Reporting from Tilton, N.H. — After waking up to an op-ed by the vice president criticizing his economic policies, Mitt Romney blasted the Obama administration on the last day of his New Hampshire bus tour, accusing the president and vice president of having lost touch with average Americans.
Previewing the potential general election contest if Romney were to win the Republican nomination, Biden argued in the Des Moines Register on Friday that Romney “appears satisfied to settle for an economy in which fewer people succeed, while the majority of Americans are left to tread water or fall behind.”
“His proposal would actually double down on the policies that caused the greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression and accelerated a decades-long assault on the middle class,” Biden wrote in his Friday piece for the Iowa newspaper, which has endorsed Romney for the GOP nomination.
Speaking to supporters at the Tilt’n Diner in New Hampshire’s lakes region Friday, Romney said he had woken up to a surprise: “Someone had written an op-ed in the Des Moines Register attacking me and blaming me for the economy. I thought now who would have the chutzpah – there you go – or the delusion to imagine that I was responsible for the decline of this economy over the last three years?”
“It was none other than Vice President Joe Biden. Another gaffe,” he continued. “You wonder in some respects what fantasy land he lives in? He needs to get out and meet with people. “
The former Massachusetts governor argued that it was “astonishing” that the vice president would write an op-ed “trying to describe how good things are.”
“You have 25 million Americans that are out of work, or stopped looking for work, or can only find part-time work,” he said. “You have home values continuing to decline. You have median income in America over the last four years dropping10%. Get out there and talk to people. You’ll find out, it hasn’t gotten better yet.”
“Will it get better? Sure. But I can tell you it’s going to get a lot better if you have someone who understands the economy,” he said, hitting the central theme of his campaign.
After the diner stop, Romney rounded out his three-day New Hampshire bus tour with a stop at French’s Toy Store in Concord to pick up more than $200 worth of presents for a Manchester “Toys for Tots” drive. He and his wife, Ann Romney, also bought chocolate-covered cherries and Gummi bears at the Granite State Candy Shoppe, which has been in business near Concord’s Main Street since 1927.
At their final stop, the Romneys caught a quick lunch at Dos Amigos Burritos with a winner of his campaign’s “Grab a bite with Mitt” contest. The candidate ordered a pulled pork burrito on a white flour tortilla with no cheese, medium sauce and the restaurant’s popular yogurt sauce. At the fountain he mixed Cherry Coke and Diet Coke before sitting down with his wife, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu and the contest winner, Soren Dorius, a second-year law student at the University of Toledo.
Romney told Dorius that he should send him his resume if he makes it to the White House. “I bet you wish you’d won the lottery instead,” the former Massachusetts governor said to his guest. And then he was off for a rare three-day break from the campaign trail.