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PRESS Pass: Simpson & Bowles

Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, co-chairs of the president's fiscal commission and widely hailed as serious thought leaders on dealing with the country's economic problem, had strong criticisms for both men vying to be President of the United States for the next four years

Erskine Bowles, a former Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton, chided Romney's economic plan saying "the arithmetic just doesn't work."

When asked if Romney could justify his tax cut proposals, Bowles said “I don’t think he can and the math is easy to prove.”

Simpson, a former Republican Senator from Wyoming, was not surprised the president "walked away" from their commission's report that was released December 1, 2010. He argued that former President Bill Clinton would have made more of an effort to embrace the Simpson Bowles plan. "I know that he would've agreed," Simpson said, citing the bi-artisan support their report received from members of the commission. Clinton would have "wrapped [his] arms around it and taken it right into [his] heart."

On the 2012 race generally, Bowles believes it has become "a choice election," saying that Mitt Romney has not "given the American people the substance in his response to convince them that they ought to make a change today." 

Simpson, on the other hand believes the election will be a referendum on the president and that Romney's chance will come from "Obama fatigue."

"I think people are going to vote against Obama, which will be to Romney’s advantage."

Watch the entire interview with Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles above to hear more from the economic duo, including some strong words of warning to his own party from Alan Simpson.