Romney: 'Barack Obama has failed America'

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Mitt Romney is opening his first formal day as a 2012 Republican presidential candidate by pitching himself as the one to heal the economy and issuing a direct challenge to the man he wants to replace: "Barack Obama has failed America," he says.

Mitt Romney
AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain

In this May 21, 2011 file photo, possible 2012 presidential hopeful, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks in Irmo, S.C.

In excerpts released ahead of his formal kick-off speech Thursday, Romney homes in on the economic woes that are frustrating voters: a lack of jobs, persistent foreclosures and runaway spending in Washington.

It's a pitch tailored to the conservatives who hold great sway in picking the GOP's presidential nominee in Iowa and South Carolina — and the independents who are the largest politic bloc in New Hampshire. And it is as much a thesis on his viability as it is an indictment of Obama's leadership.

"A few years ago, Americans did something that was, actually, very much the sort of thing Americans like to do: We gave someone new a chance to lead, someone we hadn't known for very long, who didn't have much of a record but promised to lead us to a better place," Romney says, describing the man he hopes to meet head-to-head in November 2012.

"At the time, we didn't know what sort of a president he would make. ... Now, in the third year of his four-year term, we have more than promises and slogans to go by. Barack Obama has failed America."

In the speech, the former Massachusetts governor launches into a scathing critique of Washington, a place where he has never served. Decrying federal spending, the one-term governor promises, "My generation will pass the torch to the next generation, not a bill."

Romney comes to a presidential contest that lacks a front-runner. In the past week, the still-jelling field became less certain with hints that Texas Gov. Rick Perry was considering a bid. Tea party darling Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is inching toward a run, perhaps giving the anti-tax, libertarian-leaning grassroots movement a candidate to rally around.

Romney sought to claim a slice of that constituency when describing families struggling to get by.

"It doesn't matter if they are Republican or Democrat, independent or libertarian," Romney says in remarks he planned to deliver at a farm in Stratham. "They're just Americans. An American family."

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin, her party's 2008 vice presidential nominee, continued a bus tour that not only highlighted her potential to upend the race but also served as a contrast to the lackluster enthusiasm for those already running for president. She was set to appear in New Hampshire at a clambake Thursday, although her aides and advisers were not providing schedules and her supporters in the state were left looking for guidance.

Romney has built an experienced political team, collected serious campaign cash and crafted a campaign that is ready to go full-bore. While his likely opponents have jostled for the spotlight, Romney largely has worked in private to fine-tune his political machine. He has chosen to weigh in through statements and editorial pages instead of interviews with journalists or town hall-style meetings with voters.

On Friday, Romney starts to shift that strategy. He has scheduled his first town hall meeting for Manchester and later planned to speak at a Faith and Freedom forum in Washington.

Party leaders have yet to rally around him. Romney hopes his tough talk will inspire support.

"We are only inches away from ceasing to be a free market economy," he says, decrying Obama's health care overhaul — a federal version of the one Romney signed into law for Massachusetts.

"From my first day in office my No. 1 job will be to see that America once again is No. 1 in job creation," he says.

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Steve  Dosh's picture

Romney: 'Barack Obama has failed America'

. ...Former MA Gov. Mitt Romney has failed the Republican party
How come he wasn't at that Republican shindig the other night ? Oh , playing possum are we ? He will be the Republican party's candidate if for no other reason that he has the most money . Reminds many of us of the Yankees buying their A L pennants :)
Some of us found Ms. Bachman to be a tad shrill in her delivery
And Ms. Plain { sic. ] , where was she ? Off making reality shows about Alaska again ?
Rhetorical questions , all in jest
/s, Dr. Dosh , in the 50th State celebrating 50 years of Statehood as a father this Father's day weekend

Steve  Dosh's picture

Romney: 'Barack Obama has failed America'

Ed. Board : as you know , i am not a hateful , prideful or ashamed individual . i didn't fail History class at Bates either , where Robert Kennedy ( R I P ) attended school once . i simply distain Mass. Republicans misappropriating deceased Presidents' quotes to their own political ends . " . . ..Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans — born in this century , tempered by war , disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage , " J F K , Friday, January 20, 1961 . " Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names. " also John F. Kennedy . " Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. " Abraham Lincoln . i stand by my many comments . They are not aimed at anyone who disagrees with my choice of words , the LSJ ® , the author PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press or any one else except for Mr. Romney , former Governor . In fact , many of us find Mr. Romney's remarks hateful and insulting to our President , right Doreen ? Our President has not failed America • /s, Dr. Dosh , Hawai'i , the 50th State celebrating 50 years of Statehood :)

Steve  Dosh's picture

Romney: 'Barack Obama has failed America'

Sorry David , i had meant to say " retard " •

David  Cote's picture

Hey Steve

Tell you what...Save your apologies. Those are even more worthless than your comments.

David  Cote's picture

Poor choice of words

I think anyone using the word "tard" to describe someone while making their point is classless and hateful. I'm disappointed the editors at this newspaper have chosen to allow that comment to stand. As for the writer, you should be ashamed of yourself and issue an apology.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Romney: 'Barack Obama has failed America'

[This comment has been removed by the administrator]

 's picture

Believe Romney, Why?

Words are cheap and really mean nothing to Romney. He says whatever he thinks is necessary. His history proves this to be true. He thinks by insulting our President he will get elected. I, for one, will do whatever is necessary to ensure that does not happen.


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