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Romney blasts Obama's 'lazy' comment to CEOs at APEC

By Jim Davenport

Associated Press



COLUMBIA, S.C. >> White House hopeful Mitt Romney criticized President Barack Obama today for saying the U.S. had grown "a little bit lazy" in trying to attract business investment.

The Republican former Massachusetts governor spoke from the floor of a Columbia sign-making factory during a brief stop in this first-in-the-South primary state. 

"First, sometimes I just don't think that President Obama understands America," Romney said. "Now, I say that because this week, or was it last week, he said that Americans are lazy. I don't think that describes Americans."

Obama's campaign spokesman said Romney's got it wrong and that the president was trying to encourage business leaders to create jobs. 

Romney also rapped the president for saying the U.S. had lost its inventiveness and ambition, citing a speech where Obama talked about lost ingenuity. 

Romney said Obama thinks the country isn't working hard enough. "I don't think he gets what's happening in this country," Romney said. 

Addressing a gathering of corporate chief executives at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Hawaii over the weekend, Obama was asked to discuss impediments to U.S. investment from the perspective of China. Obama said the U.S. still gets the largest share of foreign investment in the world. 

"But we've been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades. We've kind of taken for granted — well, people will want to come here — and we aren't out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business into America," Obama said.

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement that "only Mitt Romney would criticize the president for encouraging CEOs to promote the United States abroad in order to create American jobs and attract investment at home." 

LaBolt said Romney, when he worked in the private sector, "was more focused on outsourcing American jobs and creating profits for investors without any regard for the impact of his decisions on middle-class families."

White House spokesman Josh Earnest had said Obama was saying that the U.S. is "in a circumstance where we need to redouble our efforts to be engaged in this region."

Romney's campaign stood by its characterization of the president's remarks. Romney has been emphasizing the economy and jobs as he tries to give his campaign a lift.

"I'm convinced that America is not lazy — is not soft; has not lost its ambition or its inventiveness," Romney said. But "they're being held down today by a government that is too big, that thinks it know more than it does and that needs to be replaced by a people who fundamentally believe in American principles and the American future." 

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Anonymous wrote:
Romney is a parrot for the wealthiest 1%...
on November 15,2011 | 06:07PM
kainalu wrote:
Desperate times for desperate Republicans. Hasn't Romney learned? The Republican candidate that speaks the least, leads the polls. Everytime one of them opens there mouth and says anything, they drop like a mango.
on November 15,2011 | 06:26PM
honopic wrote:
Ed-Zachary! Every time a GOP candidate opens mouth, he/she inserts foot. The Dems can stop campaigning and let Uncle Miltie and the rest of the comics self-destruct. If the President just does his job from now on and doesn't make a single re-election speech, he wins in 2012 by default. As for me, my motto right now is DON'T RE-ELECT ANYONE. That goes for the city council, the mayor, the governor and all the bozos in D.C. Send Home The Clowns.
on November 15,2011 | 06:44PM
sonnyboy wrote:
put your money where mouth is, probably down below backside.. in 08 nobody new obummer but a smooth talking black dude. now he's got a record. big spending stimulus supposed to bing uneployment below 8 percent uh! uh!.obummer care 70% against, solyndra payback. freedie & fannie mac his two bros. ceo made off w/ millions. eric holder his twin bro. know nuthin a.g..just to name a few. he's got no chance. even donald duck can beat him. MIT ROMNEY BY A LANDSLIDE>
on November 15,2011 | 07:32PM
kainalu wrote:
Not just a smooth talker, rather, a smooth talking "black dude". You've been exposed.
on November 15,2011 | 08:22PM
Benibiker wrote:
The truth hurts...
on November 15,2011 | 07:07PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
How desperate these Republicans have become. He knew what Obama meant. He was just trying to twist things around. He thinks we're so stupid that we will buy into his charges.
on November 15,2011 | 07:29PM
joer wrote:
Unfortunately there are plenty of people who are stupid to believe these things.
on November 16,2011 | 05:05AM
joer wrote:
Unfortunately there are plenty of people who are stupid to believe these things.
on November 16,2011 | 05:05AM
Anonymous wrote:
eh u guys only approve the liberal view point!
on November 15,2011 | 07:34PM
808warriorfan wrote:
on November 15,2011 | 09:20PM
sluggah wrote:
Why would businesses want to come to the US? It's a lawyer's paradise, they sue for everything and are compensated regardless of the worth of the case. Insurance companies are just as bad, they just jack up the rates, settle with the vultures, and keep their margins. Accounting is a nightmare, too. They will flock to places with a less obtrusive legal and regulatory environment. Tort reform and IRS reform would be a start to decreasing costs for business and attracting back jobs.
on November 16,2011 | 05:35AM
cardoc wrote:
Mitt don't get it---stupid Mitt, Obama was talking about YOU! When you were a CEO, you did just what Obama is talking about. You went for the profit the easiest way, not the AMERICAN WAY. Mitt you laid off americans and out sourced the jobs to Asia.
on November 16,2011 | 05:53AM
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