The general-election campaign is underway — and so are the attempts to get into each other’s head. Each candidate devoted Wednesday to economic arguments about why he should win in November and also why, for very personal reasons, the other should not.
Speaking to about 200 people across from the stadium where Obama will give his convention speech, Romney hammered the president for failing to make good on his promises. Reading from Obama’s address when he accepted his party’s nomination in Denver four years ago, Romney used the president’s words against him in a speech that aides billed as a “prebuttal” to Obama’s nominating address.
“Were a trusting people. We’re a hopeful people. But we’re not dumb, and we’re not going to fall for the same lines from the same person just because we’re in a different place,” Romney said.
Citing job losses and the rise in the national deficit, Romney predicted that Obama wouldn’t be quoting much from his address or giving a true picture of his administration’s record.
“What you won’t hear at that convention is that for the last 38 months unemployment has been above 8 percent, that we’ve had 24 million Americans that are out of work, have stopped looking for work or underemployment,” Romney said. “You won’t hear that since he gave that speech and became president that there have been 50,000 more job losses in North Carolina.”
With 15 electoral votes, North Carolina will be a key battleground state in the general election. Obama won it in 2008 by a margin of less than 14,000 votes, his narrowest win in the nation. He will need a strong turnout of Latinos, college-educated whites and African Americans to win again.
In Ohio on Wednesday, Obama sought to draw a stark contrast between his efforts to continue investing in what he described as the foundations of America’s economic strength and “the other side,” which, he said, would put an end to those investments in favor of granting tax breaks for the rich.
At a community college in hard-hit manufacturing country near Cleveland, Obama declared that his commitment to workforce training programs — programs, he said, that Republicans would gut — has helped thousands of laid-off workers find new jobs.
To underscore that argument, Obama took the not-too-subtle “silver spoon” swipe at Romney, adding that there remains a role for government to give everybody a “fair shot” — not just the wealthy.
“Investing in a community college is just like investing in a new road or new highway or broadband Internet,” Obama told a crowd of a few hundred at Lorain County Community College, west of Cleveland. “These are not grand schemes to redistribute wealth. They’ve been made by Democrats and Republicans for generations because they benefit all of us. That’s what leads to strong, durable economic growth.”