White House press secretary Jay Carney, pictured at his daily briefing… (Pablo Martinez Monsivais…)
Reporting from Washington —
When Mitt Romney said in Springfield, Ill., on Monday morning that the economy "is coming back," the cheers could be heard as far away as Chicago.
The Obama campaign quickly circulated the Republican front-runner's statement, though it left out the broader point that he was making, Monday and in recent months, that Obama's policies have made that recovery weaker than it should be.
"The economy always comes back after recession, of course. There's never been one that we didn't recover from," Romney said Monday morning.
It's at that point that Romney and the Obama team diverge. Briefing reporters at the White House, Press Secretary Jay Carney rejected the idea that a recovery was "inevitable" and said that the president in fact deserves credit for the turnaround.
"We need to do everything we can here in Washington to ensure that the recovery continues," he said. "The recovery is not so far along now that it can continue without leaders in Washington making the right decisions and taking the right actions to ensure that we can continue to grow."
The Obama campaign later rebutted Romney's economic policy speech in Chicago, calling it "over-hyped." Despite his "lofty rhetoric" about creating jobs, there's little evidence of him having a record of doing so as Massachusetts governor, when the state slipped to 47th in the nation in job creation.
Furthermore, the campaign said Romney is "leaving a lot of unanswered questions about the policies he has proposed."
"We don't know how we're going to pay for [proposed tax cuts], and then the question is, who is going to benefit from these tax cuts?" Princeton University professor Cecilia Rouse said on a conference call with reporters. "His plan actually makes our tax system more regressive."
Campaign policy adviser James Kvaal summed up the Romney plan as one that would "try to cut our way to prosperity."
"Efforts to cut our way to prosperity have been tried in the past, and Gov. Romney's vision represents a return to those policies that have failed before," he argued.
Obama camp: Romney economic speech 'over-hyped,' short on details