Republican Party candidate for the US presidential election 2012. Romney was born in 1947 and is a Mormon. He gained popularity for successfully organising the US$100 million surplus 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, which helped him win the position of Massachusetts governor from 2003-2007. After losing to John McCain in 2008, Romney came back to win as Republican nominee in 2012 and faces Barack Obama in November elections with running mate Paul Ryan.
Romney slams Obama’s ‘web of dependency’
Mitt Romney accused President Barack Obama of fostering a “web of dependency,” on Wednesday amid a bitter electoral battle over their competing visions for US society in an ever-nastier campaign.
Under attack over videotaped comments dismissing 47 per cent of Americans as looking for government handouts, the Republican presidential nominee regrouped and defended his views as the path to prosperity.
“My course for the American economy will encourage private investment and personal freedom,” Romney wrote in an opinion piece in USA Today.
“Instead of creating a web of dependency, I will pursue policies that grow our economy and lift Americans out of poverty.”
He doubled down on the concept at a high-end Atlanta fundraiser, the third finance event in two days in which he has attacked Obama for embracing a more socialist system.
America “does not work by a government saying ‘become dependent on government, become dependent upon redistribution.’ That will kill the American entrepreneurship that’s lifted our economy over the years,” Romney told donors.
“The question of this campaign is not who cares about the poor and the middle class?” a fiery Romney added, tapping the pulpit for emphasis.
“I do. He does. The question is who can help the poor and the middle class? I can – he can’t!”
Romney trails in the polls with just 48 days to go before the November 6 elections. Deficits in the key battlegrounds of Ohio and Florida are especially worrying for the Republican challenger as they could decide the race.
He has acknowledged that his bombshell comments at a May fundraiser, which were secretly videotaped and then made public this week by Mother Jones magazine, were badly phrased.
But the former Massachusetts governor and his campaign have stepped up their attacks on social welfare “entitlements” as they seek to frame a philosophical debate over the choices facing Americans.
In doing so they seized on a 14-year-old audio recording in which Obama, then a state senator in Illinois, can be heard advocating government-backed wealth redistribution.
“The trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level, to make sure everybody’s got a shot,” Obama says in the audio.
The White House responded Wednesday by saying Romney’s camp was adopting “desperate” tactics that were examples of a campaign “having a very bad day or a very bad week.”
“You sometimes witness an effort – that seems desperate – to change the subject. We might be witnessing that now,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
Romney, who held a series of fundraisers in California, Utah and Texas, and then Wednesday’s in Georgia that netted US$2 million, according to aides, flew to swing state Florida to hold his first public event since late last week.
In Miami, sounding a note of inclusion that belied the socioeconomic tension coursing through the campaign in recent days, Romney courted Hispanic voters saying he would be president “for the 100 per cent” of Americans.
“I care about the 100 per cent,” he told viewers of Spanish language network Univision. “People in America are going to have a better future if they elect me the next president.”
Hispanics comprise the largest minority in the country, and with Romney trailing slightly according to several polls, peeling Latino voters away from Obama is crucial, particularly in key states such as Florida.
It has been a difficult period for the nominee, who has fended off a backlash from Republicans worried about his gaffe-plagued campaign.
Last week, Romney sparked a furor by criticizing the administration as being too sympathetic to Islamic militants just as the nation learned that its ambassador to Libya and three other citizens had been killed in an attack on the American consulate in Benghazi.
The controversial fundraising video, and reports of internal campaign disarray, plunged team Romney into deeper turmoil, but their decision to embrace the anti-dependency message appears to have steadied the ship.
Romney’s White House running mate Paul Ryan moved to back-up the Republican economic strategy going into the race’s home stretch.
“Mitt Romney and I are not running to redistribute the wealth. Mitt Romney and I are running to help Americans create wealth,” Ryan told supporters in Virginia, another election battleground state.
But bad headlines for Romney dominated newspaper editorials.
Colorado’s Denver Post said:”Given the caricature he has drawn of himself as a tone-deaf plutocrat, he may have a hard time convincing them and other voters he’s worth supporting in November.”