Sat, Sep 01, 2012 - Page 7 News List

Convention did not bolster Romney: Obama camp

AFP, TAMPA, Florida

US President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign declared yesterday that Republican Mitt Romney left his convention in no better political shape than when he arrived and complained that he ignored the Afghan war in his big speech.

Obama’s team also fact-checked Romney’s speech at the Republican National Convention in Florida, seeking to set the record straight on what it saw as distortions of the administration’s record.

“Much like the entire Republican convention, Mitt Romney’s speech tonight offered many personal attacks and gauzy platitudes, but no tangible ideas to move the country forward,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said. “What he didn’t share were his actual proposals, which would take our country backwards.”

Messina said Romney would provide another US$5 trillion in “budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy” and would turn the Medicare health program for seniors into a voucher system.

“In an almost 45-minute speech, Mitt Romney didn’t find a moment to mention Afghanistan. With no new plans and evasion about his real plans, Mitt Romney leaves this convention no stronger than he came,” Messina added.

The president himself sent out an email to his millions of supporters moments after Romney wrapped up his speech, calling on them to donate to his campaign before the latest monthly fundraising deadline was set to expire yesterday.

“Tonight was their night, but our focus must be on tomorrow,” Obama wrote.

The Obama campaign also responded to the speech with a blizzard of tweets and e-mails pushed to reporters’ inboxes, fact checking what they said were Romney’s repeated distortions about the president’s record.

“Tonight, Mitt Romney once again repeated his long-debunked claim that President Obama apologized for America,” one e-mail said.

“As independent fact checkers have exhaustedly said over and over again, the ‘apology tour’ never happened,” the e-mail said.

The campaign also hammered Romney over his critique of the president’s policy toward Iran’s nuclear challenge: “Romney has failed to suggest anything he would do that President Obama isn’t already doing,” another e-mail said.

The Obama campaign also accused the Republican of plotting to raise middle class taxes to benefit the rich, said he would not create jobs and criticized him for opposing an auto industry bailout.

Obama’s campaign foreign policy spokeswoman Marie Harf tweeted that it was “offensive” that Romney did not mention the war in Afghanistan or veterans in his speech.

During a rambling and bizarre appearance by veteran actor Clint Eastwood, Obama’s deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter simply tweeted “Wow.”

Obama is to have his own chance to make his case to US voters at the Democratic National Convention beginning on Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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