Philadelphia, Pa. (CBS DC) — President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney rekindled their 2012 presidential campaign barbs Thursday, with Obama taking broad shots at the GOP and saying their party platform is “starting to sound pretty Democratic.”

Speaking to the House Democratic caucus in Philadelphia Thursday night, Obama exhorted a rallying cry for Democratic Party policies while taking shots at the Republicans – who hold a 58-seat majority in the House and 54-seat majority in the Senate. Obama said Republicans are just now realizing that the richest 1 percent of Americans are succeeding while a growing number of Americans are falling into poverty.

“Even though their policies haven’t quite caught up, their rhetoric is starting to sound pretty Democratic,” Obama said of Republicans at the House Democratic retreat. “I consider imitation the highest form of flattery.”

He added that Democratic policies have been successful where Republican positions have failed.

“What we know is that middle-class economics works,” he said. “That’s pretty rare where you have two visions, a vigorous debate, and then you test who’s right. And the record shows that we were right.”

Obama mocked Romney, his 2012 Republican campaign foe, as Romney has stirred debate as to whether he’ll run for the office for a third time in 2016. Romney is expected to make an announcement regarding his decision about 2016 Friday.

“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.

Romney responded to the president via Twitter: “Mr. Obama, wonder why my concern about poverty? The record number of poor in your term, and your record of failure to remedy.”

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Obama and his Democratic House allies stayed focused on messages to the middle class – a message Democrats say was missed during the midterms but has been reinvigorated in the president’s State of the Union address.

“Are we going to be an economy in which a few do spectacularly well, or are we going to be an economy in which everybody who’s willing to work hard can do well and succeed?” he asked. “What everybody here understands is that the ground that middle-class families lost over the past 30 years still has to be made up. The trends that have squeezed middle-class families and those striving to get into the middle class—those trends haven’t been fully reversed.”