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Obama, Romney campaign surrogates duke it out on TV blabfests

While Mitt Romney and President Obama were finishing up a little summer down time, their campaign surrogates were arguing issues and candidate character on the Sunday TV talk shows.

By Staff writer / July 8, 2012

President Barack Obama waves as he arrives from Camp David via the Marine One helicopter at the White House in Washington Sunday.

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

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Presidential campaign surrogates were all over the Sunday TV talk shows, defending their man and taking shots at their opponents.

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For President Obama, the main subject was the economy – in particular the lackluster jobs and employment figures that have dogged him for months, plus charges of big government overreach with his health care act. For Mitt Romney, it was his personal economy – new revelations about blind trusts and offshore holdings, including a secret corporation in Bermuda.

(For their part, the two principals were relaxing – Romney on vacation with his large family at their vacation compound on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, the Obamas just back from a weekend at Camp David.)

In Pictures: On the Campaign Trail with Mitt Romney

"This is the most tepid recovery – if it is a recovery – from a deep recession in American history,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on CNN's “State of the Union.” "The economy is just sputtering along and the reason for that, in my judgment, is because of what the administration chose to do: spend, borrow, pass this new Obamacare law with its penalty tax in it, its mandate tax."

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus pointed out that “there are almost half a million more people unemployed today than four years ago.”

"Remember, they said if we pass this trillion-dollar stimulus that we'd have 5.5 percent unemployment today,” Mr. Priebus reminded viewers on “Fox News Sunday.” “What that means, if they kept their promises, there would be 8.5 million more people employed today."

Per the Obama campaign’s talking points, Democratic National Committee Chairman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz – also speaking on Fox – countered with figures of her own: the private sector adding jobs for 28 months in a row and more than 4 million jobs added since Obama took office at a time when the economy was losing some 700,000 jobs a month.

"The progress that we are making is moving us forward," she said. "We haven't gone far enough. But we need to keep pressing forward and continue to focus on middle-class tax breaks and making sure that we can create jobs and make sure that we get the economy moving forward, and great if Republicans would join us in that effort."

The main line of Democratic attack Sunday was on new reports by Vanity Fair and the Associated Press regarding Romney’s offshore investments.

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