CHESAPEAKE, Va. — After facing weeks of pressure from press and the Obama campaign to add more specific about his policy proposals, Mitt Romney is spending the day after the second presidential debate trying to turn the argument back on the incumbent.
At an afternoon rally here that featured country artist Lee Greenwood and conservative comedian Dennis Miller, Romney laid into the president for failing to offer his own detailed vision for the next four years.
"I think it's it's interesting that president still doesn't have an agenda for a second term," Romney said. "Don't you think it's time for him to finally put together a vision of what he'd do for the next four years if he were elected?"
He then joked, "I mean, he's gotta come up with that over this weekend because there's only one debate left on Monday!"
Romney's call for specifics was consistent with the barrage of press releases blasted out by his campaign and the Republican National Committee over the past 18 hours demanding that Obama outline his second-term agenda.
Romney's team is hoping the message will shift some of the burden of specificity off him and onto his opponent. They also believe the Obama campaign's relentless attempts to make the campaign about the Republican nominee — a "kil Mitt" strategy that's miles from the "hope and change" of 2008 — have given them an opening to exploit.
Shortly after Romney's rally, Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith issued a statement rejecting the Republican's assertion.
"One of the reasons why President Obama won last night’s debate is that he has a vision for his second term with specific, achievable goals to strengthen the middle class," she said, adding, "If Mitt Romney wants to talk about plans, he might want to start with coming up with some of his own.”
But Romney's dismissed Obama's goals — which include hiring 100,000 math and science teachers, and cutting the deficit by $4 trillion — as mere wishes, with no few actionable policies to back them up.
"I just think the American people had expected that the president of the United States would be able to describe what he's gonna do in the next four years," Romney told rally-goers here. "But he can't. He can't even explain what he's done in the past four years."
He added, "I mean, he spends most of his time talking about how my plan won't work. Well, what about his plan?"
McKay Coppins is a senior writer for the BuzzFeed News politics team, and the author of The Wilderness, about the battle over the future of the Republican Party.
Contact McKay Coppins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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