Romney hits Obama on looming "fiscal cliff"

BELMONT, Massachusetts Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:40pm EDT

1 of 4. U.S. Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) is joined by Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) hands out birthday cake on his campaign plane on their way to Bedford, Massachusetts, September 14, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jim Young

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BELMONT, Massachusetts (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney accused President Barack Obama on Saturday of standing by while a looming budgetary calamity unfolds in Washington as he sought to regain his footing after a tough week on the campaign trail.

Romney leaped into the debate over the "fiscal cliff," the potential for an end-of-the-year uproar when some $109 billion in across-the-board spending cuts kick in unless Obama and Congress reach a deficit-reduction deal to avert them. Bush-era tax cuts also expire at year's end.

The Washington debate mirrors the campaign battle between Obama and Romney. Democrats want to make up the shortfall by increasing taxes on wealthy Americans while Republicans favor spending cuts.

"Political gridlock threatens to plunge us back into recession, but instead of seeking bipartisan solutions, President Obama is passively allowing us to go over a fiscal cliff," Romney said in his weekly podcast.

The White House said in releasing a breakdown of the cuts on Friday that it was congressional Republicans who are standing in the way of a deal because they refuse to accept a more balanced approach.

The White House and Congress, Democrats and Republicans, including Romney's vice presidential running mate, Paul Ryan, agreed on the automatic cuts under an August 2011 deal.

Romney, who has vowed to build up the U.S. military if elected on November 6, has singled out for criticism the $54 billion in defense cuts that would kick in at year's end. He says this is no time to shrink the Pentagon's budget.

"What kind of commander-in-chief forces Americans to choose between massive tax hikes that will undermine the economy and massive cuts to our military that will undermine national security?" said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul.

Romney is ending a rough week during which he fell behind Obama in the polls and came under criticism from Democrats and some Republicans for making a campaign issue of the deaths of four Americans killed by Muslim protesters at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

The candidate took the day off on the campaign trail on Saturday. He spent part of the afternoon watching one of his grandson's soccer games. Romney travels to Colorado and California on Sunday.

(Editing by Xavier Briand)

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Comments (25)
Amskeptic wrote:
How on Earth can Romney declare that Obama is running us off the cliff?
The Republicans are the ones that refuse to consider restoring the tax rate to the Clinton year’s 39%. The Republicans are the ones who played debt ceiling games (for money we already owed!) that damaged our credit. The Republicans are the ones who continually pander for military contracts that explode our military budgets even when the Pentagon says we don’t need those expensive toys. It is shameful how unreal Romney/Ryan are.

Sep 15, 2012 8:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
CDN_Rebel wrote:
On the wrong side of the argument again – ask the average American is they think too much is spent on Defense (more like Offense) and then ask them is taxes are too high on rich people. I’ll bet anything attached to my name that the majority say yes to the former and no to the latter. So, Mr. Romney, wtf are you talking about.

By the by, both sides agreed to this fiscal cliff scenario last summer and now the conservatives are balking like it’s all Dem posturing. My God, the hypocrisy knows no limits. The whole reason this fiscal cliff was put in is EXACTLY because neither side can agree on the colour of shite, and that it should come to this was by design, not as a side-effect. Trying to weasel out of it and blame the other side (a la Romney) shows exactly his LACK of leadership qualities and idiotic rhetorical positions.

A vote for Romney is a vote for war with Iran, gutting all govt programs, a ballooning deficit, and massive tax cuts for the rich. It’s also a vote against science and morality, and a vote for the coalition of church and state. A vote for Romney is a vote for Sheldon Adelson and Rush Limbaugh, who seem to have a HUGE hand in shaping his positions.

Sep 15, 2012 8:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Raelyn wrote:
CDN_Rebel — You said it perfectly! All the trickle down money seems to end up in the Bahamas and Switzerland while jobs disappear. And I hate using wars to solve unemployment statistics..

Sep 15, 2012 8:29pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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