WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney said Friday that the nation may be headed for another major economic turndown if President Barack Obama is elected to a second term.
"The same path means $20 trillion in debt, crippling unemployment, stagnant take-home pay, depressed home values, and a devastated military," he said during a stop in West Allis, Wis. "And unless we change course, we may be looking at another recession."
Job numbers out Friday showed 7.9 percent unemployment, a slight uptick since last month. Though the increase was minimal -- and just a tenth of a percent higher than when Obama took office -- Republicans have used it as evidence that the economy is getting worse, putting the blame on the president.
The GOP presidential nominee said Obama's economic policies are causing that level of unemployment. "He said that the unemployment rate would now be 5.2 percent. Today we learned that it is 7.9 percent -- it is 9 million jobs short of what he promised," Romney said in his closing argument. "Unemployment is higher today than when Barack Obama took office."
It was typical of Romney's stump speeches on the economy, and included promises to repeal Obamacare, increase drilling in the United States and expand trade to Latin America. He also promised to deal with the debt ceiling, a task he would have to complete but likely with far more difficulty than implied.
Romney said he expects the economy and job rates to remain the same until inauguration, but that he will quickly help improve them.
"When I am elected, the economy and American jobs will still be stagnant," he said. "I won't waste any time complaining about my predecessor. I won't spend my effort trying to pass partisan legislation unrelated to economic growth. From day one, I will go to work to help Americans get back to work."
If he wins, he said he can and will fix the economy.
"The only thing that stands between us and some of the best years we have known is lack of leadership," he said. "And that's why we have elections."