Cameron, speaking after new figures showed Britain's growth has stalled in the past nine months, said the country has dealt with adversity many times, recalling the loss of its empire and its comeback from the economic reversals of the 1970s, The Guardian reported. The newspaper said he used the phrase "it's called leadership" 17 times.
"Britain never had the biggest population, the largest land mass, the richest resources -- but we had the spirit," he said. "Remember it is not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Overcoming challenge, confounding the skeptics, reinventing ourselves, this is what we do."
Cameron offered little new in economic policy, calling for less regulation, spending cuts and tax incentives for businesses. He blamed the Labor Party for the country's economic difficulties, saying deficit reduction is a "bailout" of the governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
Under the Conservatives, spending cuts have been spread evenly, Cameron said, a statement many lower-income Britons dispute.
"This is a one-nation deficit reduction program -- from a one-nation party," he said.