Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney backtracked on one of the core tenets of his presidential campaign: that President Obama has made a struggling U.S. economy even worse.
I didn't say that things are worse, Romney said at a press conference in Allentown, Pa., on Thursday.
As a rebuttal, the Democratic National Committee has rushed out a new video documenting the flip-flop with footage, which shows Romney claiming that he never said the economy got worse, followed by footage of Romney previously making that exact claim three times, The Washington Post reported.
Mitt Romney was caught red-handed by one independent fact-checker after another not telling the truth about the state of the economy, DNC Spokesman Brad Woodhouse said. Rather than admitting he was wrong and apologizing, he's now trying to deny he ever said it.
In New Hampshire on Monday, NBC News reported Romney saying, The people of New Hampshire have waited long enough. They want to see good jobs. They want to see rising incomes. They want to see an economy that's growing again, and the president's failed. He did not cause this recession, but he made it worse.
He was also quoted saying at the New Hampshire debate earlier this month, He didn't create the recession, but he made it worse and longer.
But at his Allentown press conference, where he was discussing a company that closed after President Obama touted it benefitting from the stimulus -- the Republican presidential hopeful took back the comment when asked why he believes that Obama's policies have made the economy worse.
What I said was that the economy hasn't turned around, that you've got 20 million Americans out of work, or seriously unemployed; housing values still going down. You have a crisis of foreclosures in this country. The economy, by the way, if you think the economy is great and going well, be my guest, Romney said.
But the president of the United States, when he put in place his stimulus plan and borrowed $787 billion, said he would hold unemployment below 8 percent -- and 8 percent seemed like an awfully high number. It hasn't been below 8 percent since. That's failure. We're over 9 percent unemployment. That's failure. He set the bogie himself at 8 percent, which strikes me as a very high number and we're still about that three years later.
However, Romney failed to point out that about 35 percent of the stimulus, in fact, was not borrowed or represent spending, but was a credit to businesses and individuals, in the form of $275 billion in tax cuts/credits.
Asked what he would tell Congress if he were in Obama's shoes concerning the ongoing debate over the federal deficit and the debt ceiling, Romney cited three musts: Cut spending, cap spending, and pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.