President Obama during a campaign speech on Monday mocked his GOP rival Mitt Romney's campaign for pointing to differences between "outsourcing" and "offshoring" American jobs.
“Gov. Romney’s commitment to outsourcing is not just part of his record, it’s part of an overwhelming economic vision,” he charged. “Unlike Gov. Romney, I want to close the outsourcing loophole in our tax code.”
Obama last week, after a report from The Washington Post claimed that Romney’s former firm Bain Capital invested in companies that specialize in outsourcing jobs, slammed Romney as “an outsourcing pioneer.”
Romney’s campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul in response criticized the “flawed” report by charging it did not differentiate between “domestic outsourcing versus offshoring,” which is what Obama mocked in his speech.
"That's what they said. You cannot make this stuff up,” Obama said. “No, what Gov. Romney's advisers don't seem to understand is this: If you're a worker whose job went overseas, you don't need somebody explaining to you the difference between outsourcing and offshoring. You need somebody who's going to wake up every day and fight for American jobs and investment here in the United States. That's what you need. That's why I'm running.”
The Romney campaign slapped back later in the afternoon, charging that Obama "has no compelling case to make for a second term."
"That’s why he continues to use false and discredited attacks to divert attention from his abysmal economic record," said Romney spokesman Ryan Williams.
Obama blasted the former Massachusetts governor in his speech in New Hampshire, referring to him and his Republican “allies in Congress” as one entity with a shared vision.
“Gov. Romney, he fundamentally disagrees with my vision,” Obama said. “Gov. Romney and his allies in Congress, they believe, they have a certain idea about how they would proceed if they’re in power.”
Obama emphasized this fundamental “difference in vision,” calling the choice “the defining issue of our time.” He told the crowd the election is not about whether the economy is bad or still needs improvement.
“The debate in this election is not whether we need to do better. Everybody understands that our economy isn't where it needs to be,” Obama said. “Of course we need to do better. The debate is not whether, it is how. How do we grow the economy faster, how do we create more jobs, how do we pay down our debt? How do we reclaim that central American promise that no matter who you are you can make it here if you try?”
According to Obama, the options presented by both sides are clear.
“What's holding us back is not the lack of big ideas,” he said. “What's holding us back is a stalemate in Washington between two fundamentally different visions of which direction we should go. ... New Hampshire, this election is your chance to break the stalemate.
“The next president and the next Congress will face a set of decisions on the economy, on deficit, on taxes, that will have a profound impact not only on the country that we live in today but on the country that we pass on to our kids,” he continued.
Obama, speaking at a campaign event at Oyster River High School in Durham, N.H., wore a tie but no jacket, and began by acknowledging the heat in the auditorium. He interacted with the crowd, responding “I love you too, I really do” to shouted words of affection and grinning back at a woman who shouted “hell, no” during a pause in his attack on Romney.
He also told the crowd he is “not perfect” as a president or a man, noting that the first lady could confirm that. He said he never promised to be perfect; he did promise to “fight” for the American people. The president warned that the next few months would be full of ads criticizing him as a failure on the economy, or in “over his head” on the issues.
"That's what the scary voices in the ads will tell you over and over again,” Obama said. “They just repeat over and over and over again the same thing, doesn't matter if it's true. They'll just keep on repeating. That's what they do. That may be a plan to win the election, it's sure not a plan to create jobs."
The president will proceed to Boston for private fundraising events Monday evening.
--Updated at 4:05 p.m.