Mary Altaffer, Associated Press
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds a news conference outside the Solyndra manufacturing facility, Thursday, May 31, 2012, in Fremont, Calif.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is giving President Barack Obama "an F, across the board" for his handling of the economy.

In an interview broadcast Friday, Romney tells CBS News that Obama lacks a "fundamental understanding" of how the free enterprise system works.

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The former Massachusetts governor says capitalism "is the only system that's ever been shown to lift people out of poverty." Yet, he argues that Obama believes "the way to do that is to have the government make investments and have the government choose the winners and losers."

He credits Obama for taking down terrorist leader Osama bin Laden in the interview but says the president gets a failing grade on foreign affairs. Romney complains that, quote, "the Arab spring has become the Arab winter" under Obama's watch.