- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is giving President Obama a “welcome” ahead of his trip to New Hampshire on Tuesday, arguing in full-page newspaper ads and a new television commercial that Mr. Obama’s policies have failed to create jobs and spur investment.

“Your policies have failed,” Mr. Romney writes in an “open letter” to the president that is running in the state’s three biggest newspapers — the Union Leader, Concord Monitor, and The Telegraph — less than two months out from New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary.

The full-page ads are part of a broader offensive that coincides with Mr. Obama’s visit Tuesday to the Granite State and includes Mr. Romney’s first television spot of the campaign season, which blasts Mr. Obama and features snippets of Mr. Romney’s campaign speeches.

“I am confident that we can steer ourselves out of this crisis,” the ad shows Mr. Obama saying in the old footage, before “He failed” spills across the screen. “We need a rescue plan for the middle class. We need to provide relief for homeowners.”

The ad then moves to Mr. Obama saying, “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.”

The Democratic National Committee has already suggested the ad is deceitful because the footage used is of Mr. Obama quoting an aide from Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008.

On Tuesday, the DNC said that Mr. Romney’s career has been built on deceiving people.

“When he was running for governor he looked pro-choice activists in the eye and said he’d protect a woman’s right to choose and would even take that position to Washington if he pursued national office — now he wants to overturn Roe V. Wade and supports so called “personhood” policies,” the DNC said in a press release. “No candidate in modern times has had more trouble with the truth than Mitt Romney.”

Mr. Obama is scheduled to be in Manchester, N.H., where he planned to call for an extension of the payroll tax cuts, warning that the middle-class will be hurt by a failure to extend them.

“If we don’t act, taxes will go up for every single American, starting next year. And I’m not about to let that happen,” Mr. Obama said Monday in a preview of the remarks he is expected to deliver.

The visit follows the failure of the bipartisan deficit supercommittee to deliver on its task of coming up with $1.2 trillion in proposed spending cuts as part of the effort to pare down the nation’s $15 trillion national debt. The clock is now ticking on $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts to defense and domestic programs that will take effect in 2013 unless Congress can halt them.

Mr. Romney, meanwhile, is scheduled to be Washington, D.C., where he is expected to take part in a foreign policy focused debate sponsored by CNN, the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.

He is currently running second in a Real Clear Politics average of national polls behind former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has surged in recent weeks. Mr. Romney, though, is far ahead in New Hampshire.

In the full-page newspaper ads he released on Tuesday, Mr. Romney acknowledges that Mr. Obama inherited a poor economy that was not of his making and would have “taxed the abilities of any new president.”

But, he stresses, that Mr. Obama’s policies have fallen short “even by the standards your own administration set for itself.”

“Things are much worse than that,” Mr. Romney says. “Far from bringing the crisis to an end, your policies have actively hindered economic recovery. In some cases, they were the exact opposite of what our government should have been doing.”

Mr. Romney highlights how unemployment is stuck around 9 percent, after the administration predicted the $814 billion stimulus package that passed in February 2009 would cap unemployment at 8 percent. The package, he said, failed to create jobs and was “filled with special interest giveaways.”

“Nearly a trillion dollars of tax dollars was spent, our budget deficit exploded, and some 25 million Americans remain either unemployed, underemployed or have given up seeking work altogether. You placed a burden of debt on America that will take generations to repay and we got almost nothing in return.

Mr. Romney goes on to criticize the Wall Street regulations, otherwise known as Dodd-Frank, and the president’s overhaul of the federal health care system, which aims to cover millions of uninsured Americans. The “astonishing tangle of new federal regulations that have snuffed out investment” must be repealed, he said.

And he suggests the administration sold out the American worker when it decided recently to “delay” building the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which some could generate 20,000 American jobs, though it also face some opposition from Republicans in Nebraska.

“We can’t afford four more years of failure,” Mr. Romney writes.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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