Obama, Romney Campaigns Each Focus on Rival Candidate’s Past Statements

Posted September 19th, 2012 at 2:30 pm (UTC-5)
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The campaigns of U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney traded political jabs on Wednesday, each focusing on past statements made by the opposing candidate.

Mr. Romney's campaign focused on recorded comments made by then-Senator Obama in 1998. In the recording, Mr. Obama appears to voice support for a government role in redistributing wealth.

Mr. Romney, for his part, says in an opinion piece published Wednesday in the USA Today newspaper that Mr. Obama's presidency has brought on a “stagnant economy that fosters government dependency.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney called the Romney campaign's release of the 14-year-old recording of Mr. Obama a “desperate” effort to “change the subject.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Obama said during a Tuesday appearance on CBS television's “Late Show with David Letterman” that whoever occupies the White House represents the entire country.

The president was responding to a question about remarks made by Mr. Romney at a private fundraiser in May, during which the Republican presidential candidate said that nearly half of U.S. voters are “victims” dependent on the government.

Mr. Romney's remarks at the May fundraiser were secretly videotaped, and video excerpts of his comments were released Monday by the liberal magazine Mother Jones.

Romney is shown on the video telling an audience that 47 percent of voters who supported President Obama pay no taxes, but believe they are “entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.” Mr. Romney said he is not going to “worry about those people.”

After the video was made public, Mr. Romney said his remarks were not “elegantly stated.”

The former Massachusetts governor will reach out Wednesday to the Hispanic community during a rally in Florida. President Obama has no campaign events scheduled for Wednesday.