Palacio and Hancock: Romney is out of touch

As Colorado Republicans prepare to go to their caucuses tonight, Democrats continue to say that Mitt Romney is wrong for Colorado.

Today, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Colorado Democratic Party Chair Rick Palacio addressed the media at Su Teatro in Denver’s Santa Fe Art District.

“Mitt Romney, as we are learning, is out of touch with the American people. He’s out of touch on jobs, education, healthcare, immigration, and his positions are wrong for Colorado and middle class Americans. Coloradans are learning that when it comes to Mitt Romney, the more you learn, the less you like,” said Palacio.

Palacio and Hancock both stressed that the economy is improving under President Obama and that they think it would be bad for Colorado and the country to change directions now.

Colorado Democratic Chair Rick Palacio speaks to the press Tuesday. (Kersgaard)

“President Obama has a strong record of leadership. In the last 22 months we’ve seen the economy grow. We’ve added 3.1 million jobs, after losing 700,000 jobs a month. By all accounts the economy is in much better position than it was when President Obama took office,” Palacio said.

Romney’s camp was quick to fire back.

“President Obama and his liberal allies continue to target Mitt Romney
with false and dishonest attacks because they are intimidated by his
candidacy. The president knows that he will lose the general election
if he is forced to compare his failed economic agenda with Gov.
Romney’s record as a successful businessman. That is why the Democrats
are trying to tear down Mitt Romney before he has even won the
Republican nomination.” emailed Ryan Williams, spokesperson for the Romney campaign.

“The interesting thing about Mitt Romney and his candidacy at this point is that there are a lot of Republicans who want anyone but Mitt Romney. He hasn’t broken fifty percent in any of the primaries or caucuses so far, but he is the frontrunner,” said Palacio in explaining why Democrats are focused on Romney at this point.

“Over the past two days we’ve seen polling data that shows weakness with Romney,” Palacio said. “The Washington Post reported that… 55 percent of those who are following the Republican campaign, disapprove of what the candidates are saying. While Mitt Romney is trying to finish off a weakened field of challengers, a recent PPP poll shows him with just about 37 percent in Colorado, well below the caucuses in Nevada and far below his winning total here in Colorado in 2008. Instead of strengthening his national lead, Mitt Romney appears to be losing ground and for good reason.”

Hancock emphasized that while Americans and Coloradans are still struggling with the economy, he thinks things are getting better. “This administration inherited the White House in the depths of one of the worst recessions this country has seen, certainly since the Great Depression. Today as we are standing here four years later, we can tell you we are making progress. Our unemployment is the lowest we have seen in three years. We are creating jobs today. We need to maintain that progress, Hancock said.

“I can tell you first hand that I’ve been in office just almost seven months and I’ve met with the president on no less than four occasions now.” He said he and Obama talk about education and how to create jobs.

“This administration clearly understands this region and what we are faced with in this economy.

“For me, it is not about partisan politics. The reality is that we need to keep moving forward to dig out of this very difficult recession. We need to keep making progress. We need to keep working to build opportunity for the middle class and for those who are most vulnerable.

“The reality is that right now in Congress we have too many games being played. Partisan politics is hurting the everyday citizen who is simply trying to keep a roof over their heads, simply trying to feed their families.

“That is what this election is going to be about. We need to put aside out Ds and Rs and stand together,” Hancock said.

Palacio said Americans are looking for a president who can sit down and get the job done across the aisle.

“That is not what we see from the Republicans running for president, from the Republican congress, or from Mitt Romney.”

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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