Obama says Washington still 'broken' after 4 years
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WASHINGTON -- As senior aides for President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney stepped up their political attacks against each other, the president said he was frustrated that he had failed to change the toxic political atmosphere in Washington after he was elected in 2008.
"Washington feels as broken as it did four years ago," Mr. Obama said in a taped interview on the "CBS This Morning" show.
"And if you asked me what is the one thing that has frustrated me most over the last four years ... it is that I haven't been able to change the atmosphere here in Washington to reflect the decency and common sense of ordinary people -- Democrats, Republicans and Independents -- who I think just want to see their leadership solve problems."
He added, "There's enough blame to go around for that."
Yet on other Sunday talk shows, his top supporters, along with those for Mr. Romney, continued to argue whether the presumptive Republican nominee had a role in shipping jobs offshore when he was a businessman, and used lucrative tax loopholes unavailable to most Americans.
David Axelrod, Mr. Obama's chief political strategist, said that when Mr. Romney ran Bain Capital, a Boston-based private equity firm, he was "involved in outsourcing" jobs and that he has shielded investments in offshore tax havens and kept a now-closed Swiss bank account.
"I'm not suggesting that, based on what we know, he's done anything illegal," Mr. Axelrod said. "But what I am suggesting is that he's taken advantage of every single conceivable tax shelter and loophole that we can see."
Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., alleged that Mr. Romney is trying to distance himself from his record running Bain Capital because of mounting questions about whether the firm advised some companies to lay off U.S. employees and replace them with workers overseas.
"Why is Mitt running away from his company, Bain Capital, like a scalded cat?" the Senate majority whip asked on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Although Securities and Exchange Commission documents list Mr. Romney as chief executive of Bain through 2002, Mr. Romney said in TV interviews last week that he had no active management role at the company after February 1999. Bain's known involvement with companies that moved jobs overseas came after 1999.
Ed Gillespie, Mr. Romney's campaign adviser, said on "Meet the Press" that outsourcing continues in the current U.S. economy partly because the Obama administration has imposed "excessive regulations" and has insisted on a high corporate tax rate.
First Published July 16, 2012 12:00 am