Obama: Romney delivers a "cow pie of distortion"

President Barack Obama greets supporters at a campaign grassroots event at the Iowa state fairgrounds, in Des Moines, Iowa, Thursday, May 24, 2012.
AP Photo/Nati Harnik
AP Photo/Nati Harnik

UPDATED May 25 10:38 a.m. ET

(CBS News) At a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday evening, President Obama attacked Republican challenger Mitt Romney's Bain Capital experience, but sought to make clear that his criticisms are not an attack on the private equity industry.

"There may be value for that kind of experience, but it's not in the White House," the president said to campaign volunteers and supporters at the Iowa Fair Grounds, adding that "corporate buyouts" are "not the president's job."

The president continued to challenge the experience of Romney --  a co-founder and partner at Bain Capital for more than a decade -- saying that his "world view" was skewed toward corporate interests.

"The last time he visited these fair grounds, he famously declared corporations are people," Mr. Obama said, referring to a statement Romney made in August.

"The job of the president is... to look out for the investor and the worker, the small companies and the big companies," the president said. "You're supposed to be thinking about everybody."

The president also took issue with a statement Romney made last week in Iowa, where he said the president has has created a "prairie fire of debt" by adding $5 trillion of debt. The president called Romney's statement a "cow pie of distortion," and had a $5 trillion figure of his own. He said Romney proposes $5 trillion in tax cuts without offering ways to pay for it. "It's like trying to put out a prairie fire with some gasoline," the president said.

This is the president's second campaign event in Iowa on Thursday. Earlier in the day he spoke at TPI Composites, a wind turbine parts manufacturing plant in Newton, where he pressed Congress to extend the renewable energy tax credits.

Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams pointed out the the president has been in power for nearly four years.

"President Obama has proven beyond all doubt that he is not serious about fixing our country's spending problem," Williams said.

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    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.