Mitt Romney employed some of the toughest rhetoric of his
campaign in Thursday's South Carolina debate, ripping into President Obama as a
job-destroying disaster who practices "crony capitalism," listens to labor "stooges,"
and so misunderstands capitalism that Romney will have to "stuff it down his
throat" in the fall campaign.
And that was just in Romney's first response in a debate he clearly wanted to serve as a preview for how he'd go after Obama.
The GOP front-runner was also the first in the debate to
attack the president for his decision this week to kill the Keystone pipeline. "Because
he has to bow to the most extreme members of the environmental movement, he
turned down the Keystone pipeline, which would bring energy and jobs to America,"
said Romney. "This president is the biggest impediment to job growth in this
country. And we have to replace Barack Obama to get America working again."
Romney also raised the Obama administration's $535 million loan to Solyndra, the California solar company that went bankrupt last year, accusing the president of "practicing crony capitalism." He added, "He stacks the labor stooges on the NRB so they can say no to Boeing and take care of their friends in the labor movement."
Romney also turned an attack on his work for Bain Capital into another attack on Obama. "There's nothing wrong with profit," he said, adding that much of Bain's profits went to pension funds and charities and hired more people. "I'm going to stand and defend capitalists across this country. I know we're going to get it hard from President Obama. But we'll stuff it down his throat."