Washington: Republican Mitt Romney reintroduced himself to US voters on Thursday, touting a recovery plan he says will create millions of jobs, as his campaign warned the economy under President Barack Obama was "slipping into reverse."
Following his rocky three-nation tour where his controversial comments got more play than his foreign-policy platforms, Mr Romney turns to the swing-state of Colorado where he will push a plan to strengthen the middle class by slashing spending, cutting taxes and achieving energy independence by 2020.
His team laid out a full-court press on Thursday, complete with opinion pieces, a new ad attacking President Obama over small business and job creation, and advisers savaging the president for failing to turn the economy around.
"We can do this," Romney economic adviser Glenn Hubbard, dean of Columbia Business School, wrote in Thursday's Wall Street Journal, a day before the Labor Department is expected to report unemployment was stuck above eight per cent for the 42nd straight month in July.
"But to do so we must have vastly different policies aimed at stopping runaway federal spending and debt, reforming our tax code and entitlement programs, and scaling back costly regulations."
Hubbard called such elements "the core of governor Romney's plan for economic recovery and renewal."
A Romney reform programme would reduce individual marginal income tax rates across the board by 20 per cent and slash corporate income tax down to 25 per cent.
Hubbard said that would increase gross domestic product growth by up to one per cent per year over the coming decade, enabling the private sector to create a whopping 12 million new jobs in a Romney first term.
The White House, locked in a battle with Mr Romney over how best to pull the US economy out of a rut, has said such a move would add at least $5 trillion to the US debt and put the burden on the backs of middle class families.
But senior Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom and other aides put the blame on Obama, saying uncertainty over the president's tax and regulatory policy reduced GDP by as much as 1.5 per cent last year alone.
"There is a lot at stake in this election for the middle class, and it's shameful that America has a sitting president who has offered no policy agenda for a second term," Mr Fehrnstrom told reporters on a conference call.
"The economy is not just downshifting, it's slipping into reverse."
Mr Romney aides argued that a Romney presidency would work to reduce the drag on private business, and that a key plank in his recovery was boosting energy production and easing regulations on drilling.
"The governor will announce a goal of achieving energy independence in North America by 2020," deputy policy director Jonathan Burks said.
Mr Romney holds two Colorado events Thursday, one in Golden and another with several Republican governors near the tony resort of Aspen.
Story first published:
August 02, 2012 21:57 IST