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Romney attacks Obama for saying D.C. can't be changed from inside

September 20, 2012|By Seema Mehta

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Mitt Romney teed off on a statement President Obama made hours earlier that he couldn’t fix Washington from the inside, with the GOP nominee saying Thursday that this admission of failure was another reason voters needed to reject him in November.

“We face a Washington that’s broken, that can’t get the job done. The president today threw in the white flag of surrender again,” Romney told 4,600 supporters in at a sweltering outdoor rally. “He said he can’t change Washington from inside, he can only change it from outside. Well, we’re going to give him that chance in November. He’s going outside!”

The speech was initially expected to be focused on  Medicare, but Romney revised it after Obama spoke at a Univision Forum in Coral Gables earlier.

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Obama said that one of his biggest failures was his inability “to change the tone in Washington” and that he had learned from his time in office.

“Most important is you can’t change Washington from inside, only from the outside,” Obama said, adding that the American people prompted Washington to act.

“That’s how some of our biggest accomplishments like healthcare got done — mobilizing the American people,” Obama said.

Romney focused on the first part of the statement, deemed it “amazing,” and pledged that if he is elected president, he will accomplish more by working with both parties.

“I can change Washington, I will change Washington, we’ll get the job done from the inside. Republicans and Democrats will come together. He can’t do it,” Romney said. “His slogan was 'yes we can' -- his slogan now is 'no I can’t.' This is time for a new president. He went from the president of change to the president who can’t get change.”

Romney’s decision to hold a public event in Sarasota points to its importance in  the upcoming election. The area is traditionally Republican, and in 2008 Sen.  John McCain won the county by a little over 200 votes, though he lost the state. If Romney were able to run up his numbers here, that improves his prospects of winning Florida.

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seema.mehta@latimes.com

Twitter: @latseema

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