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Romney Said Set to Blame Obama for U.S. Credit Downgrade

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney today plans to target President Barack Obama’s handling of the U.S. national debt and job creation, according to a Romney campaign official.

The former Massachusetts governor, who discussed defense policy yesterday during a stop in Nevada, will argue that Obama bears the responsibility for the August 2011 downgrade of the U.S. government’s credit rating by Standard & Poor’s, according to the Romney campaign official, who described the candidate’s plans on condition of anonymity.

The government’s creditworthiness returned as a campaign issue following a statement yesterday by Moody’s Investors Service that it may downgrade the U.S. credit rating unless Congress finds a way to reduce the percentage of debt-to-gross domestic product.

“For nearly four years, President Obama has presided over reckless spending and runaway debt,” Andrea Saul, a Romney campaign spokeswoman, said in a statement. “Now it’s clear that all Americans will pay the price, with another potential credit downgrade and over $5 trillion in new debt that the next generation will be forced to repay.”

House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said yesterday he was “not confident at all” that Congress would reach a deal on avoiding $1.2 trillion in spending cuts set to take effect in January.

Boehner blamed the Democratic-led Senate and a lack of leadership by Obama for inaction on finding an alternative to the spending cuts to meet the deficit target and avoiding the Dec. 31 expiration of tax cuts initially enacted in 2001 and 2003.

Romney and his running mate, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, also plan to say that Obama’s handling of the economy has led to the loss of 400,000 jobs held by women, according to the campaign official.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Shepard in Washington at mshepard7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at jcummings21@bloomberg.net

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