Obama's 'antibusiness,' Romney charges
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- President Barack Obama's policies are the most hostile to business, investment and jobs "in modern American history," Mitt Romney charged on Wednesday, as the Republican presidential hopeful courted a group of chief executives gathered in Washington.
The former Massachusetts governor lashed out at Obama's record at a meeting of the Business Roundtable -- a group that includes the CEOs of companies from Aetna Inc. to Yahoo Inc. -- and touted his own plans to increase U.S. energy production, throw out and replace Obama's health-care overhaul and cut corporate and individual taxes.
Romney, who will accept the Republican party's nomination for president at its August convention in Tampa, made no new policy pronouncements before heading into a closed-door session with audience members. A Business Roundtable representative didn't respond promptly to a request for comment on how Romney's speech was received.
But the speech was his chance to pre-empt what Obama's campaign is calling a major economic address that the president has scheduled for Thursday in the key swing state of Ohio.
"He will speak eloquently," Romney said, before adding: "Words are cheap."
Romney rattled off a series of statistics that he said led him to conclude that Obama's hostility to business and jobs is at historical levels, including that there are 23 million jobless or underemployed Americans. But he didn't get into a detailed comparison of Obama with former presidents.
In the speech Romney also said he would try to balance the federal budget within eight to 10 years. The Associated Press noted that the former Bain Capital executive has previously said he would attempt to get the budget in balance by the end of a potential second term as president.
The candidate spoke a day after a new poll found that Obama's approval rating took a hit as anxiety about the economy grew.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll taken June 7 to 11 put the president's approval at 47%, down from 50% in the same poll in May. Voters are also split between believing Obama (with 43%) or Romney (with 46%) is better on jobs and the economy.
"If this election is about the economy, we are in for a tight race," the poll concluded.
The latest average of surveys from RealClearPolitics finds Obama and Romney in a virtual tie, with Obama clinging to a lead of less than 1%.
During a speech at a community college in Cleveland, Obama is slated to present the 2012 election as a choice between what his campaign says are Romney's policies in favor of the wealthy and Obama's efforts to help the middle class.
Separately, Romney's campaign got a shot in the arm on Wednesday, in the form of a $10 million donation from casino mogul Sheldon Adelson to a so-called super PAC supporting the former Massachusetts governor.
The gift to the Restore Our Future super PAC from Adelson -- who supported Newt Gingrich in the primaries -- appears to be the largest single donation toward Romney's campaign effort so far, The Wall Street Journal said.
Romney is also planning an Ohio campaign stop on Thursday, at a manufacturing plant in Cincinnati.