By Paul Singer, USA TODAY
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said today it is time for President Obama to "stand up and take responsibility" for the continuing weak economy.
Romney stepped away from his family's week-long July 4 vacation this morning to address a new jobs report showing that the U.S. economy added 80,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate remained at 8.2%.
Romney said, "These are very difficult times for the American people," and "the president's policies have clearly not been successful in reigniting this economy." The former Massachusetts governor, who also struggled with a poor economy during his tenure in the statehouse, acknowledged that "in any jobs figures there are going to be factors ... that you cannot control," but "the things you can control you want to get right," and Obama hasn't.
Obama's policies have not restored the nation's economy to health, "and the president's going to have to stand up and take responsibility for it," he said.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement, "We cannot afford another term of this president because we cannot endure four more years of painfully high joblessness," and other Republicans echoed the same theme.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi attempted to shift the focus to Republicans' failure to pass legislation that would help the economy.
Noting that House Republicans plan to vote next week on a bill that would repeal the administration's signature health care overhaul -- a bill that has no chance of becoming law -- Pelosi said, "It's time for Republicans to abandon their agenda of obstruction and delay and work with Democrats to create jobs and strengthen the middle class."
Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement in response to Romney's remarks, "Mitt Romney says he has a better path, but ... independent economists have concluded his plan wouldn't create one job, wouldn't reduce the deficit 1 cent and could lead to another recession."