Mitt Romney Criticizes Barack Obama's 'Lazy' APEC Remark

11/15/2011 04:57 pm ET

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney criticized president Barack Obama on Tuesday over his recent comment that the United States is "lazy" when it comes to foreign investment.

"Sometimes I just don't think that President Obama understands America," Romney told spectators at a South Carolina factory that produces corporate signs. "Now I say that because this week, or was it last week, he said that Americans are lazy. I don’t think that describes America."

Obama delivered his "lazy" remark on Saturday to a group of CEOs at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in Hawaii, where he labeled America as lacking the necessary fire to promote itself in the global arena.

"We've been a little bit lazy over the last couple of decades," Obama said. "We've kind of taken for granted -- 'Well, people would want to come here' -- and we aren't out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new businesses into America."

Among the CEOs in attendance was Google's Eric Schmidt. The Hill notes that on the following day, he denounced the term "lazy", adding that the U.S. can "always" improve its ability to attract foreign businesses.

Foreign investment stands as one sliver of America's job troubles. Back on Sept. 6, Romney unveiled his plan, which included cries for reduced regulations on companies and diminished power for labor unions.

"America should be a job machine: jobs being created all the time, people looking for employees to join their enterprises," he said.

The following Monday, Obama countered with his own jobs plan -- rich with a mix of tax policy and corporate loophole changes.

"Instead of just talking about America's job creators, let's actually do something for America's job creators," he said.

While passage of Obama's full bill fell short in the Senate, the president has continued to push for pieces of the original legislation. One segment is expected to pass this week -- a bill that awards tax credits to companies hiring disabled veterans.