President Barack Obama, campaigning in Mitt Romney's backyard, criticized his Republican rival anew Monday for what his re-election campaign says is a record of shipping American jobs overseas.
"Gov. Romney's commitment to outsourcing is not just part of his record, it's part of his overall economic vision that he and Republicans in Congress want to implement if they win this election," Obama said.
The Obama campaign has seized on reports that the private equity firm Romney once ran made investments in companies that were described as "pioneers" in outsourcing jobs to China and India. The Romney campaign says the reports do not differentiate between "domestic outsourcing" and "offshoring" and don't take into account work done overseas to support U.S. exports.
During a campaign event in New Hampshire, Obama said that explanation would do little to satisfy workers who have had their jobs moved overseas.
"You don't need someone trying to explain to you the difference between outsourcing and offshoring," he said. "You need someone who's going to wake up every single day and fight for American jobs and investments here in the United States."
The president, with his suit coat off and his shirt-sleeves rolled up, wiped sweat off his face during his 30 minute remarks to a 1,200-person crowd crammed into a hot Oyster River High School gymnasium in Durham, N.H. Later, he spoke to a boisterous crowd of about 1,800 at Symphony Hall in Boston.
Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams said Obama was resorting to "false and discredited attacks to divert attention from his abysmal economic record."
Obama's first stops on a two-day, four-state campaign trip were taking him into Romney's backyard. The presumptive Republican nominee has a vacation home in New Hampshire and served as governor of neighboring Massachusetts, where Obama went for an evening of campaign fundraisers.
As Obama arrived at Symphony Hall on Monday evening, a sizable crowd of onlookers gathered and a group of Romney supporters held a large blue Romney sign and chanted, "Mitt-Mitt-Mitt." A group of Obama supporters chanted back, "O-Bama" and "Yes, We Can."
The Romney camp, in a bit of a taunt, sent Romney's campaign bus circling around Symphony Hall before Obama's arrival, then parked it two blocks away as the president spoke to his supporters.
Obama was introduced by Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard University professor and Democratic challenger to Republican Sen. Scott Brown in this election. Warren chaired the Congressional Oversight Panel that oversaw the government financial bailout and was an outspoken advocate for Wall Street regulations and a consumer financial protection board that Congress ultimately passed in 2010.
Romney and the Republicans, Warren said, "want to repeal all the financial reforms so that Wall Street can call all the shots."
In his own remarks at Symphony Hall, Obama derided Romney and his allies.
"They argue if we help corporations and wealthy investors maximize their profits by whatever means necessary — whether it's by layoffs, or outsourcing or union busting — that that will automatically translate into jobs and prosperity and benefit all of us," the president said.
Obama told voters in New Hampshire and Boston that they would have the "final say" over how Washington moves forward in solving the nation's problems. And he warned them not to buy into millions of dollars in ads from Romney and his Republican allies that Obama said would shade the truth about his record.
"Doesn't matter if it's true, they'll just keep repeating it," he said in New Hampshire.