TAMPA, Fla.–In a “pre-buttal” to the President Obama’s State of the Union Address scheduled for this evening, Mitt Romney today predicted that the speech would be more about the president’s re-election campaign, and less about the state of the failing economy.
“Tonight, the president will deliver his State of the Union,” said Romney, speaking on the floor of a out-of-business construction warehouse. “But make no mistake: What he’s really offering are partisan planks for his re-election campaign.”
“As I’ve traveled across the country, I’ve heard similar stories in virtually every corner of America, high unemployment, record home foreclosures, debt that’s too high, opportunities that are too few,” said Romney. “This is the real state of our union.”
“But you won’t hear stories like those in President Obama’s address tonight,” said Romney. “The unemployed don’t get tickets to sit next to the first lady.”
Romney’s speech came after a busy morning of his campaign, after his 2010 tax return and an estimate of his 2011 returns were made public. Romney made no mention of the taxes–or of chief GOP rival Newt Gingrich during his remarks, despite hammering the former speaker on his connection to mortgage giant Freddie Mac on the stump Monday.
Today’s speech maintained a sharp focus on President Obama, whom he referred to as a “desperate campaigner and chief,” and Romney’s speech included a phrase from the president’s last campaign — “Yes, we can” — against him.
“He’s asking the American people for another trillion dollars — and for another term in office,” said Romney. “And with this in mind he tells people, ‘We can’t wait.’ To which I say, ‘Yes, we can.’”
Romney said that he expected the president to make tonight’s speech a “victory” lap, telling the crowd, “What is critical is that we make today Barack Obama’s last State of the Union address. No more.”
Romney then previewed the speech that he would deliver tonight if he were currently president, saying that he would “pledge to do all that a president can to get American working again.”
“When it comes to the economy, my highest priority would be worrying about your job, not saving my own,” said Romney.
The Democratic National Committee released a memo in advance of Romney’s speech, listing seven things they said “you won’t hear” in the speech, attacking Romney’s record as a job creator.
“Today, Mitt Romney will deliver a major campaign speech aimed at distorting the president’s record and vision in advance of tonight’s State of the Union address,” read the memo. ” Romney knows that unlike President Obama, who will focus tonight on laying out a blueprint for an America that’s built to last and where hard work and responsibility are rewarded, he can’t win by running on his own record. That’s because it turned out to be an absolute disaster for America’s working and middle-class families.”