ST. LOUIS - Mitt Romney today declared that the floundering economy under President Obama is not just a "failure of policy" but a "moral failure of tragic proportion," though he offered few new details as to what he would do differently as president.
"This president's misguided policies have seem muddled, confused and simply ineffective," said Romney, speaking at the minority-run Production Products, a military contractor that manufactures shelters to shield from chemical and biological attacks, among others.
"When you look around at America's economy, three-and-a-half years into this presidency, it's painfully obvious that this inexperienced president with no experience as a leader was simply not up to the task of solving a great economic crisis," said Romney. "This is not just a failure of policy; it is a moral failure of tragic proportion. Our government has a moral commitment to help every American help himself. And that commitment has been broken."
"I will not be that president of doubt and deception," said Romney. "I will lead us to a better place.'
Romney then shifted into his standard stump speech lines, vowing to "start the process" of repealing Obama's health care plan on his first day on office. As for reducing the national debt and curbing spending, Romney repeated his promise to analyze each government-backed program and ask whether it is worthy of "borrowing more money from China to pay for it."
He said again that he would work to simplify the tax rates and tax codes.
But the crux of Romney's message here was one that seemed to offer himself as a clear alternative to a president who last week saw a dismal jobs reports - one in which the unemployment rate increased and only 69,000 jobs were added in May.
"The president and his team would like us to believe that somehow it's the fault of the free market that things haven't gone right," said Romney. "That's just another way by the way of saying that it's your fault, and not theirs, that the real recovery hasn't yet arrived. We've waited, and waited, and waited for recovery. And now enough time has passed for us to pronounce judgment on the president's economic policies. They have failed."
"And with all that we've been through these past few years, the challenges can seem awfully big. Some might wonder if we have lost our confidence. But confidence is not what is missing-what's missing is a lack of direction and real leadership," said Romney.
"All of this can be more than our hope-it can be our future. It can begin this year. We don't have to wait. It can begin this year on November 6!" he exclaimed.