WAUKESHA, WI -- As Wisconsin voters head to the polls Tuesday, Mitt Romney was already looking past the Badger state, focusing his attention squarely on President Obama, whom he accused of failing to take responsibility for mistakes he has made as president.
"This president is unwilling to take responsibility for his mistakes, and he's going to be looking everywhere he can to find someone else to blame," Romney told roughly 100 supporters gathered in a sandwich shop here just outside Milwaukee.
Romney went on to offer a pre-buttal of President Obama's economic speech today -- happening nearly simultaneously -- saying he expected the president to attack Republicans for the pace of the economic recovery.
"Maybe he’ll look for the party that had no power whatsoever for the first two years of his administration, maybe he’ll say, 'Oh, it’s the Republicans.' But, you know, he had a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate for his first two years," Romney said. "He gets full credit or blame for what’s happened in this economy, and what’s happened to gasoline prices under his watch, and what’s happened to our schools, and what’s happened to our military forces. All these things are his responsibility while he’s president."
In Romney's remarks, he pledged to accept responsibility for mistakes he would "undoubtedly" make as president, but amid the ongoing political battle over assigning blame for rising gas prices, Romney lashed out at the president for an ad the Obama campaign released yesterday, linking Romney with "big oil" and the high price of gas.
"This is a tough time. So the president put an ad out yesterday, talking about gasoline prices and how high they are. And guess who he blamed? Me! Maybe after I'm president I can take responsibility for things I might have done wrong," Romney said. "But this president doesn't want to take responsibility for his mistakes. I mean, you talk about someone who is running as far away from Harry Truman's dictum as possible. Harry Truman had the sign on his desk that said, 'The buck stops here.' But this president is always look for somewhere else to point."
Obama's campaign was quick to respond, calling Romney's attacks "dishonest," and accusing him of muddying the president's -- and his own -- record on energy,
"Mitt Romney may try to rewrite history today, but he can’t shake away the facts of his record. The further Mitt Romney runs from his record of raising the gas tax and the further he runs to the right by embracing tax breaks for the big oil and gas companies and eliminating protections against Wall Street speculators manipulating oil prices, the more voters will be reminded of the fact that his policies hurt middle class and working families," Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said in a statement.