President Obama with a copy of his job and economic reform plan as he speaks… (Pablo Martinez Monsivais…)
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — President Obama unveiled a glossy new 20-page magazine on his plan for the country Tuesday morning, waving it before a crowd here and pledging it will “actually move America forward.”
“By the way, the math in my plan adds up,” Obama said. “Folks who are not yet convinced, they can look right here. ... Compare our plans. See which one is better for you.”
With the final presidential debate in the rearview mirror, the president took off this morning on a campaign blitz that will take him to seven states this week. The tour is so packed with rallies that he plans to spend Wednesday night sleeping on Air Force One.
To kick things off this morning, Obama released the new mini-mag entitled “A Plan for Jobs & Middle-Class Security” along with a TV ad touting it.
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The new document is based on the case Obama has been making for his reelection for weeks now and includes charts reflecting positive economic data and an outline for strengthening the economy. The Republican National Committee dismissed it this morning as mere "repackaging," and Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said it was just a collection of “failed policies.”
“The president is just doubling down on the same policies that have led to a stagnant economy, greater government dependency, and trillion-dollar deficits,” Henneberg said. “Mitt Romney has a 'Plan for a Stronger Middle Class' that will create 12-million new jobs, lift people out of poverty, and deliver a real recovery to the American people.”
But Obama mocked Romney’s plans anew in light of the Monday night debate. Romney abandoned past criticism of his policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama said, and now agrees with the current administration on a range of foreign-policy matters. Romney didn't criticize the president on Libya or challenge Obama's willingness to hold bilateral talks between the U.S. and Iran.
The public is used to seeing politicians change their positions over the course of months or years, Obama said, just not seeing them change “from four days ago.”
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In a lighter moment of the morning rally, Obama was introduced by Scott Van Duzer, the owner of a nearby pizza restaurant and a self-described Republican. He’s known in the area as the guy who picked the president up in a vigorous bear hug when Obama visited his pizza shop a few weeks back.
“I’m telling you, this guy is for real,” Van Duzer said, shortly before giving the president another big bear hug – this time leaving him on the ground.
“Every time I need a pick-me-up,” Obama said, “I try to see Scott.”
Romney's campaign dismissed Obama's plan right out of the gate.
"In two weeks, a majority of Americans will choose Governor Romney’s positive agenda over President Obama’s increasingly desperate attacks," campaign spokesman Ryan Williams said in a statement. "Mitt Romney has a real plan for a Real Recovery that will create 12 million new jobs with rising take-home pay, move us toward a balanced budget and create prosperity for all Americans.”
[For the Record, 9:29 a.m. PST Oct. 23: This post has been updated to include the Romney campaign's response.]