(CNN) — In his weekly podcast on Saturday, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney described President Barack Obama as handling the economy negligently while the country approaches a “fiscal cliff.”
“Political gridlock threatens to plunge us back into recession, but instead of seeking bipartisan solutions, President Obama is passively allowing us to go over a fiscal cliff,” Romney said. The White House Budget Office reported this week that a collection of tax increases and spending cuts holds in store harsh consequences for the economy.
To illustrate his point, Romney suggested listeners consider the situation in which a young woman starting college today will find herself at graduation.
“If Barack Obama is president, she’ll have fewer job opportunities. And if she’s lucky enough to get a job, she’ll face higher taxes to pay down our nation’s staggering debt,” Romney said. “If I’m elected, that young woman will enter an economy that’s filled with good jobs. She’ll keep more of the money she earns. And she’ll be more confident in her future – and in the future of the country.”
Romney charged that Obama has been “driving jobs overseas,” citing the U.S.’ declining share of worldwide manufacturing and China’s emergence, including its gains made by taking advantage of U.S. businesses.
“According to a government study, China’s theft of America’s intellectual property has cost us more than 2 million jobs,” Romney said. “And again, President Obama has failed to protect those rights. It’s bad enough that he won’t stand up for companies and workers that are cheated by China. What’s even worse is that his policies are making America less competitive.”
When the president has acted, he “has imposed major new federal regulations at an unprecedented rate.”
In contrast, Romney said his plans would “strengthen our middle class … result in bigger paychecks and 12 million new jobs in my first term.”
Romney was off of the campaign trail on Saturday, but his running mate was campaigning in Florida and talking economics. Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan called the Federal Reserve’s recently announced economic stimulus “insidious.”
As he opened the podcast, Romney paused to acknowledge the subject of headlines and Obama’s weekly address earlier in the day.
“I want to begin by acknowledging and joining with you in mourning the death of four Americans who were killed in Libya this week,” Romney said. “We hold their loved ones in our prayers and we keep them in our hearts and memories.”
The two men had during the week exchanged jabs over Obama’s handling of the Arab world unrest. But on Saturday, Obama remained at the White House without a public schedule, and Romney spent a portion of the afternoon at one of his grandson’s soccer games in Massachusetts.
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