Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks to supporters in a factory at the Elk Grove Village, western suburb of Chicago, Illinois, Aug. 7, 2012. (Xinhua/Zhang Baoping)
by Katherine Harbin
CHICAGO, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- In a campaign event outside Chicago, U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Tuesday accused President Barack Obama of making people more dependent on government, and criticized recent comments Obama has made about individual success.
Specifically, Romney accused Obama of trying to reverse a 1996 bipartisan compromise made by Republicans and President Bill Clinton to reform welfare work requirements, Romney referring to a July directive given by the Obama Administration granting waivers for states to administer their own welfare requirements.
Romney said that such measures lessened obligations and "took the work out of welfare," and that Obama was encouraging people to be more dependent on government.
"If I'm president I will put work back in welfare," Romney said at the event in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, speaking to workers at Acme Industries. "There is nothing better than a good job to help lift a family, to allow people to be able to provide for themselves, and to end the spread of a culture of dependency."
Romney also took issue with Obama for appearing to not recognize individual success and personal initiative, and attacked the president for placing too much importance on the role of the collective community.
The remarks referred to a July speech made by Obama in Roanoke, Virginia, where the president said federally-funded initiatives such as infrastructure projects played a role contributing to individual success.
"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help," Obama had said at the earlier campaign event.
"Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen," the president continued.
Obama's comments quickly drew fire from conservatives who criticized the president for not appreciating the work of small business owners. The Obama campaign later said the remarks were taken out of context.
Romney on Tuesday said Obama's comment that business owners didn't build their own business was "baloney," and added his own example to demonstrate.
"If (a) kid makes the honor roll, I realize that he got to school on a bus, and the bus driver got him there, but I don't give the bus driver credit for honor roll -- I give the kid credit for the honor roll," Romney said.
Romney was also in the Chicago area Tuesday for several fundraising events. Both Romney and Obama are gearing up for the heart of the U.S. presidential campaign season, with the presidential election scheduled for Nov. 6.