Obama, Romney Spar on Economy in Battleground State of Ohio

Posted June 14th, 2012 at 2:50 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday that the 2012 presidential election is about creating middle class jobs, while Mitt Romney, the likely Republican nominee, criticized the president for failing to revive the sluggish U.S. economy.

The two men delivered major speeches on the economy in the battleground state of Ohio.

Mr. Obama, speaking at a college in the city of Cleveland, said a “stalemate in Washington between two fundamentally different views” on the direction America should take is hurting efforts to revitalize the economy. He said the 2012 election is a chance for Americans to break that stalemate.

During a campaign stop in the city of Cincinnati, Romney accused Mr. Obama of making it harder to create jobs. He also said “almost everything” the president has done has made it more difficult for entrepreneurs to start businesses.

Romney said small businesses have been stifled by government regulations.

Thursday's speeches in the manufacturing heavy state underscore Ohio's importance to both Mr. Obama and Romney in the November general election. In recent years, no presidential candidate has won the White House without winning Ohio.

Mr. Obama is trying to rebound from a recent wave of bad news, including an unexpectedly weak jobs report for May, and from his comments last week that the private sector is “doing fine.” Republicans have said that comment shows how much the president is out of touch with the nation's economic woes.

Recent opinion polls suggest Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney are locked in a virtual tie.