Romney and Obama go on the attack in dueling economic speeches

Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney
CBS News

Updated 4:40 p.m. ET

(CBS News) In the key battleground state of Ohio, President Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney made competing remarks just minutes apart on the number issue of the campaign: The economy.

Mr. Obama, speaking in the Democratic stronghold of Cleveland, and Romney, speaking in heavily Republican Cincinnati, outlined their visions of the economy but also attempted to define their opponent as being harmful to the recovery.

At Cuyahoga Community College, the president said, "If they win the election, the agenda will be simple and straight forward." He said Romney and a Republican Congress would reduce the government "to a few basic functions," cut regulations and cut taxes, which he said would be harmful to the national deficit.

The president said Romney wants to take "us back" to economic polices of President George W. Bush's administration.

"We were told that huge tax cuts, especially for the wealthiest Americans, would lead to faster job growth, we were told that fewer regulations, especially for big financial institutions and corporations, would bring about widespread prosperity. We were told that it was ok to put two wars on the nation's credit card, that tax cuts would create enough growth to pay for themselves. That's what were told."

"So how did this economic theory work out?" the president asked the crowd. "Mr. Romney is qualified to deliver on that plan."

"The debate in this election is about how we grow faster, and how we create more jobs, and how we pay down our debt," the president said.

Romney, meanwhile, noted the president's "eloquence," but said "talk is cheap."

"Action speaks very loud. And if you want to see the results of his economic policies, look around Ohio, look around the country, you'll see a lot of people are hurting," Romney said.

"So as you look at the president's record it is long on words and short on action that created jobs," Romney said.

Romney once again used the president's statement he made last week that the economy is "doing fine."

"If you think the President's right when he said the private sector is doing fine. well then he's the guy to vote for. But when he said that there was such an outpouring of response from the 23 million Americans out of work or underemployed that I think today he's not going to say it again," Romney said.

For his plan, Romney said he would increase trade, call out China for manipulating its currency and increase domestic oil, coal and gas production.

"I can guarantee you if I'm president on day one, we're going to get the approval for that pipeline from Canada, and if I have to build it myself to get it here, I'll get that oil into America," Romney said.

Romney recounted a discussion he had with Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who is also mentioned as a possible vice-presidential candidate.

"He said you know what I never heard my parents say why won't those people give me some of what they have. I never heard my parents say why won't the government give us some of what they had. Instead isn't it great to live in a country where hard work and education and risk taking you can achieve that yourself," Romney said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Obama touted what he called his "different vision for America," saying he would invest in education, research and development and renewable energy.

The president also reiterated his call to raise taxes on the "wealthiest Americans."

"If you really want to get the deficit under control, the tax code has to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more," he said, noting that Romney's plan includes cutting $5 trillion worth of taxes.

As both campaigns were so close to each other, the campaigns showed up at each other's events. Romney's bus, with the Romney campaign log, circled the site of the president's speech.

Both campaigns are likely to visit Ohio numerous times this campaign season, as it is a critical state to both campaign's election plans.

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    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for