Jindal, Pawlenty on Obama's tail in Ohio, Pa.
Updated: 2:45 p.m. ET
(CBS News) As President Obama embarks on a two-day bus tour through Ohio and Pennsylvania, two of his rival's surrogates - Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty - are close on his tail with a bus tour that takes them through three of the cities Mr. Obama is visiting, blasting the president's record as they go.
Jindal and Pawlenty, both popular Republican figures and potential vice presidential picks, kicked off the Republican National Committee-touted "Middle-Class Promise Gap Tour" with a press conference in a Courtyard Marriott parking lot in Maumee, Ohio just hours before Mr. Obama was slated to speak there.
The event was supposed to take place at a Lucas County Recreational Center but was moved Thursday morning. According to Jim Dinoto, the owner of Line Drive Sportz, which runs the recreation center, the Romney campaign had never officially reserved the space, which was being used for a sports camp. The RNC said the event was moved due to rain.
Hitting Mr. Obama hard for what they cast as a lack of leadership experience and a host of broken promises to the middle class, Jindal and Pawlenty urged Americans to vote Mr. Obama out of office.
"His presidency has been a losing hand for America and for Ohio," Pawlenty said. "When he stands before the people of this country in this election, we should all recall the promises he made last time and the promises that remain unfulfilled and broken."
"We know that we are not better off than we were four years ago. We know that we can't afford another four more years of this president," Jindal added. "We've gotta get America back on track again... It starts by electing Mitt Romney this November."
Added Pawlenty in an interview with CBS affiliate WTOL: "Barack Obama's basic slogan for this campaign is, 'Hey, it could be worse.' Mitt Romney's slogan is, 'It will be better.' And I think people in Lucas County understand that."
About three hours after Romney's surrogates held the press conference, Mr. Obama spoke to an enthusiastic crowd in the same city - Maumee - where he announced that the United States plans to file an unfair trade complaint against China.
He also acknowledged the divisive nature of current electoral politics.
"Unless you have been hiding out in the woods somewhere you are aware of the fact that it is campaign season," he said. "I understand it's not always pretty to watch."
Still, he urged voters to stay involved.
"I'm betting you won't lose interest," he said. "I'm betting on you."
At about the same time, Pawlenty and Jindal held a rally at the Kentown Shopping Center in Parma, Ohio - also on Mr. Obama's travel itinerary - before heading to Pittsburgh for a Friday morning rally.
The two-day tour comes on the heels of a controversial week for Romney, who has taken some heat from the right for his response to an ongoing debate over whether the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act qualifies as a mandate or a tax.
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