Team Romney is calling foul on a video released by the Obama campaign, featuring a partial quote from New Hampshire Republican National Committeeman Steve Duprey at a recent press conference that featured several local business leaders and state legislators.
“The Obama campaign has to rely on desperate web videos with quotes clearly taken out of context because the record shows President Obama has grown the national debt faster than ever before in American history and failed to deliver on his promises of a better economy and substantive entitlement reform,” said Romney state spokesman Michael Levoff of the video, “Governor Romney has proposed a clear plan to reform entitlement programs and revive the stalled Obama economy and job market.”
The actual exchange involved a question from Nashua Telegraph reporter Kevin Landrigan, who asked Duprey a question about Mitt Romney’s record at Massachusetts governor and his current plans to address the debt and deficit, citing an analysis that claimed they were not sufficient. In a lengthy answer, Duprey responded that the analysis in question did not factor in entitlement reform he projected would be part of a Romney economic plan.
Watch the video put out by the Obama campaign:
Now, read the full exchange:
Kevin Landrigan: “Steve, what about all we know about Romney record on deficit and debt. So far from what he has proposed in this campaign, most independent economists have said ‘it would explode the debt and deficit.’ If you contain all these tax cuts, and make these spending reductions, over time the debt goes way up from where it is right now. When he was Governor of Massachusetts, when he left office as you know you’ve seen the ads, the debt per capita in Massachusetts was higher than any other state in the country, he expanded debt dramatically when he was Governor of Massachusetts. How can we trust that record?”
Steve Duprey: “Well number one, he dealt with a Democratic legislature, just like I don’t think Governor Lynch would say that the budget that became law in NH was ‘his’ budget. You have to deal with the political facts that are on the ground.
“However, the independent analysis that you say that project an increased debt, assume that entitlements stay where they are. Because as of this point, Governor Romney adroitly, in my view, has not given specificity to entitlement reform. Because the minute he does, he will be excoriated.
“Remember when the financial markets were collapsing And John McCain went out trying to calm what we thought was a panic going on? And he stood in front of an audience and he said ‘the fundamentals of the economy are strong.’ And he went on to say “And by that I mean we have the most productive workers in the world, we have the most productive use of capital, we have the best spirit of entrepreneurship.
“And then I watch the allies of the Obama campaign spend over 10 million dollars doing ads where John McCain is quoted only as saying “the fundamentals of the economy are strong” as the market continued to deteriorate. It was extraordinarily misleading.
“The great thing that we see now about this debt and deficit: numbers don’t lie. When you criticize President Bush of saying he did more in one term to increase the debt than the 42 previous presidents, and then you’ve exceeded that: what’s your answer? Let’s not dance around: explain and defend what you’ve done. This election is a referendum on the performance of the president in the handling of the economy. That’s how voters are going to view this. As much as he might try and demonize Governor Romney, the fact is, this is a referendum on the president’s performance. And he has failed when we come to the debt and the deficit. You are right. Economists have said the debt would be – the deficit and therefore the debt would explode given some of the programs that Governor Romney has proposed if you do not reform the entitlements. The governor has said entitlement reform is the key. I think we all recognize that. He’s also perhaps being smarter or sharper than we were in 2008 by not giving great detail with that because I guarantee you in September we will see ads from allies of the Democratic party saying Mitt Romney is going to take away your Medicare and your Social Security.”