flop, Solyndra — an energy company that was given a $500 million loan from the government before going bankrupt. And, for good measure, it shows a clip of U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, criticizing the wind energy stimulus program.
“So he’s joined his surrogates and allies in launching over-the-top attacks that independent fact-checkers and news organizations have said are ‘flat out false,’ ‘wrong,’ and use ‘weasel words,’ ” she said.