By David Jackson, USA TODAY
President Obama ripped Mitt Romney Friday over a report that the Republican's private equity firm invested in companies that moved jobs out of the United States to low-wage countries.
"We do not need an outsourcing pioneer in the Oval Office," Obama said during a fundraising speech in Tampa, Fla. "We need a president who will fight for American jobs."
Obama cited a Washington Post report that Romney's old company, Bain Capital, "invested in a series of firms that specialized in relocating jobs done by American workers to new facilities in low-wage countries like China and India."
The article said that "during the nearly 15 years that Romney was actively involved in running Bain, a private equity firm that he founded, it owned companies that were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories making computer components, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission."
Romney aides said that Bain Capital created many more jobs in the United States, and that Obama is seeking to distract voters from his own economic record, including an unemployment rate of more than 8%.
"President Obama has the worst record on jobs and the economy of any president in modern history, which is why he is running a campaign based on distractions, not solutions," said Romney campaign spokesperson Andrea Saul.
In his Tampa campaign speech, Obama also told backers the nation is not just "digging out" from the 2008 financial collapse and a recession -- "we're digging out from an entire decade."
While he did not cite predecessor George W. Bush by name, Obama said the policies of that tenure gave rise to the economic problems still facing the nation.
Obama further scorned Romney for seeking to return to "the top-down economics of the last decade."
In criticizing Republican calls for more tax cuts and fewer government regulations, a baby in the crowd could heard crying.
"I can see somebody's depressed about this plan," Obama joked. "I know -- it's heartbreaking."
Romney and other Republicans say Obama policies, such as the stimulus and health care bills, have slowed down economic recovery.