Romney: Obama attacks over public employees 'absurd'

Evan Vucci/AP

Mitt Romney on Tuesday tried to rebut charges from President Obama’s campaign that he didn’t care about the plight of teachers, firefighters and police officers, arguing that hiring for such positions is handled at the local level.

“Of course, teachers, and fireman and policeman are hired at the local level and also by states,” Romney said on Fox News. “The federal government doesn’t pay for teachers, firefighters or  policeman, so obviously that’s completely absurd.”

Last week, Romney said of Obama: “He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message in Wisconsin? The American people did.  It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

The president has been touting a long-stalled jobs bill that he claims would put public employees back to work. Romney derided the plan, calling it a second round of federal stimulus.

"It didn’t work the first time," Romney said. "It won’t work the second time.”

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has said the $800 million stimulus bill passed in 2009 has saved or created several million jobs. Politifact concluded that some of the money helped states and localities keep cops, teachers and firefighters on the payroll.

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