ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Mitt Romney says it's "absurd" to think he wants to reduce the number of teachers, firefighters and police officers.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee tells Fox News that President Barack Obama's charges to the contrary are "strange."
Last week, Romney told an Iowa crowd it's time to cut back on government and specifically cited firemen, policemen and teachers. The Obama re-election campaign seized on the comment as evidence that the Republican wants to cut middle-class jobs.
Romney tells Fox News that the criticism is "completely absurd." He says that the federal government doesn't pay for teachers, firemen or policemen.
While that's technically true in most cases, state and local governments depend on federal aid to supplement their budgets.
Romney is campaigning in Florida Tuesday.