Former President Bill Clinton told an Orlando, Fla., audience that Mitt Romney’s vague economic plan is part of a scheme to get elected, then steal credit for President Obama’s coming recovery.
Clinton cited recent reports that top economists and financial firms are predicting a strong boost to growth soon, likely matching Romney’s current pledge to create 12 million jobs over the next four years, whether or not he’s elected.
According to Clinton, America is looking at 4 percent GDP growth soon, double the current rate, as long as “we don’t mess it up.” The danger then is that Romney will win the election then “cut taxes for wealthy people,” “gut the Medicaid program,” slash aid to education and scientific research, then claim these policies as the reason an already inevitable short term bump occurred in his first term.
Despite the brief gains, Romney will “take the future out” of the budget, Clinton said, undoing Obama’s hard-fought efforts to put the country on a path to more solid gains. That means the president’s work navigating the country through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression will be forgotten: “[Obama] won’t even get the credit, because [Romney] want[s] to get credit for the 12 million jobs that Obama laid the foundation for.”
“Let’s give the job to the man who’s done the job so he can finish the job,” Clinton concluded. “Four more years!”
Obama himself was originally scheduled to attend the rally with Clinton, but had to cancel the trip along with several other campaign events to monitor Hurricane Sandy.
Update: Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams responded to Clinton’s speech:
“As President Obama falls behind in Florida, his flailing campaign is doubling down on false and discredited attacks. Florida voters know that if the President is reelected, our national debt will climb to $20 trillion, Medicare will be cut by $716 billion, and millions of middle-class families will be hit with tax increases. We can’t afford four more years like the last four years. Mitt Romney is offering real change for a real recovery, with 12 million new jobs, rising incomes, and a stronger middle class. On November 6, Floridians and voters across the country will choose his positive agenda over President Obama’s increasingly desperate attacks.”
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.