ABC News’ Arlette Saenz reports:
As President Obama heads to Boston, Mass. today to discuss education, a potential 2012 rival took the president to task in an op-ed in today’s Boston Herald, comparing him to former president Jimmy Carter and his failed re-election bid against Ronald Reagan.
“When Ronald Reagan ran for president in 1980, he hung the Misery Index around Jimmy Carter’s neck. It consisted of the sum total of unemployment and inflation,” former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney wrote in today’s Boston Herald. “Today, we have a different set of ailments. Instead of unemployment coupled with inflation, we have a toxic blend of unemployment, debt, home foreclosures and bankruptcies. Their sum total is what we can call the Obama Misery Index.”
Romney first unveiled the term “Obama Misery Index” this past weekend in a speech to Republicans in New Hampshire. But this isn’t the first time Romney has tried to link Obama to dire economic situations of the past. Just last month, he described the current unemployment conditions in the country as “Obama’s Hoovervilles.”
“You’ve seen the heartbreaking photos and videos of the jobs fairs around the country, where thousands show up to stand in line all day just to have a chance to compete for a few job openings that probably aren’t as good as the job they held two years ago,” Romney said in a speech last month at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “These job fairs and unemployment lines are President Obama’s Hoovervilles.”
Obama is being greeted in “Beantown” with a sort of one-two punch. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., penned an op-ed in today’s Boston Globe coinciding with the president’s visit, urging him to put aside partisan politics in order to alleviate the country’s financial burden.
“I’ve come to believe that America faces three great challenges: jobs, debt and a deficit of trust,” Brown wrote. “Creating jobs, growing our economy, and cutting wasteful spending are too important to let partisan politics get in the way. There is a D next to your name and an R next to mine. And while we don’t always agree, I hope we can work together to support pro-growth policies that will put people back to work and make the hard choices necessary to lead our country toward a fiscally responsible path so we can once again lead the world.”
Brown and Romney each called for a lightening of the tax burden on companies, especially for small businesses, and eliminating “out-of-control fiscal policies” and “binge spending habits.”
“The failed stimulus program cost around $800 billion. Obamacare is going to cost another trillion,” Romney wrote. “The denizens of the White House appear not to know it, but employers and entrepreneurs worry a good deal about the federal deficit and the federal debt.”
“I hope we don’t have to wait two years for a new president to fix things, but I fear we might. What the occupant of the Oval Office needs to do, and do now, is focus on getting Americans back to work.”