Obama campaign touts economic record ahead of first 2012 bus tour

President Obama's campaign is tagging his two-day bus trip in the Midwest later this week the "Betting on America" tour, an opportunity for the campaign to push its economic message against Mitt Romney in two key swing states.

In a statement released Tuesday, the campaign said the president intended to "talk about his efforts over the last three years to get our economy back on track, doubling down on American workers by saving the auto industry, investing in manufacturing and bringing jobs back to America," as he travels through northern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. 

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The bus tour, Obama's first this campaign year, is scheduled to begin Thursday, and the president is expected to draw sharp contrasts between his economic policies and those of GOP candidate Mitt Romney.

In the statement, the campaign continued its attacks on Romney's record as onetime head of private-equity giant Bain Capital and as former Massachusetts governor.

"The president’s vision stands in stark contrast to Mitt Romney, who believes in an economy built from the top down and supports the same policies that crashed our economy and devastated the middle class in the first place," said the statement. 


"According to independent economists, Romney’s economic plan would fail to create new jobs in the short term, and even make our economy worse. And by proposing $5 trillion in tax cuts weighted toward the wealthy, Romney’s plan requires either further increasing our deficits or raising taxes on the middle class," it continued.

The bus tour, first announced last week, is seen by the campaign as an opportunity for Obama to shift his focus from the high-profile fundraising events that dominated his June calendar to greater engagement with voters. A campaign official said last week that the president's schedule would start to include more events to allow him to reach out to the electorate. 

Both Ohio and Pennsylvania are key battlegrounds in the November general election. Obama carried both states in 2008, and they are among 12 swing states expected to decide the 2012 race.

Polls last week showed Obama leading Romney in both states by comfortable margins. A Quinnipiac survey showed the president with a 9-point edge in Ohio and up 6 in Pennsylvania. 

Romney set out on his own bus tour last month, visiting six Midwestern states on a five-day trip.

Obama is no stranger to taking his economic message on the road. Last August, the president toured the Midwest as he sought to build public support for his job-growth agenda. In October, Obama hit the road again on a three-day tour of Virginia and North Carolina.