Romney Hits Obama on Slow Economy, Still Stinging From London Gaffes

Romney campaign tries to re-focus on top issue - the economy.

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Still reeling from his first mucked up day across the pond, the campaign for Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney tried to return attention to President Barack Obama's stewardship of the flagging American economy on Friday.

Jumping on poor economic figures recently released, Romney economic policy adviser Glenn Hubbard said even though the 1.5 percent GDP growth matched expectations, it was still "quite disappointing."

"It's a picture of a decelerating economy where consumption spending and investment spending have decelerating growth," he said during a conference call with reporters. "Combined with consensus estimates from forecasters for the next year is the sign of an economy in a very slow growth mode."

But even though Hubbard touted Romney's economic plan of lowering taxes and cutting spending as a better prescription for growth than Obama's policies, he didn't blame the Obama administration entirely for the poor numbers

[Read: Romney gets mocked by London mayor.]

"The recovery itself lacks wind and oxygen," he said. "Part of it is just general economic events of the world. It is doubtless the case that uncertainty in the Eurozone situation weighs heavily on consumers and business people around the globe."

Hubbard identifies another major factor slowing the recovery – fiscal uncertainty because of inactionby Congress.

"Congress really needs to resolve both the blind path and make a commitment to tax reform," he said.

In Day Two of his three country foreign tour, Romney was still coping with poor press, particularly in the unyielding British publications, for insinuating on Thursday that London was not properly prepared for a successful Olympic Games.

"Mitt the Twit," said the headline of The Sun.

[Check out U.S. News Weekly: an insider's guide to politics and policy.]

Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson both took aim at Romney for his remarks, made in an NBC News interview.

Romney further fumbled by referring to opposition party leader Ed Miliband by the wrong title and publicly referring to a meeting with the top official at Britain's intelligence agency, known as MI6, which was supposed to remain secret.

Attempting to clean-up his mess, Romney tried to re-iterate in subsequent interviews that he was fully confident the London games would go well. Romney is widely credited with leading a successful turnaround of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games.

Democrats have been piling on Romney, issuing a web video cataloging news reports of his hectic first day.

The Obama campaign, meanwhile, debuted a television advertisement set to air during the Olympics depicting the president talking optimistically about the United States.Both Romney and Michelle Obama will attend the Olympics opening ceremonies in London, airing in the United States on Friday night.

[Photos as London prepares for the Olympics.]

"We're a nation of growers and doers and dreamers. We work hard for what we get and all we ask for is that our hard work pays off," Obama says in the ad, over images of American farmers.

Obama has been trying to counteract potential damage from comments he made in which he seemed to suggest small business owners owed their success solely to the government. Romney and other Republicans have seized on the comments as evidence of what they say is Obama's disdain for the private sector.

"I believe that the way you grow the economy is from the middle out. I believe in fighting for the middle class because if they are prospering, all of us will prosper," Obama continues in the 30-second spot. "That's the idea of America and that's why America is the greatest country on earth."

Rebekah Metzler is a political writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at or follow her on Twitter.

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