And the general election begins.
President Barack Obama name-checked his all-but-certain Republican opponent Mitt Romney for the first time in recent memory today, and dinged him for supporting the GOP budget put forward by Rep. Paul Ryan.
Obama poked fun at Romney for describing the budget as "marvelous — which is a word you don't often hear about budgets," he said, pausing to grin as the crowd of newspaper publishers and editors chuckled: "That's a word you don't often hear generally," Obama added, before launching into a point-by-point rebuttal of the budgdet, "so here's what this marvelous budget does."
Obama said the budget "makes the Contract with America look like the New Deal," quoting former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich calling the first iteration of the plan "right wing social engineering."
"It's A trojan horse disguised as a deficit reduction plan," Obama said, warning of cuts to entitlement programs and other areas of government spending.
"Reagan could not get through a Republican primary today," he added during the question and answer session, saying he would have been disqualified because he supported some tax increases.