Obama, Romney keep sniping over outsourcing

(CBS News) WASHINGTON - Both sides in the race for the White House are putting some new twists on their messages, which they're taking to the swing states.

President Obama was in Ohio Monday and heads to Texas on Tuesday, as his presumptive Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, stumps in Pennsylvania.

Campaigning in Cincinnati Monday, Mr. Obama stopped for a local specialty - a chili dog - and joked, "I'm going to take mustard, no onions. Just because I gotta meet people!"

Romney is trying to put the brakes on the Obama campaign's so-far successful effort to keep the focus on Romney's wealth rather than the nation's economy.

But the White House isn't easing up, and is even trying out a new line of attack.

Mr. Obama's campaign has been accusing his opponent of being responsible for Bain Capital deals in which workers were fired and jobs outsourced, even though much of that happened after Romney says he'd left to lead the 2002 Winter Olympics.

On Monday, the president pushed the attack forward - warning that Romney would do the same in the Oval Office.

"Governor Romney's economic plan would in fact create 800,000 jobs," he said, adding to laughter and cheers, "There's only one problem. The jobs wouldn't be in America."

A Romney spokesperson countered, saying Romney's plan would lower corporate tax rates and actually remove incentives for companies to shift jobs overseas.

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On the defensive for a second week, Romney is trying to change the subject, accusing the Obama administration of cronyism - specifically of investing stimulus money in the ventures of the president's biggest donors, some of whom also sent work overseas.

On Fox News Monday, Romney said, "I think it's wrong. I think it stinks to high heaven, and I think the administration has to explain how it is they would consider giving money to campaign contributors' businesses."

Romney's new attack brought an immediate response from the Obama campaign, which charged Romney is avoiding his own record of outsourcing jobs and claimed the program Romney was attacking has supported almost a quarter million jobs in the clean energy sector.

Romney has campaigned less than the president in the last two weeks, spending part of the time at his New Hampshire lake house.

That's led to increasing speculation that Romney is narrowing down his vice-presidential choices.

The guessing-game continued Monday, when Romney met with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who's on Romney's short list.

To see Bill Plante's report, click on the video in the player above.

  • Bill Plante

    Bill Plante is a CBS News Senior White House Correspondent

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