BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - A fired up Mitt Romney enlisted small-business owners at a town hall Wednesday in his re-energized offensive against President Obama, arguing that Obama is so disinterested in job creation that he hasn't met with his jobs council for six months.
"You know what he's been doing over the last six months?" Romney asked in a crowded gymnasium at a community center here. "In the last six months he has held 100 fundraisers. And guess how many meetings he has had with his jobs council? None. Zero. Zero in the last six months."
It was a reference to a Politico article that said the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness had not met publicly since January. Asked why, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday that Obama "has obviously got a lot on his plate" but said he "solicits and receives input and advice from members of his Jobs Council and others about economic initiatives all the time." Politico noted in its article that some on the 26-member council have not endorsed Obama.
Romney has been making hay out of Obama's statement last week that "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." Obama made the remark after citing roads, bridges, schools and other services that businesses need to thrive. Romney argued Wednesday that it shows how out of touch Obama is with the "character of America" and asked those in his audience who owned a business to stand and be recognized.
"Take that, Mr. President," Romney said, as the crowd of more than 500 cheered enthusiastically. He pointed out several signs in the crowd that read "I built my own business," "I created my business, not the government," and "Ohio for small business."
"These are fun," Romney said after reading several signs aloud. "Those who made those signs, thank you for reminding us who it is in America that creates jobs."
Although the signs appeared to have been homemade, a woman who asked to remain unnamed said that the audience had not been allowed to bring their own signs into the event. They were told when they arrived that "if anybody owns a business we have signs for you," she said.
One woman became visibly agitated and called Obama a "monster" as she described the state of "this awful economy" that was ruining her son's business. Romney quickly responded that "that's not the term that I use."
"I can," she shot back. "I'm an angry mom."
"You have every right to be angry," Romney replied.
For those keeping tabs on the veepwatch, Romney said he has "not chosen the person who will be my vice president."