After disputing whether he had previously said President Obama made the recession worse last week former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts said on Monday that President Obama made the recession worse.

Speaking at the annual July Fourth parade here on Monday, Mr. Romney told a crowd of supporters and passersby,“the recession is deeper because of our president,” adding, “it’s seen an anemic recovery because of our president.”

Mr. Romney made a similar assertion earlier when reporters had pressed him on the point near the parade staging grounds, after initially seeming to limit his commentary to the president’s handling of the recovery, which he said, “has been slower and more painful,’’ But then he went ahead and said it, that the president “made the recession worse.”