BEDFORD HEIGHTS, Ohio - Mitt Romney today had a direct message for President Obama today on job creation: "Talk is cheap." The two were campaigning at the exact same time on opposite sides of Ohio.
"A lot of people can talk," Romney said. "Talk is cheap. You can be extraordinarily eloquent and describe all the wonderful things you can do, but when you cut through the words you can look at the record, and when you can see policies that have not created the jobs America needs, then you know it's time to choose a new leader, get a new coach, get America growing again."
Such direct comments from the Republican presidential nominee indicate a more confrontational candidate, perhaps in response to the Obama campaign's holding a double-digit lead in the crucial swing state .
With President Obama accusing him today of a "newfound outrage" over Chinese trade practices and disingenuous claims that he'd hold the Asian power accountable, and likening him to a "sly fox" today, Romney doubled down on his criticism.
He used the example of the factory where he spoke from today, of the American Spring Wire company, which has seen a loss of business and jobs due to overseas competition.
"They have artificially held down the value of their currency," Romney said of China. "They compete with our manufacturers, our guys go out of business and people lose jobs. And that is why one thing I will do from day one is label China a currency manipulator. They must not steal jobs in an unfair way."
This afternoon's event, dubbed a "business roundtable" and held on the storage floor of a factory that produces spring wire, was meant for Romney to speak and appeal directly to blue-collar voters and to draw a sharp contrast with President Obama on the economy.
The audience heard from a small group of CEOS, presidents and business leaders of manufacturing companies who expressed their concern about the direction of the country and insecurity about the economy.
"The message you're hearing is what I hear all over the country as I talk to people in the business world," Romney summarized. "They don't believe the policies of the last four years lead them to decide to invest more in America. And the president wants more jobs - he's going to talk about wanting more jobs. But what he has done has made it harder for entrepreneurs and businesses to make a decision to create more jobs."
The campaign trotted out Mike Rowe, TV host of Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs."
"People with dirty jobs, skilled tradesmen, they represent a fairly modest part of the population, but think about the results of what they do and think about the degree to which we all rely on it," Rowe said adding that he's "hopelessly addicted to paved roads, cheap electricity and indoor plumbing.
"So when I hear about millions and millions of unemployed people, I go to the same place everyone goes. I think, how in the world are we going to help fix that?"
Romney noted that Mike Rowe has made a name for himself by doing jobs other people don't want to do.
"Really ugly dirty jobs like standing with a politician," Romney joked.