Keywords: romney, obama, campaign, secretary of business, bureaucrat, bureaucracy
Campaigning in southwest Virginia today, Republican Mitt Romney criticized the president's idea of hiring a 'secretary of business' to spur the economy back to health. Romney pointed to the president's record of adding bureaucracy in Washington, saying its leadership that is needed, not another bureaucrat.
"I know the president is trying to figure out some way to suggest he has new ideas," said Romney, repeating that there are roughly 23 million Americans out of work or underemployed. "He came up with the idea of creating a Department of Business. I don't think adding a new chair in his cabinet will add more jobs on Main Street."
The campaign is running a new ad to accentuate the Republican challengers point.
"His solution to everything is to add another bureaucrat," the narrator says in the 30-second spot. "Why not have a president who actually understands business?"
The president floated the idea last week, saying he wanted to consolidate "a whole bunch" of government agencies.
"We should have one secretary of business, instead of nine different departments that are dealing with things like giving loans to (the Small Business Administration) or helping companies with exports," Obama told MSNBC.
The TV ad builds on Romney's business record, asking "Why not have a president who actually understands business?"
Secretary of Business
The Obama campaign responded by saying the president called on Congress in January to give him authority the streamline the Executive Branch so businesses could more easily access government resources.
The campaigns traded jabs Thursday after dialing back the rhetoric following Hurricane Sandy and the devastation the super-storm inflicted up and down the East Coast.
While the Obama campaign is trying to carry a pro-business mantle, Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul disputed their claims. She said Thursday the solution is not to re-elect a president whose policies are "hostile to job creators" -- citing reports on voter concerns about the president's health care law, increased regulations and proposed tax hikes for small businesses.
Republican running mate Paul Ryan, in Greeley, Colo., also mocked Obama on Thursday for the proposal. He said the country already has a secretary of business. "It's called the secretary of commerce," he said.