Departing from his planned schedule, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney used Friday morning’s dismal jobs report to deliver a sharp rebuke of the Obama administration’s handling of the economy.
“The president’s policies and his handling of the economy have been dealt a harsh indictment this morning,” Romney said in a hastily-arranged interview on CNBC. Romney is in California for fundraisers but otherwise had no public events previously scheduled.
The jobs report had gloomy news for the White House. Unemployment rose a tenth of a percent to 8.2 percent, and the economy added only 69,000 jobs, well below the 150,000 that analysts had predicted.
Although many economists have attributed the disappointing jobs numbers this months to a global economic slowdown in China and India as well as the fiscal crisis in Europe, Romney laid the blame squarely on his opponent.
“These developments are unfortunate in the global economy but frankly, we’ve faced these developments in the past,” Romney said. “They’re having a dampening effect, no question about that, but the question is what can we do?”
Asked what he would do in the short term, Romney responded: “Probably the most significant thing we can do in the short term is get a new president,” before going on to tout a series of budget-balancing as well as tax and regulation-cutting policies he would enact to stimulate growth.
The presumptive Republican nominee also addressed the latest episode in the tug of war on his record at Bain Capital. For the last three weeks, the Obama campaign has assailed Romney as a greedy corporate vulture, pointing to businesses shuttered during his tenure at the firm. But the message has been undercut by Obama surrogates who have shown discomfort with the line of attack. On Thursday night, former President Clinton praised Romney’s business record as “sterling.”
“I was happy to see President Clinton made a similar statement today and called my record superb,” Romney said.