By Ryan Tracy
ReutersU.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the economy at the Honeywell Golden Valley facility in Minneapolis on Friday.Barack Obama and Mitt Romney struck contrasting tones on the European debt crisis on Friday in public appearances just minutes apart as they seized on a new report on the U.S. job market to criticize the other’s party and policies.
Mr. Obama, responding to a Labor Department report that showed the unemployment rate tick up to 8.2 % and job creation weakening, told a crowd in Minnesota that Europe’s problems were part of “some serious headwinds” that are “having an impact world-wide – and it’s starting to cast a shadow on our own [economy] as well.”
But for Mr. Romney, the European crisis was no excuse for the U.S. economy “to bounce along the bottom,” a reference to what the Republican says is an unacceptably slow pace of economic growth during Mr. Obama’s tenure.
Events in Europe “are having a dampening effect, there is no question about that,” Mr. Romney said. “But there are things we can do to make the economy in this country as robust as possible. Unfortunately what the president has done has made it less and less likely for investors to want to invest in America, for employers to want to hire in America, and that’s the indictment that you’re seeing on this administration’s policies.”
Mr. Romney said to bolster the recovery, he would roll back Mr. Obama’s health-care policies, expand energy production, and take other steps to create jobs. He accused Mr. Obama of losing focus on jobs, which he called “Job one for the presidency.”
Mr. Obama blamed a deadlocked Congress for not acting on proposals he has made that would boost job growth, including approving billions of dollars to increase the employment of war veterans, implementing clean energy and small business tax credits, and adopting measures to help homeowners refinance mortgages.
“We can’t fully control everything that happens in other parts of the world,” Mr. Obama said. “But there are plenty of steps we can take right now.”
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Headwinds and Shadows? Seriously? Is there anything that this guy takes responsibility for, besides Bin Laden?