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Obama campaign accuses GOP of 'empty platitudes'

September 02, 2012|By Katherine Skiba
  • Bob Schieffer, anchor of "Face The Nation," speaks with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, senior Obama campaign aide Stephanie Cutter and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley during preparations for the Democratic National Convention.
Bob Schieffer, anchor of "Face The Nation," speaks with former… (John Paul Filo / CBS News/Getty…)

WASHINGTON — President Obama's deputy campaign manager lit into Republicans on Sunday, saying their convention was marked by “personal attacks” and “empty platitudes” that left the impression “they really think that lying is a virtue.”

Stephanie Cutter told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan stretched the truth when he implied that Obama had closed an auto plant in Janesville, Wis., Ryan's hometown, because the GM factory closed while George W. Bush was president. She said Republicans distorted Obama’s plans for keeping Medicare solvent, and tried to take credit for 12 million jobs projected under the president’s own economic plans.

Cutter said the Democratic national convention, which kicks off Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C., would have a different feel from the GOP gathering in Tampa, Fla., that nominated former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for president. “We’re going to be talking to all Americans, not just rallying our base like we saw last week,” she said.

PHOTOS: The protests of the GOP convention

Host Bob Schieffer asked if the planned convention speech by former President Bill Clinton signified that Obama was trying to move the party to the political center. Cutter said the party had not moved left, right or center. 

“Bill Clinton is going to describe the type of economic policy" that led to a broad economic expansion during his two terms, from 1993 to 2001, she said. “What President Clinton is going to say is if you’re looking for a president who can grow the middle class, create that economic expansion, move away from the policies of the past that actually crashed our economy and punished the middle class, then Barack Obama is your guy.”

Schieffer asked Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who is also scheduled to speak at the Democratic convention, if he could honestly say that Americans are better off now than four years ago, a question that Romney had posed at his convention.

PHOTOS: The protests of the DNC

O’Malley, signaling a Democratic line of attack, put the onus on Obama’s Republican predecessor.

“Without a doubt, we are not as well off as we were before George Bush brought us the Bush job losses, the Bush recession, the Bush deficits, the series of desert wars, charged for the first time [on] a credit card, the national credit card,” O’Malley said.

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kskiba@tribune.com

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