THE WHITE HOUSE — In an intense day of campaigning Saturday, President Barack Obama and his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, criticized each other’s economic plans. Both candidates are touring swing states, where the November election is likely to be decided.
With the Republican National Convention over and the Democratic National Convention about to begin, and polls showing the two candidates virtually even, President Obama and former governor Romney are working hard for votes.
Two months before the election, Romney and his wife, Ann, campaigned Saturday in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Romney said her husband can solve America’s economic problems. “We have been across this country, and we have seen so many families and individuals that are hurting, that are looking for hope and are looking for help. Guess what? Help is on the way," she said.
The economy is the main issue in this year’s election, and a majority of voters polled say the president has not handled it well.
Romney told the crowd in Cincinnati he will do a better job of turning around the economy than Obama.
“We have a plan, Paul Ryan and I have a plan, that is going to get America working again. It is going to create about 12 million new jobs in America and about 460,000 jobs right here in Ohio," he said.
No Republican has been elected president without winning Ohio, and no Democrat has done so since John F. Kennedy in 1960.
Saturday was President Obama’s first full day of campaigning since the end of the Republican convention. He told fellow Democrats near the Midwestern city of Des Moines, Iowa he was not impressed with the convention’s main message.
“Everything is bad. It is Obama’s fault. And Governor Romney is the only one who knows the secret to creating jobs and growing the economy. That was the pitch. There was a lot of talk about hard truths and bold choices, but nobody ever actually bothered to tell you what they were.”
The president said Republican economic policies will only help the rich, and will not speed the recovery.
“They have tried to sell us these tired, trickle-down, you’re-on-your-own policies before. They did not work. They have never worked. They will not create jobs. They will not cut our deficit. They will not strengthen our middle class. They are not a plan to move our country forward," he said.
Obama was making his second visit to Iowa in less than a week. Also on his itinerary is his second visit in a week to the Western state of Colorado, as well as another stop in Ohio.
The president will go to Louisiana Monday to assess the government’s response to Hurricane Isaac, and he will campaign in the swing state of Virginia Tuesday.
The Democratic National Convention begins Tuesday in the southern city of Charlotte, North Carolina, where the president will speak Thursday.