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Mr. Obama, too, attacked Mr. Romney and the Republican Party as plotting to take away workers’ rights, and he defended the auto bailout.

“Their plan says the best way to help work is to turn back workers’ rights,” Mr. Obama said. “When they’re trying to take your collective-bargaining rights way, when they’re trying to pass so-called right-to-work laws that really mean ‘right to work for less and less,’ you should know this isn’t about economics, this is about politics. I don’t understand why they have the nerve to talk about you like you’re some greedy special interest that needs to be beaten down.”

Of the auto bailout, Mr. Obama said he did the right thing, and ridiculed Republicans’ objections to it.

“They’re saying you made out like bandits,” the president told union workers, “and that we did what we did because it was all about paying back unions. Really? Even by the standards of political campaigns, that’s a lot of you-know-what. Workers made some of the biggest sacrifices. Hours were reduced, pay and wages were scaled back.”

The recoveries of General Motors and Chrysler have been constant themes in the president’s re-election campaign, particularly in states such as Michigan and the battleground of Ohio.

Chrysler has a massive assembly plant in Toledo, and in November it announced plans to spend $500 million to build a new version of its Jeep Liberty sport utility vehicle and to add a second production shift and 1,100 jobs at the facility in the first half of 2013. GM has a powertrain plant in Toledo.

The Obama campaign said Monday that the president’s rescue of the auto industry has saved nearly 155,000 jobs in Ohio, and that the state has gained more than 13,000 industry-related jobs since June 2009. On his way to the rally, Mr. Obama stopped at a diner in Toledo to have breakfast with three autoworkers, two of whom were laid off when Chrysler went bankrupt but have since been hired back.