Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mitt Romney Claims $20M Raised in 2nd Quarter; Tim Pawlenty $4.2M

Romney Says Closed Steel Plant Symbolizes Obama’s Failures

Mitt Romney spoke to reporters outside the Allentown Metal Works plant in Allentown, Pa., on Thursday. 
Rich Schultz/Associated PressMitt Romney spoke to reporters outside the Allentown Metal Works plant in Allentown, Pa., on Thursday.
ALLENTOWN, Penn. — Standing before the locked gate of a steel plant that President Obama had once visited to promote his economic stimulus plan, Mitt Romney pointed out weeds and boarded-up windows on Friday and called the president’s handling of the economy a failure.
He did so just a day after the president used a rare White House press conference to pressure Congressional Republicans to come to the table and compromise to solve the federal deficit, while asking voters to be patient about the slow recovery and high jobless rate.
Mr. Romney seized on the issue, telling reporters: “The plant here had been open 100 years. It survived the Great Depression. It couldn’t survive the Obama economy.”
“Now the president says, ‘Just give me more time, and it could have been worse,”’ Mr. Romney continued. “It couldn’t have been worse for the people who worked at this plant. For them this is as bad as it gets.”
Mr. Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts who leads in early polls for the Republican nomination, maintained his campaign strategy of directing criticism at Mr. Obama as though he were already the nominee, even though the general election is more than a year away. During the 15 minutes he spoke and took reporters’ questions, he never mentioned any of his Republican challengers. Rather than visiting a crucial early primary state, he was making his first campaign trip to Pennsylvania, a state that usually votes Democratic in presidential elections — as if his anointment to run against Mr. Obama were all but inevitable.
The setting was the Allentown Metal Works, a plant that closed on Jan. 15 after struggling for years. Mr. Obama had toured the plant in December 2009 as part of a swing through Pennsylvania’s Rust Belt to promote the gradual positive effect of the $787 billion stimulus bill he had pushed through Congress. He said at the time that the stimulus created or saved as many as 1.6 million jobs and had turned around the economy and gotten it slowly growing.Read more...

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