Nightly News | July 05, 2012
>>> it's been an interesting day on the presidential campaign trail. president obama is on his first bus tour of the race and he has some competing company on the road. nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker is traveling with the president in parma, ohio .
>> reporter: president obama began today's campaign in the vote rich swing state of ohio courting among others white working class voters who can make the difference in who wins and loses elections in the industrial heartland.
>> hello, ohio .
>> reporter: first stop? the manufacturing town of maumee where the president touted the bailout of the auto industry , which employs one of every eight ohioans.
>> governor romney said we should just let detroit go bankrupt. i refuse to turn my back on communities like this. i was betting on the american worker.
>> reporter: less than two miles away romney 's surrogates and potential vice presidential candidates tim pawlenty and bobby jindal hammered away at the incumbent president's message.
>> we know we aren't better off than we were four years ago. we know we can't afford another four years of this president.
>> reporter: intent on disrupting president obama 's carefully choreographed trip.
>> this group looks like they might get into some trouble here.
>> reporter: jindal and pawlenty repeatedly crossing paths with the obama campaign even arriving ahead of time demonstrating with their blistering attacks how important this state is to the electoral math in november.
>> we should dub his tour the broken promises tour for america's middle class .
>> reporter: but the president used the advantage of incumbency to announce a policy initiative that had the political effect of a direct appeal to the economic interests of voters in ohio .
>> just this morning my administration took a new action to hold china accountable for unfair trade practices that harm american auto makers.
>> reporter: prompting the romney shadow campaign to respond.
>> you've heard the phrase johnny come lately. when it comes to getting tough with china this is barack come lately.
>> reporter: this morning "the wall street journal " joined conservative critics in accusing the romney campaign of making contradictory statements about whether the mandate to buy insurance or pay a fee is actually a tax or a penalty. tomorrow a new jobs report comes out. if that report is as bad as the last one, it could create a new story line for both campaigns.
>> kristen welker on the road with the president tonight. thank you.