Political watchers got a bit of 2012 deja-vu Thursday night as both President Barack Obama and his former Republican presidential opponent, Mitt Romney, traded barbs over Romney’s intended policy focus for his possible third presidential run.
Obama issued a thinly-veiled swipe at the “sudden” interest “a former presidential candidate” has shown in poverty during his remarks at House Democrats’ retreat in Philadelphia Thursday night.
“We’ve got a former presidential candidate on the other side who suddenly is just deeply concerned about poverty. That’s great! Let’s go! Come on, let’s do something about it,” Obama said, incredulously.
“I am glad that their rhetoric at least has shifted, but let’s make sure that the policies match up to the rhetoric,” he added.
Romney soon after took to Twitter to respond.
Romney was memorably felled in 2012 in part because he was perceived as wealthy and out of touch with average Americans, but he’s indicated this time around he’ll focus on proposals to combat poverty and inequality if he does make a third run for the White House.
Obama was at home in Philadelphia on Thursday, cracking jokes on “Deflategate” and House Democratic lawmakers’ hairstyles as well.
Speaking at the annual House Democratic retreat, Obama referenced the most recent NFL controversy ahead of the Superbowl on Sunday.
“I want to just remind the New England and Pacific Northwest contingents – this is the city of brotherly love, so regardless of what you think about Sunday, I want you all to keep it clean,” Obama said.
He was then interrupted by Rep. Joe Crowley, who shouted from the audience, “Bring your own balls!”
Obama asked if the congressman was a Giants fan, and Crowley replied that he supports the Jets.
“I was gonna say,” Obama added with a smile, noting the Jets place as rivals of the Patriots, “that’s why he’s so resentful.”
The Patriots have been accused of deflating their footballs during the AFC Championship game, prompting calls for them to be barred from playing in the Super Bowl this Sunday.
An NFL investigation did confirm 11 of the 12 footballs used during the first half of the game were under-inflated, but Patriots coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady have denied any involvement.
Obama has yet to weigh in formally on the scandal, and White House press secretary Josh Earnest previously said the administration plans to stay out of it.