Barack Obama 'lacks executive experience', says Mitt Romney


Mitt Romney has attacked Barack Obama over the US president's lack of executive leadership experience amid weak employment figures.

The US unemployment rate rose to 8.2% last month as the Labour Department reported just 69,000 new jobs in May, the smallest increase in nearly a year.

While campaign officials for Mr Obama claimed the dismal gains in employment were evidence of growth in jobs for the 27th straight month, they also acknowledged that the pace of progress was not acceptable.

They added that the US Congress had not yet acted on initiatives that would lead to more teachers and construction workers being hired.

However, Mr Obama's Republican challenger Mitt Romney's campaign has put the blame on the president, contrasting his record with Mr Romney's experience in running the 2002 Winter Olympics and his tenure as Massachusetts governor.

Senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said: "It's not that we don't think that this president is trying. I think he is. It's just that his policies are not working.

"We gave the keys to the largest economy in the world to a person who did not have any prior executive leadership experiences."

Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager for Barack Obama, said an estimated one million jobs would result if Congress approved Mr Obama's job proposals.

She said: "They need to get off their hands and stop rooting for failure.

"That's really what's going on right now."

Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, a Democrat and an Obama supporter, and the president's senior adviser David Axelrod, also criticised politicians.

"What we have right now is a Congress which has decided that there is a political advantage in stymieing this president, putting ideology ahead of country," Mr Patrick said.

Mr Axelrod said: "These are the architects of obstruction, and now they're complaining about the pace of the recovery. They should put down their political hats and join us and help solve these problems."

However, Ohio's Republican governor, John Kasich, said Mr Obama had failed to lead in what he called the dysfunctional environment of Washington, and called on the president to stop blaming Congress.

"I can't blame the legislature for things not getting done. I have to accept responsibility," Mr Kasich said.

"I don't think they know what they want to do."

With Republicans controlling the House of Representatives and Democrats the majority party in the Senate, the cooperation required to send a bill to the president might prove to be elusive in an election year.