Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney said Wednesday that President Obama has failed to follow through on his vow to end the kind of debt spending racked up during the George W. Bush years — creating a cloud of economic uncertainty that is hurting graduating college students, homeowners and seniors alike.
Mr. Romney told a crowd gathered for a campaign event in St. Petersburg, Fla., that Mr. Obama has instead doubled federal debt after pledging as a candidate to cut it in half.
“I find it incomprehensible that a president can come to office and call his predecessor’s record irresponsible and unpatriotic and do almost nothing to fix it, and instead every year add more and more spending,” the former Massachusetts governor said.
Under Mr. Bush, the national debt climbed from $5.73 trillion to about $10.6 trillion, according to the Treasury Department. Since Mr. Obama took office in January 2009, the national debt has jumped to $15.67 trillion — thanks in part to a combination of his $814 billion stimulus package, plummeting tax revenues in 2009 and the costs of the military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now more than three years after Mr. Bush left office, Democrats claim that Mr. Obama is still working to reverse the negative effects of the policies adopted by the Bush administration — including tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 — had on the economy. They point out that on Mr. Bush’s watch, the nation went from four years of surpluses to eight years of deficit spending, and that he left office on the heels of 12-straight months of job losses.
Mr. Romney on Wednesday acknowledged that Democrats and Republicans share the blame
But he said it was Mr. Obama who promised to move the nation away from the fiscal approach of the Bush administration.
“It is not at all what he promised,” he said.