By Mike Lillis - 07/03/12 06:05 PM EDT
President Obama will use the week's coming bus tour to bash Mitt Romney as a cold capitalist who outsourced jobs for personal gain.
In a two-day sweep through Ohio and Pennsylvania on Thursday and Friday, Obama will tout his own economic recovery efforts — particularly his economic stimulus plan and the continuation of the Bush-era auto bailout — in an attempt to contrast those programs against Romney's actions as a high-finance guru.
Democrats — and even some Republicans — have pointed to Bain's record as evidence that Romney was willing to sacrifice middle-class jobs in order to enrich investors and executives, including himself.
Although some high-profile Democrats have warned that such attacks on Bain's success could backfire, Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said Tuesday that that theme will be central to the president's tour through the Rust Belt this week.
"Mitt Romney's economic philosophy has always put maximizing his profits above anything else," LaBolt during a phone conference with reporters. "As a corporate buyout specialist, he made a fortune by shuttering plants, firing workers and investing in companies that were pioneers in shipping American jobs overseas.
"He's selling the same failed formula that created the economic crisis in the first place," LaBolt added.
Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) piled on, hammering Romney for advocating the bankruptcy of Detroit's automakers, which Strickland said would have tanked Ohio's shot at economic recovery.
"Romney didn't bet on the American worker," Strickland said. "He bet against them."
The Romney campaign has pushed back vigorously against the outsourcing claims and accused Obama of trying to divert attention away from his own economic record.
Obama "has no compelling case to make for a second term," Romney spokesman Ryan Williams charged last month.
Obama's tour, which will shift the national debate back to the economy after roughly a week's focus on the Supreme Court's historic decision to uphold the healthcare reform law, is largely an attempt to rally blue-collar workers from two important swing states. Democrats are hoping such voters will relate to Obama's recovery policies, particularly as they differ from Romney's actions at Bain.
Central to Obama's economic platform this year are proposals to eliminate tax benefits for companies that send jobs overseas while simultaneously shifting new financial incentives to companies that bring jobs back to the United States.
"It's outsourcing versus insourcing," LaBolt said.
Strickland noted that the unemployment rate in every county of Ohio has decreased over the past year and attributed it directly to Obama's recovery efforts.
"He kept our noses above the waterline with the stimulus bill," he said.
Obama's bus tour is set to launch a day before the Labor Department releases June's employment numbers, a much anticipated event after May's figures came up far short of analysts' expectations.
— This story was updated at 2:45 p.m.