Republican issued a jobs plan; rival called it "you pay more" plan.
President Barack Obama addresses the crowd of supporters on his grassroots campaign tour at the Harold and Ted Alfond Sports Center of Rollins College, in Winter Park, Fla., Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Tampa Bay Times, Willie J. Allen Jr.) TAMPA OUT; CITRUS COUNTY OUT; PORT CHARLOTTE OUT; BROOKSVILLE HERNANDO OUT; USA TODAY OUT; MAGS OUT
GOLDEN, COLO. - Mitt Romney promised Thursday that his economic program will create 12 million jobs in the next four years, and likened President Obama to a "dog trying to chase its tail" when it comes to strengthening the sluggish recovery.
Firing back, Obama said his rival favors "trickle-down fairy dust" that has failed to fix the economy in the past, and unleashed a new television ad with a scathing summation of Romney's tax plans: "He pays less. You pay more."
The two men campaigned in battleground states hundreds of miles apart, the incumbent in Florida, his rival in Colorado, both on a mission to woo undecided voters in a race dominated by the economy and high joblessness.
Nor was there any summer lull in the television ad wars. Americans For Prosperity, an independent group that backs Romney, intends to launch a $25 million ad campaign beginning next week, said officials familiar with the arrangements. The organization was founded by David and Charles Koch, billionaire brothers, and has spent about $15 million in swing states this year on ads attacking Obama.
For Romney, the day meant a return to domestic campaigning after a weeklong overseas trip. Aides say he intends to disclose a vice presidential pick before the Republican National Convention opens on Aug. 27 in Tampa, Fla., but he told reporters: "I've got nothing to give you" about a decision.
Instead, he unveiled what aides called Romney's plan for more jobs and more take-home pay. It was backed by an eight-page paper arguing on the eve of the release of the government's report on July joblessness that the economic stimulus and other policies backed by Obama "exacerbated the economy's structural problems and weakened the recovery. ... At the present rate of job creation, the nation will never return to full employment."
Following the release of Friday's jobs report, Obama planned to surround himself with families who would benefit from the election year middle-class tax cut he's pushing Congress to adopt. "As dysfunctional as Washington can be, this fight is far from hopeless," White House senior adviser David Plouffe said.
In remarks in Golden, Colo., Romney said his economic policies would lead to the creation of 12 million jobs in the four years of his term, if he is elected, and help make North America energy independent, a pledge that aides said included Canada and Mexico as well as the United States.
Romney pledged expanded international trade, particularly with Latin America, and vowed to confront China over its own policies. He said he would help small business owners, improve the education system and cut spending to reduce the deficit. But he offered relatively few specifics, refusing to identify which tax breaks he would curtail and avoided naming programs he wants to cut.
Romney previously has said he wants to extend the tax cuts due to expire on Dec. 31 and grant a new 20 percent cut in tax rates, in addition, to stimulate growth. He has also said he will reverse some of Obama's proposed defense cuts.
In his remarks, Romney said he wants federal education funds that aid the disadvantaged and disabled to be tied to the student rather than flow to school districts, as is now the case.
He also criticized Obama for signing legislation that cut $500 billion from Medicare over a decade. Aides said he would restore the funding. Obama's approach is "like a dog trying to chase its tail, you just don't ever get there," he said.
Obama supports extending existing tax cuts except for individuals making more than $200,000 a year and couples with incomes over $250,000. He again cited a study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center that says Romney and other millionaires would receive a tax cut under Romney's plan. "In order to afford just one $250,000 tax cut for someone like Mr. Romney, 125 families like yours would have to pay another $2,000 in taxes every year," Obama said.
Later, Romney appeared with Republican governors at an event near Aspen, Colo. That teased speculation about a vice presidential pick, as some of the attendees -- New Jersey's Chris Christie, Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, South Carolina's Nikki Haley and Virginia's Bob McDonnell -- have been mentioned as possible running mates.
Each of the governors briefly addressed the crowd after Romney spoke, giving the setting the feel of a tryout of sorts. Haley was among the most aggressive, promising to fight to help get Romney elected. She said: "I know when we have Gov. Romney, someone's going to have our back."