Mitt Romney responded to the June jobs report on Friday by blasting President Barack Obama and saying the "kick in the gut has got to end."
"American families are struggling," Romney said. "There is a lot of misery in America today."
According to the Labor Department report, U.S. employers added only 80,000 jobs in June, marking the third consecutive month of weak hiring. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.2 percent.
Speaking from a hardware store in Wolfeboro, N.H., Romney assailed Obama as lacking an economic plan and hurting job creation through over-regulation and high corporate tax rates. He said, "The president's policies have clearly not been successful ... in reigniting this economy and putting people back to work and opening up manufacturing plants across the country."
The presumptive Republican nominee also accused the president of failing to negotiate needed trade agreements and knocked Obama for "failing to effectively crack down on China" at the expense of American workers.
"It doesn't have to be this way," Romney said. "The president doesn't have a plan and hasn't produced any new ideas."
The former Massachusetts governor, who has been repeatedly criticized for not going into specifics on his own proposals, said he would invest in energy, open up trade with Latin America, stand up to China and cut corporate tax rates.
Romney also defended his decision to vacation with his family, after a Wall Street Journal op-ed criticized him for taking an expensive vacation while his campaign was struggling to respond to attacks on his Bain outsourcing record and the Supreme Court health care decision.
"I'm delighted to be able to vacation with my family," Romney said. "I think all Americans appreciate the memories they have with their children and grandchildren. I hope that more Americans are able to take vacations."
He added, "If I'm president of the United States, I'm going to work very hard to make sure we have good jobs for all Americans who want good jobs, and as part of a good job the capacity to take a vacation every now and then with your loved ones."
With respect to his own record on job creation, Romney sang a different tune when faced with crippling state debt and job losses in Massachusetts. In a 2006 video distributed by Democratic super PAC American Bridge 21st Century, then-Gov. Romney said he should not be held accountable for jobs lost during the early years of his administration and pointed to outside factors affecting the economy that he couldn’t control.
The Obama campaign was quick to respond to Romney's speech, issuing the following statement:
“The President brought us back from the brink of another Depression but he doesn’t believe our work is done -- he’s got a plan to restore the middle class and create a million jobs now that Mitt Romney opposes and Republican leaders have blocked. Mitt Romney says he has a better path, but over the past decade we saw where that took us -- to the slowest job growth since World War II, the collapse of our financial system and the deterioration of the middle class. In fact, independent economists have concluded his plan wouldn’t create one job, wouldn’t reduce the deficit one cent, and could lead to another recession. Mitt Romney’s economic policies failed before and instead of creating jobs, they would weaken the economy and undermine the middle class.”
Watch the video distributed by American Bridge 21st Century:
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