"It's shameful for a president to use the State of the Union to divide our nation," The Hill quoted Romney as saying in his preview of the speech. "And someone ought to tell him: In order for the economy to truly 'work for everyone,' everyone needs to be working. You know that this president has run out of ideas. He's run out of excuses. And, with your help, 2012 will be the year he runs out of time."
The State of the Union is expected to focus on reforming the tax code to make it more "fair," i.e., raising taxes on the wealthy.
Romney, a former Massachusetts governor estimated to be worth $250 million, released his tax returns Tuesday indicating he pays less than 15 percent on his income, the vast majority of which comes from capital gains made on investments.
"If tonight were the first message to Congress in a Romney administration, I'd have the courage to tell the American people how it is and tell Congress what we really need to do. I wouldn't spend my time blaming others for how we got in this mess; I'd explain how we're going to get out of it," Romney said.
"Tonight, the president will do what he does best. He will give a nice speech with a lot of memorable phrases. But he won't give you the hard numbers. Three years ago, we measured candidate Obama by his hopeful promises and slogans. Today, President Obama has amassed an actual record of debt, decline and disappointment. … What he's really offering are partisan planks for his re-election campaign."