President Obama continued to assail Mitt Romney for his record at Bain Capital during a campaign trip to New Hampshire on Monday — at one point mocking his GOP rival for trying to differentiate between outsourcing and offshoring.
Dubbing Mr. Romney an "outsourcing pioneer," the president told an enthusiastic crowd of supporters in Durham, N.H., that Bain was one of the first firms to advise companies to move U.S. jobs to call centers in China and India, a claim the Romney campaign vigorously disputes.
"Governor Romney's commitment to outsourcing is not just part of his record, its part of an overwhelming economic vision," Mr. Obama said, arguing that Mr. Romney supports "top-down"economic policies of past Republican administrations that have either failed or led to the 2008 economic crisis.
Mr. Obama also made a direct appeal to New England independents, acknowledging that New Hampshire has quite a few of them, with a promise to "work with anyone of any party who believes that we are in this together."
Mr. Obama's visit to New Hampshire coincided with a new poll out Monday that had him in a significant lead in the Granite State over Mr. Romney, 51 percent to 43 percent, according to the American Research Group. In 2008, Mr. Obama won New Hampshire and its four electoral votes, besting Arizona Sen. John McCain 54 percent to 44 percent.
Buoyed by the positive numbers, Mr. Obama appeared ebullient despite the overwhelming heat inside the gym at Oyster River High School.
"I know it's a little warm in here," he acknowledged at the beginning of his speech. "That's OK. That's OK. It's wonderful to be back."
The president may be enjoying the good news while he still can. The New Hampshire trip, the first stop in a Monday swing through New England that will include three fundraisers in Boston — one which will feature remarks by Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren — comes as the president and his administration are bracing for a Thursday ruling from the Supreme Court on the validity of the 2010 health care overhaul, his signature legislative achievement.
He made no mention of the case or the Supreme Court's Monday ruling on Arizona's immigration law in his Durham remarks.
The substance of the speech focused on the economy and tax fairness, but the lines earning the most applause focused on Mr. Romney's recent attempt to defend his record on outsourcing.
Mr. Romney's advisers, Mr. Obama told the crowd, defended Bain's involvement in promoting the transfer of jobs overseas by trying to differentiate outsourcing and offshoring.
A chorus of prominent Democrats — including former President Bill Clinton and Newark Mayor Cory Booker — has urged the Obama campaign to resist attacking Mr. Romney for his time at Bain, and Mr. Obama has attended several fundraisers featuring hedge companies and venture capitalist firms that do similar work to Bain.
But the president has not backed away from the message, instead seeming to double down on the theme on Monday.
On Tuesday, Mr. Obama will head to Atlanta and Miami where he'll make another appeal to Hispanic voters in the swing state of Florida. One of the evening appearances at the Fillmore Miami Beach will feature an appearance by singer-songwriter Marc Anthony.
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