Republicans plan attack on Obama’s economic record during Dems’ convention

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hoping to drive home a message that voters are worse off today than they were four years ago, Republicans promised Monday to do their best to inject their message during the Democrats’ convention here this week.

Promising a week of attacks against President Obama, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said top Mitt Romney surrogates will be in Charlotte throughout the three-day convention to criticize the president for his economic record, which Mr. Priebus said has hurt voters.

“They’re earning less at work, paying more for groceries, paying more for gas and paying more for health care,” he said at a news conference kicking off the GOP’s official rapid-response room, dubbed the “Obama Isn’t Working” center.

While Democrats are expected to tout their progress in restoring employment and rebuilding an economy hurt by a recession, they suffered a public-relations setback Sunday when Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that voters are not better off than they were four years ago.

Mr. O’Malley, a Democrat who is scheduled to speak at the convention, walked back his comments Monday, saying that Americans are doing better but that the country has yet to totally recover from losses under former President George W. Bush.

“We are clearly better off as a country because we are now creating jobs rather than losing them,” he said Monday morning on CNN’s “Starting Point.” “But we have not recovered all that we lost in the Bush recession. That’s why we need to continue to move forward.”

Mr. Priebus and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican, seized on the governor’s earlier comments as an admission of guilt by Democrats, and also debuted a video that shows similar sound bites from Mr. Obama’s campaign speeches in 2008 and 2012, which they say are evidence that he is still making the same promises to grow jobs and close the budget deficit that he made four years ago.

“I just don’t see that the government is working in fulfilling its goals and responsibilities,” Mr. Chaffetz said. “And it’s certainly not meeting the goals that the president laid out.”

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