In Ohio, Obama rips Romney on jobs

President Barack Obama speaks about the economy during a campaign event July 16, 2012, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Jay LaPrete/Getty Images

(CBS News) CINCINNATI - Back in the must-win state of Ohio, President Obama said Mitt Romney's tax policies would create 800,000 jobs, but, "They wouldn't be in America."

At the first town meeting-style event of his re-election campaign, Mr. Obama cited "a new study by independent economists" that concluded Romney's plan to eliminate taxes on the foreign income of U.S. companies would create jobs abroad, not in the United States.

"They'd be in other countries," said the president in remarks to a wildly supportive crowd of 1,200 gathered in the Cincinnati Music Hall.

The Obama campaign spotlights the study's conclusion that tax reforms supported by Romney "would significantly increase incentives for U.S. firms to move economic activity abroad."

(Obama answers a young girl's question on his favorite Girl Scout cookie in Ohio on Monday.)

The study provided Mr. Obama with new ammunition to fire at his presumptive opponent's policies and portray them as oblivious to the needs of working Americans.

But the Romney campaign was quick to return fire, asserting the study was the work of a liberal college professor who contributed to the Obama campaign.

"It's another dishonest attack," said Ryan Williams, a Romney campaign spokesman assigned to attend Mr. Obama's campaign events and provide a rapid response to reporters.

Williams says the very policies the president criticized are supported by private sector members of his Council on Jobs and Council on Trade.

The president's latest visit to Ohio comes 10 days after his two-day bus tour that saw him make 10 stops in the Buckeye State.

President Obama carries a to go order as he exits a stop for lunch at the Skyline Chili restaurant in Cincinnati, Ohio, July 16, 2012.
Saul Loeb/AFP/GettyImages
While in Cincinnati, Mr. Obama dropped by Skyline Chili, a local eatery, where he schmoozed with other diners and ordered a couple of chili hot dogs and other specialties.

He also held a campaign fundraiser at which 25 supporters paid $25,000 per person or $40,000 per couple to attend. It was the 108th fundraiser he's done this year, and the 175th since officially filing with the Federal Election Commission as a candidate for re-election.

The main event was the first town meeting he's done since January. He faced questions about gay rights, clean energy and education policies.

On the lighter side, a little girl asked to know his favorite Girl Scout cookie.

(Obama stops for lunch at Skyline Chili in Ohio on Monday.)

"This is one of the toughest questions," the president said with tongue-in-cheek. He said he liked the thin mint cookies, which drew boos from aficionados of other products from the Girl Scout bake shop. "Peanut butter are good too," said the president.

The owner of a barber shop and beauty salon had some questions about administration policy but also asked the president, "When can I cut your hair?"

"You would not want a president who was disloyal to his barber," replied Mr. Obama. "A man and his barber - that's a strong commitment."

"I won't let you cut my hair," the president told his questioner, "because my barber would be hurt."

But if it would help him win Ohio, Mr. Obama would undoubtedly let his whole family get its hair cut by the barber in Cincinnati.

Not only is this state deemed an indispensable part of his game plan to win a second term, some analysts say Romney can't win the White House without Ohio.

"Ohio is a critical state," said Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory, a Democrat, to the Obama crowd.

Mr. Obama won Ohio in 2008 with 52 percent of the vote.

Our CBS News tally shows this is the president's 24th visit to Ohio since taking office, his 11th since filing as a candidate for re-election in April 2011.

He made it clear to his Cincinnati audience that he'd be back to both their city and state between now and the election.

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    Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent.

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