Obama: Romney patriotic but short on new ideas

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at a fundraising reception at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, June 12, 2012. ( DAVID M WARREN / Staff Photographer )
President Barack Obama delivers remarks at a fundraising reception at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, June 12, 2012. ( DAVID M WARREN / Staff Photographer )
Posted: June 13, 2012

President Obama pitched himself Tuesday as the man to revive the nation's economy while casting Republicans as proposing "retreads" of failed ideas that help the only the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

Speaking to about 500 people at the Franklin Institute in one of three fund-raisers there, Obama described his Republican general election foe, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, as a patriotic American short on new ideas.

Obama touted his efforts at health care reform, Wall Street regulation and the bailout of the auto industry as fresh notions sparking an economic recovery.

"Does that mean I'm satisfied?" Obama asked as the crowd cheered. "Absolutely not. Because we have too many friends and neighbors who are still out of work. We know too many people with homes still under water. Too many folks still have too much trouble paying the bills at the end of the month."

Obama accused Republicans in Congress of hoping that Americans have forgotten how the recession started while trying to rollback his first-term accomplishments.

"We didn't forget," Obama said, his voice rising. "We remember. We're not going back. We're going forward."

Obama also promised to gain control of the national budget deficit, using a "balanced" approach that doesn't put the burden on the middle class or elderly citizens.

He mocked Republicans for expressing concern about the deficit after running it up during President Bush's two terms, saying: "They ran up the tab and tried to pass off the bill to me."

Romney, speaking on WPHT-AM Tuesday morning, said his approach to Pennsylvania's coal, oil and natural gas industries would help produce more jobs here if he is elected president.

Romney predicted a close race in Pennsylvania after host Dom Giordano noted that polls show him trailing in the state.

"We see Pennsylvania very much as being in play," Romney said. "We're very early in the process."

Polls of registered voters in Pennsylvania have consistently shown Obama leading Romney, though the president rarely rises to 50 percent in those polls.

A Daily News/Franklin & Marshall Poll last week showed Obama over Romney by 12 percentage points, 48-35 percent.

A Quinnipiac University Poll released Tuesday showed Obama leading Romney by six points in Pennsylvania, 46-40 percent.

Both camps seized on the Quinnipiac poll. Democrats used Gov. Corbett's declining popularity — 47 percent in the poll disapprove of his job — to link him with Romney. Republicans noted that those polled thought Romney would do a better job with the economy by a margin of 49-41 percent.

Romney is scheduled to visit Pennsylvania Saturday as part of a five-day, six-state bus tour. His campaign has not released details about that tour so far.

Politico.com reports that he will hold a campaign fundraiser in Pittsburgh on July 17.

Contact Chris Brennan at 215-854-5973 or email him at brennac@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisBrennanDN and read his blog, PhillyClout.com.

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