BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – A fired-up Mitt Romney enlisted small-business owners at a town hall on Wednesday in his reenergized offensive against President Obama, arguing that Obama is so disinterested in job creation that he hasn’t met with his jobs council for six months.
“You know what he's been doing over the last six months?" Romney asked in a crowded gymnasium at a community center here. “In the last six months he has held 100 fundraisers. And guess how many meetings he has had with his jobs council? None. Zero. Zero in the last six months.”
It was a reference to a Politico article that said that the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness had not met publicly since January. Asked why, White House press secretary Jay Carney said on Wednesday that Obama “has obviously got a lot on his plate” but that he “solicits and receives input and advice from members of his jobs council and others about economic initiatives all the time.” Politico noted in its article that some on the 26-member council have not endorsed Obama for re-election.
Romney has been making hay out of Obama’s statement last week that “if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Obama made the remark after citing roads, bridges, schools, and other services that businesses need to thrive. Romney argued on Wednesday that the comment shows how out of touch Obama is with the “character of America,” and he asked those in the audience who owned a business to stand and be recognized.
“Take that, Mr. President,” Romney said, as the crowd of more than 500 cheered enthusiastically. He pointed out several signs in the audience that read “I built my own business,” “I created my business, not the government,” and “Ohio for small business.”
“These are fun,” Romney said after reading several signs aloud. “Those who made those signs, thank you for reminding us who it is in America that creates jobs.”
Although the signs appeared to be homemade, a woman who asked not to be named said that audience members had not been allowed to bring their own signs into the center. They were told when they arrived that “if anybody owns a business, we have signs for you,” she said.
One woman became visibly agitated and called Obama a “monster” as she described the state of “this awful economy” that was ruining her son’s business. Romney quickly responded: “That’s not the term that I use.”
“I can,” she shot back. “I’m an angry mom.”
“You have every right to be angry,” Romney replied.
For those keeping tabs on potential running mates, Romney said he has “not chosen the person who will be my vice president.”