Mitt Romney follows President Obama to Ohio with a different vision

April 20, 2012
By Maeve Reston, Los Angeles TimesLORAIN, Ohio — Eager to show conservative Republicans that he’s ready to take the fight to President Obama, Mitt Romney campaigned Thursday at a dusty drywall factory shuttered whenGeorge W. Bush was president — making the case that Obama’s economic policies have failed to revive the nation’s economy.

It was the second day of the Romney campaign’s effort to “bracket” Obama with “pre-buttal” and rebuttal remarks in the early days of their general election battle.

On Wednesday, Romney delivered a speech overlooking the stadium in North Carolina where Obama will deliver his Democratic convention address in August. The same day, the president touted his administration’s initiatives to retrain unemployed workers, during an event at Lorain County Community College.

Following Obama to Ohio, Romney spoke to more than a hundred people Thursday in the cavernous, empty factory where his campaign had hung a black banner bearing one of its new slogans: “Obama isn’t working.”

Romney noted that Obama had visited National Gypsum Co. in February 2008. He did not mention, however, that the thrust of Obama’s message that day was that he would take steps to keep jobs in America, in part by avoiding passing “unfair trade deals like NAFTA that put special interests over workers’ interests.”

“This factory used to have people working in it,” Romney told the crowd. “The people who are no longer working here … used to be able to shop, go out to restaurants for dinner now and then, or go to movie or — and they’re not able to do those things like they were before. So those other enterprises had to lay off people. Americans are hurting because of the lack of jobs under this president’s term, and his failure to end the recession and to start creating jobs.”

Alluding to Obama’s appearance in Elyria the day before, Romney said the president had argued that the campaign would come down to competing visions for America.

“If you want to know where his vision leads, open your eyes because we have been living it for the last three years. It leads to lost jobs, lost homes, lost dreams. It’s time to end that vision and have a vision of growth and jobs and economic vitality,” he said to applause.

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