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Obama calls on voters to ignore Romney's 'trickle-down fairy dust'

August 02, 2012|By Christi Parsons
  • President Obama speaks at a campaign event at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla.
President Obama speaks at a campaign event at Rollins College in Winter… (Pablo Martinez Monsivais…)

WINTER PARK, Fla. -- President Obama brought his economic message to this key battleground state on Thursday, asking voters to reject the “trickle-down fairy dust” he says Republican Mitt Romney is trying to sell them.

Romney’s economic plans would grant tax cuts for wealthy people, Obama told a crowd, racking up a cost that he says would land on the middle class -- with no net benefit for them.

The idea that the tax cuts would pay for themselves by way of a "massive boom in the economy," Obama said, is "fairy dust" that the GOP has "tried to sell" in the past but which hasn't worked.

“He’s asking you to pay more so that people like him can pay less,” Obama said.

The Romney campaign quickly fired back, claiming that under Obama, “middle-class Americans have experienced higher unemployment, lower incomes and greater uncertainty about the future.”

“Now he is promising to raise taxes on millions of families and small businesses -- which is the last thing we should do in a struggling economy,” campaign spokesman Ryan Williams said in a statement. “Mitt Romney’s plan for a stronger middle class will cut tax rates across the board and result in more jobs, higher take-home pay, and the kind of economic growth we haven’t seen under President Obama.”

Obama’s words, nearly drowned out by a chorus of “boos” from the audience, echoed his message during a campaign swing to Ohio earlier in the week and the ones he was expected to deliver in Virginia on Thursday afternoon.

Campaign aides believe it has particular resonance in Florida, where the labor market is suffering. Payrolls in the state have been in decline this year and home foreclosures are the highest in the country, according to a new report on the economies of the swing states by IHS Global Insight.

But Republicans argue voters should hold Obama responsible for those problems. The Romney campaign released a new television ad on Thursday, reminding a Florida audience that Obama “lamented” the state of their economy in 2008 and saying that he hasn’t made fixing it a priority in the intervening four years.

"He focused on Obamacare instead of jobs," a voiceover in the ad says. "Barack Obama -- what a disappointment."

In fact, Obama’s policies have failed to make a sufficient difference anywhere, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus contended in a morning email.

“No, Mr. President, it didn’t work,” Priebus wrote.

The Obama campaign fired off its own new ad in eight states Thursday, talking about the “devastating impact” Romney’s plan would have on middle-class families, campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. In an opinion piece in the Orlando Sentinel, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer urged voters to consider the competing visions and "to decide which path makes more sense for Florida and Orlando."

At Rollins College, a four-year liberal arts college in Winter Park, Obama said the “heart” of Romney’s plans are about giving tax cuts to the “wealthiest 1% of all households.”

“Mr. Romney claims he’s going to give this tax cut,” Obama said, and that “he’s going to bring down the deficit.”

“So the question is, who do you think is going to get the bill?” he asked the crowd, which shouted back, “We do!”

“This is a smart crowd,” Obama said. “You do.”

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christi.parsons@tribune.com

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