From CBS News' Dante Higgins:
ON THE ROAD IN MICHIGAN -- John McCain responded today to Mitt Romney, who has been criticizing McCain for saying some auto industry jobs that have disappeared won't return to Michigan.
Despite the criticism, McCain repeated his assertion that those jobs won't come back.
"I just don't know of any expert, who believes that the old jobs are coming back. It's the new jobs we've got to create," McCain told reporters on his Straight Talk Express bus.
McCain recounted how this back-and-forth began a few days ago after his response to a question at a debate.
"I said the old jobs are not coming back. I don't know of anybody in Greenville-Spartanburg [South Carolina] who believes that the textile mills are coming back," McCain said.
"We've got the BMW plant, we've got the Michelin plant, we've got the whole new set of industry and businesses coming to South Carolina... So, I don't know what the debate's all about except I said what I said, Governor Romney challenged it and said I was pessimistic about the future of Detroit."
"I'm not, I'm optimistic. Totally optimistic," McCain said.
Clearly bothered by having to address it, McCain added, "It's kind of a continuation of the negative advertising and negative comments he's been making. If it isn't me it's Huckabee. But that's the way he's chosen to campaign."