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July 15, 2012 at 5:00 PM
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Obama again rejects Romney apology call

RICHMOND, Va., July 15 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama said again in an interview aired Sunday he will not apologize to Mitt Romney for saying Romney's Bain Capital outsourced jobs.

In one of a series of televised interviews last week, Romney said, "He sure as heck ought to say that he's sorry for the kinds of attacks that are coming from his team." Romney is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Friday, Obama first refused to apologize. "Ultimately Mr. Romney, I think, is going to have to answer those questions," he said, "because if he aspires to being president one of the things you learn is, you are ultimately responsible for the conduct of your operations, but again that's probably a question that he's going to have to answer and I think that's a legitimate part of the campaign."

In Sunday's interview, the president repeated his refusal to say he's sorry.

"No. We will not apologize," Obama told WAVY-TV, Portsmouth, Va. "Mr. Romney claims he's Mr. Fix-It for the economy because of his business experience, so I think voters entirely legitimately want to know what is exactly his business experience."

Obama made his remarks on the campaign trail.

"And as the head of a private equity firm his job was to maximize profits and help investors," the president said. "There is nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, that company also was investing in companies that were called by The Washington Post 'the pioneers of outsourcing.' Mr. Romney is now claiming he wasn't there at the time, except his filings with the [Securities and Exchange Commission] listing says he was the CEO, chairman, and president of the company. ... Harry Truman said 'the buck stops with me' and I think understandably people are going to be interested in, 'Are you in fact responsible for this company you say is one of your primary calling cards for your wanting to be president?'"

Ryan says Mitt has no shortage of ideas

WASHINGTON, July 15 (UPI) -- The Republican chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee, Rep. Paul Ryan, said Mitt Romney was offering a detailed platform for sparking the economy.

Ryan, R-Wis., told CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday his party's presumptive nominee had been specific about his economic strategy since the primaries, which went a long way to putting him on the brink of the nomination.

"He was more specific than anybody running for president about specifically what he would do to prevent a debt crisis to create jobs, to reform the tax code, to reform these entitlement programs from bankruptcy," Ryan said.

Ryan dismissed the idea Romney had few ideas outside lowering taxes for big business and the rich.

"Mitt Romney has put out more specifics on reforming the tax code, cleaning up the corporate system, getting rid of special interest loopholes, lowering rates to 25 percent on the corporations," Ryan said. "He has put out more specifics on how to reform entitlement programs, to saved Medicare from bankruptcy, to cut government spending, to reduce the deficits than Barack Obama and the United States Senate has."

Vilsack: Drought a small bump in food cost

WASHINGTON, July 15 (UPI) -- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Sunday the drought affecting 61 percent of the country should have only a "marginal impact on food prices."

In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Vilsack said reports of a 30 percent increase in food costs seen at some grocery stores should not be related to the current drought.

"The prices and the impact of a drought will not likely be seen in the grocery aisles until later next year, 2013. If folks are using this opportunity to raise prices inappropriately, shame on them. It takes a long time for the prices to basically work itself through the system," he said.

Even with a reduction in the food supply -- which he said will not impact meeting the food demands of the country -- prices should not skyrocket.

"Fourteen cents of every food dollar that goes through a grocery store goes in the pocket of a farmer or rancher," Vilsack said. "So while these commodity prices will likely increase, it will have a marginal impact on food prices. What really drives food prices more significantly are energy costs."

Clinton meets with Egypt military leader

CAIRO, July 15 (UPI) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Sunday the United States wanted to remain a solid supporter of Egypt's democracy after meeting with Egypt's top general.

Clinton spent about 2 hours with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi in Cairo discussing the sometimes-tense relationship between the military ruling council and the newly elected civilian government.

"We know that Egypt's future is up to the Egyptian people, but we want to be a good partner," Clinton told reporters after the meeting. "We want to support the democracy that has been achieved by the courage and sacrifice of the Egyptian people."

Clinton said she was encouraged to see Egypt renewing its relations with other African nations and reported progress in discussions between the two nations on debt relief and foreign assistance.

Clinton called on Tantawi a day after she met with President Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate.

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