Republican nominee Mitt Romney campaigned in the swing state of Ohio on Saturday, where he likened US President Barack Obama’s promises on job-creation to that of a failing sports coach.
Romney, fresh from being crowned the party’s official candidate for the White House election, unfavorably compared the job pledges made by Obama in 2008 against his subsequent record in office.
“One of the promises he made was he was going to create more jobs, and today, 23 million people are out of work or stopped looking for work or are underemployed,” Romney said at an event in Cincinnati.
“Let me tell you, if you have a coach that’s 0-23 million, you say it’s time to get a new coach.”
Stubbornly high US unemployment, currently 8.3 percent, and a bumpy economic recovery are widely seen as the biggest hurdles to Obama’s hopes of winning the national vote on November 6.
After the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, Romney and his White House running mate Paul Ryan are seeking to maintain momentum as Obama and his Democratic Party prepare for their convention starting Monday.
Ohio is a key battleground state which, along with Florida and Pennsylvania, is considered crucial to the outcome of the election.
Recent polls have shown Obama leading in Ohio, a major coal producer. But Romney is not far behind and is fighting hard — he has visited the state and mentioned it several times this year around his pledge to expand domestic energy production, a tactic he reiterated on Saturday.
“Paul Ryan and I have a plan that’s going to get America working again. It’s going to create about 12 million new jobs in America and about 460,000 jobs right here in Ohio,” Romney said, touting his energy policy.
Obama, meanwhile, left the White House on Saturday and headed to Iowa — the state where his ultimately successful first run for the presidency kicked into life four years ago.
The president was due to speak in Urbandale, close to Des Moines, as part of a four-day trip through swing states in the lead-up to his re-nomination at the Democratic Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
While Romney is hoping for a ratings bounce after the Republican convention, the focus of the political action has now shifted to the White House incumbent.
Obama’s top advisor David Axelrod said Friday that the president would use the Democratic convention to deliver the specifics that Romney’s speech on Thursday, which he said was packed with personal anecdotes and patriotic platitudes, lacked.