Meanwhile, Romney traveled into the heart of coal country in Beallsville, Ohio to sharply accuse the president of trying to destroy the coal industry in favor of wind and solar energy.
Surrounded by a sea of coal miners, Romney charged that Obama would bankrupt coal plants. He fired up the crowd of hundreds by drawing attention to something Vice President Biden said in 2007.
“His vice president said coal is more dangerous than terrorists,” Romney said. “Can you imagine that? This tells you precisely what he actually feels and what he’s done, and his policies over the last three and a half years have put in place the very vision he had when he was running for office.”
Romney also took issue with an advertisement the Obama campaign is running in Ohio that he said makes him “just scratch my head.”
“He talks about how wonderful it is and how we’re adding jobs to the coal industry and we’re producing more coal, and I thought, you know, how in the world can you go out there and just tell people things that aren’t true?” Romney said. “This is a time for truth. If you don’t believe in coal, if you don’t believe in energy independence for America, then say it.”
In Colorado, Ryan joined the battle, arguing that the president “has done all that he can to make it harder for us to use our own energy.”
Only Vice President Biden delivered campaign remarks that did not revolve around the energy issue. Instead he slammed Romney and Ryan in a speech in Danville, Va. for the impact spending reductions--combined with tax cuts--that the two have advocated could have for the middle class.
Biden drew immediate fire from Republicans for telling the crowd at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research that the GOP would deregulate banks, letting Wall Street “put y’all back in chains.”
Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul immediately seized on the line, with its vague slavery allusion, as a sign the Obama campaign will “will say and do anything to win this election.”
Philip Rucker in Beallsville, Ohio and Felicia Sonmez in Lakewood, Co. contributed to this report.