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New Obama ads slam Romney as 'outsourcer in chief'

The 30-second commercials, poised to air in Iowa, Virginia and Ohio, continue attacks on Romney over a story last week in The Washington Post that described his former private equity firm as having underwritten some of the "pioneers" of outsourcing.

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“The Washington Post has just revealed that Romney’s companies were pioneers in shipping U.S. jobs overseas, investing in firms that specialized in relocating jobs done by American workers to new facilities in low-wage countries like China and India,” says the narrator in the ads, which are individually tailored to each of the states.

The Ohio ad questions Romney's assertion that he would "stand up to China," while the Virginia version takes aim at Romney's claim that he would create thousands of new jobs. In Iowa, Obama's ad challenges Romney's assertion he'd provide "fewer worries."

The Romney campaign has pushed back on the president's line of attack, saying that the Post article confuses outsourcing — where companies hire other companies to perform tasks usually done in-house — with offshoring, where jobs are sent overseas. But Obama twice mocked that defense during campaign stops Monday.

"Yesterday, his advisers tried to clear this up by telling us that there was a difference between 'outsourcing' and 'offshoring,' " Obama said in Boston. "Seriously. You can’t make that up. What Mr. Romney and his advisers don't seem to understand is this: If you’re a worker whose job went overseas, you really don’t need somebody explaining [to] you the difference between outsourcing and offshoring. What you need is somebody who is going to wake up every day fighting to make sure that investments and jobs are happening here in Massachusetts, and here in the United States of America."

Romney advisers have responded by accusing the president of attempting to distract from his own economic record, and maintained the attacks are an unfair characterization of the companies' work during Romney's tenure at Bain.

“This is a fundamentally flawed story that does not differentiate between domestic outsourcing versus offshoring nor versus work done overseas to support U.S. exports. Mitt Romney spent 25 years in the real-world economy so he understands why jobs come and they go," said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul in a statement.

Romney will campaign in Virginia on Tuesday and Wednesday, while Vice President Biden will spend those two days on a bus tour through Iowa. President Obama is fundraising in Atlanta and Miami on Tuesday.