ABC News' Emily Friedman ( @EmilyABC ) reports:
At his first town hall of his newly-minted 2012 presidential campaign, Mitt Romney blamed President Barack Obama for the suffering economy, saying the rising unemployment rate and lack of economic growth will cost him the White House.
"I’m pretty confident that we’re going to have a republican House, republican Senate and a republican White House, because this president has failed," Romney told a packed lecture hall at the University of New Hampshire in Manchester.
"Look he’s a nice guy, he’s well spoken he could talk a dog off a meat wagon and yet he hasn’t delivered," said Romney. "We’ve had three years now – at the beginning it was all George bush – we’re not hearing a lot about George Bush now by the way, as we’re seeing unemployment at nine percent plus it went up again today."
"We’re not hearing a lot about George Bush because you know what he can’t keep blaming George Bush this is now his economy," he said. "And what he has done has failed the American people. And the borrowing and the spending and the 1.6 trillion dollar deficit these numbers are his, they are on his back, and that is why he it’s why he is going to lose."
Then, during a scrum after the town hall, Romney was asked again by a reporter about the state of the economy.
The presidential hopeful responded, "It's very disappointing, a lot of people are still hurting."
"It's simply inexcusable, it breaks your heart that this great country has so many people suffering as they are," he added. "The Obama policies have failed America. It's time to take a new direction."
Romney is now on his way to Washington, D.C., where he will speak tonight at the Faith and Freedom conference.