DELRAY, Fla. – Emboldened by a strong final debate performance, President Obama began a feisty sprint to Election Day with a scathing rhetorical assault on Republican rival Mitt Romney as a shifty, untrustworthy candidate who will “say anything to get elected.”
Obama wasted little time continuing the line of attack he launched Tuesday night, calling Romney’s foreign policy “wrong and reckless” and “all over the map.”
“During the debate, he said he didn’t want more troops in Iraq, but he was caught on video saying it was unthinkable not to leave 20,000 troops in Iraq, troops that would still be there today,” Obama said. “Last night, he claimed to support my plan to end the war in Afghanistan. … but he’s opposed a timeline that would actually bring our troops home. Early in this campaign, he said he’d do the opposite of whatever I did in Israel. But last night I reminded him that cooperation with Israel’s never been stronger. Last night he said he always supported taking out Osama bin Laden. But in 2007, he said it wasn’t worth moving heaven and earth to catch one man.
“We’ve come up with a name for this condition. It’s called ‘Romnesia,’” Obama said to laughter and applause. “We had a severe outbreak last night. It was at least stage-three ‘Romnesia.’”
Obama excoriated Romney for appearing to moderate his positions on teacher hiring, the auto bailout and Medicare reform over the past few weeks in a play for independent voters.
“We’re accustomed to seeing politicians change their position from like four years ago,” Obama said. “We are not accustomed to seeing politicians change their position from four days ago.”
“We joke about ‘Romnesia’, but you know what? This is actually something important,” Obama added. “This is about trust.”
Obama argued that he has been a consistent candidate with a long-standing economic plan, newly outlined in a 20-page glossy brochure and 60-second TV ad.
“The math in my plan adds up,” Obama said. “If we’ve got any math teachers out there, you can go ahead and look in this plan, and you’ll see that the numbers work. I won’t be running the okey-doke on you.”
In a statement, the Romney campaign ignored the “Romnesia” barb.
“In two weeks, a majority of Americans will choose Governor Romney’s positive agenda over President Obama’s increasingly desperate attacks. Mitt Romney has a real plan for a Real Recovery that will create 12 million new jobs with rising take-home pay, move us toward a balanced budget and create prosperity for all Americans,” said Romney spokesman Ryan Williams.
Obama took one parting shot at Romney over last night’s debate, noting that the GOP nominee failed to mention veterans in any of his remarks last night.
“Now, he may write off half the country as victims behind closed doors, but the men and women and their families who have served this country so bravely, they deserve better from somebody who’s applying to be commander in chief.”
The president mentioned veterans seven times, according to the transcript.