Posted at 04:27 PM ET, 07/18/2012

Romney on the offensive in Ohio

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Mitt Romney, on the ropes from fellow Republicans over his tax returns, has continued to ignore the issue on the campaign trail, instead taking a “Taxes, What Taxes?” approach. In an appearance here, Romney stepped up his attacks on President Obama, choosing to go on the offensive by using Obama’s words against him.

Romney has seized on Obama’s statement from a Virginia rally — “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen” — to paint Obama as anti-business.

“This is the height of foolishness ... it shows how out of touch he is with the character of America,” Romney said as the crowd applauded. “It’s one more reason why his policies have failed. It’s one more reason why we have to replace him in November.

“This idea of criticizing and attacking success, of demonizing those in all walks of life who have been successful, is something that is so foreign to us that we can’t understand it,” Romney said

Conservative outlets have picked up on Romney’s comments, which the Obama campaign has said is an attempt to change the subject.

Echoing Romney on stage was Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who alluded to the increasingly nasty and personal slugfest between the two campaigns.

“The Romney campaign and the Kasich campaign have something very much in common,” Kasich (R) said. “You know they spent all their time trying to smear me because I worked in business. You know why they did it, because they have nothing to sell themselves. Now they are releasing one smear attack after another, because Mitt Romney was in business, and they’ve got nothing to sell. So now they’re trying to smear him.”

Romney has been tag-teaming with Republican governors in swing states and arguing that policies put in place by conservatives have helped create jobs and rainy day funds in several states — Ohio’s unemployment rate is 7.3 percent, whereas the national rate is 8.2 percent.

“I was on a bus trip a few weeks ago you may have seen across Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan. ... I was in Indiana, Wisconsin, and these are the states headed by Republican governors, and you know what? They are doing the right things and it’s making a difference,” Romney said. “It’s time to have the principals of your state here applied in Washington.”

A fiery Romney, who said that he hadn’t made a decision about his vice president in the question-and-answer session, suggested that Obama cares more about getting reelected than creating jobs.

“In the last six months, he has held 100 fundraisers, and guess how many meetings he has had with his jobs council?” Romney asked. “None. Zero. Zero in the last six months. So it makes it very clear where his priorities are.”

By  |  04:27 PM ET, 07/18/2012

 
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