Mitt Romney, at a campaign event in Florida on Thursday, said President Barack Obama had “thrown the white flag of surrender” and had changed his slogan from “Yes, we can” to “No, I can’t.” Romney’s comments were in response to Obama’s interview with the Spanish-language station Univision earlier in the day.
Romney said he “couldn’t believe it when the president of the United States said he couldn’t get change from the inside.”
“His slogan was ‘Yes, we can.’ His slogan now is, ‘No, I can’t,'” Romney said. “He went from the president of change to the president who can’t get change.”
Romney said Obama had “no plan to get our economy working again.”
“Well, I do,” Romney said.
At a Univision forum, Obama said that the most important lesson he has learned during his first term was that “you can’t change Washington from inside, only from the outside.”
Obama said if he were to get a second term he wanted to convince Americans to put more “pressure on Congress to move issues forward.”
Obama’s comments amounted to a concession: the candidate who campaigned in 2008 on changing Washington and bringing about bipartisan consensus has not been able to accomplish what he promised. The president and many in his administration have become creatures of Washington, encouraging crony capitalistic boondoggles like Solyndra.
Obama’s words came weeks after Bob Woodward released a book that portrayed Obama as a president who lacked the “stamina” to achieve bipartisan consensus, even when Democrats controlled all three branches of government for Obama’s first two years in Washington. Obama has also politicized Washington. He has refused to meet with Republicans and attacked Paul Ryan’s budget during a speech to which Ryan was invited by White House aides. Obama conceded to Woodward he had made a “mistake.”
“No wonder he’s had such a hard time over the last four years,” Romney added.
The Obama campaign issued a defensive, panicky and feverishly-researched statement defending a supposed non-gaffe.
Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said Romney took Obama’s exact words “wildly” out of context and was engaging in an act of “desperation.”
Romney also attacked Obama for believing in income redistribution, calling it a “foreign” concept, and said unlike Obama, Romney could “get the job done from the inside.”