Mitt Romney refused Thursday to embrace Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s description of the Obama administration’s policies as “socialist,” instead opting for some softer language, dubbing President Obama’s moves as “Washington heavy.”
In an appearance on CNN’S “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer, Mr. Romney was asked whether he agreed with Mr. Perry’s recent characterization of Mr. Obama’s legislative moves.
“Well, you know, words have a lot of unintended meanings, and calling people socialists probably goes on the fact that it is true that President Obama’s team and the president himself seem to believe that government has a better approach to our economy than does the private sector, and I disagree with that approach,” the former Massachusetts governor said.
“I don’t use the word ‘socialist’ or I haven’t so far, but I do agree that the president’s approach is government heavy, government intensive, and it’s not working,” he said.
Speaking with Time magazine about the White House’s policies, Mr. Perry said, “I still believe they are socialist.”
“I mean, their policies prove that almost daily,” he said. “I mean, look, when all the answers emanate from Washington, D.C., one size fits all, whether it’s education policy or whether it’s healthcare policy, that is, on its face, socialism.”
In national polls, Mr. Perry and Mr. Romney are the frontrunners for the GOP presidential nomination.
In an attempt to cast Mr. Perry as too extreme for voters, Mr. Romney also has publicly railed the Texan’s thorny description of Social Security as a “Ponzi Scheme,” warning that it sends the wrong message to current and future beneficiaries of the program.