Romney addresses the Business Roundtable (Evan Vucci/AP)Mitt Romney offered a preemptive rebuttal to President Barack Obama's major economic speech planned for Thursday, predicting Obama will "change course" and "acknowledge" the nation's economic recovery "isn't going well."
But Romney warned Americans not to be swayed by Obama's "eloquent" speech, insisting Obama's "words are cheap" when it comes to what he's actually accomplished on the economy.
"His rhetoric will be soaring and eloquent, but I suggest you look at his record, not his words," Romney said at a Washington meeting of the Business Roundtable, an influential trade group made up of some of the nation's top corporations.
For the fifth day in a row, Romney slammed Obama's suggestion last Friday that the private sector is "doing fine," suggesting it's evidence that the president has a "lack of understanding" about the struggles of average Americans.
"He's been going across the country trying to convince people he's turning things around," Romney said. But faced with the "incredulity" of the American people to those claims, Romney predicted Obama will use Thursday's speech to argue he needs more time to revive the economy.
But Romney insisted Obama doesn't deserve more time, accusing him of offering "the most anti-investment, anti-business, anti-jobs series of policies in modern American history." Obama's policies, Romney argued, have slowed down job creation and had a negative effect on average Americans.
"This has been a tepid and unfortunate recovery for the American people," Romney said. "It breaks my heart."
The Republican nominee argued that, if elected, he would get the country back on track. And in perhaps a nod to Obama's attacks suggesting a Romney presidency would take the country "backwards" to the policies of former President George W. Bush, Romney insisted that he is the change agent in the race, not Obama.
"I'm not going back to a prior time," Romney declared. "This is a new time."
In a statement, Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith slammed Romney's speech, suggesting he made "dishonest after dishonest claim" about the president's record and "failed to offer any new ideas of his own on how to improve the economy."