GLENN ALLEN, VA -- In a soaking wet blue shirt, President Barack Obama delivered almost his entire stump speech Saturday to an enthusiastic audience that had waited through a downpour to see him speak in a town outside of Richmond.
The president apologized early in the speech for messing up the hairdos of women in the audience.
“We’re going to have to treat everybody for a little salon, hair visit after this,” he joked as the rain fell.
What he didn’t apologize for was continuing to attack Republican candidate Mitt Romney on the subject of his tenure at Bain Capital and its involvement with companies that may have encouraged outsourcing.
“Mr. Romney’s got a different idea. He invested in companies that have been called pioneers in outsourcing. I don’t want a pioneer in outsourcing. I want some insourcing,” the president said to cheers.
On Saturday the Obama campaign released an ad titled “Firms” that will air in nine swing states. The ad superimposes newspaper article quotes such as this one from the Los Angeles Times: “In business, Mitt Romney’s firms shipped jobs to Mexico and China” over audio of Romney singing “America the Beautiful.”
The Romney campaign and the candidate himself have repeatedly pushed back at the Obama campaign’s claims that Romney deserves blame for any jobs that were moved overseas as the result of actions of the private equity firm he used to run.
Romney spokesperson Ryan Williams said in response to the president’s speech, “Americans are tired of the same old broken promises and dishonest attacks. They want a leader like Mitt Romney who keeps his word and is more focused on fixing the economy than telling stories."
And really, the president’s statement and the new advertisement are just more rocks thrown in the back and forth between the two presidential campaigns over Mr. Romney’s business background.
During an interview with NBC News Friday, Mr. Romney said the president needs to “rein in” his campaign and talk about “real issues.” And in an interview with ABC News, Romney said, “He [Obama] sure as heck ought to say that he's sorry for the kinds of attacks that are coming from his team.” An Obama campaign staffer earlier said that if Romney knowingly misrepresented his position at Bain Capital on Securities and Exchange Commission filings, that might be a “felony.”
Obama spokesperson Jen Psaki’s response to the request for an apology: “Mitt Romney is the same candidate who just a few months ago was questioning whether the President understood America, understood freedom, and spent a lot of time -- and a lot of time on his campaign still to date -- attacking him.”
In other words, don’t hold your breath on that apology-thing, Mitt Romney.
Obama finishes his two-day tour of Virginia with an event in the northern part of the state in a town called Clinton. Friday while rallying supporters in Virginia Beach, the president alluded to the mathematical importance of the state to get to 270 electoral votes. "If and when we get Virginia. We will win this election,” he said.
As First Read pointed out Friday:
Virginia -- with its 13 electoral votes -- is so important for Obama: A win there, plus in Colorado, enables him to surpass 270 electoral votes without winning Florida, Iowa, Ohio, and Nevada. But a loss there forces the president to MUST win either: 1) Florida; 2) Ohio; or 3) both of Iowa and Nevada to get to 270. And that’s assuming, of course, that Obama holds on to all the states John Kerry won in ’04.
The president has also been using this series of campaign speeches to highlight the need to extend the Bush-era tax cuts that are supposed to sunset at the end of the year for those who make $250,000 or less as well as call for an end to that tax cut for those who make over that amount of money.
“The Republicans disagree with me on this. Mr. Romney disagrees with me on this. And my attitude is, well, that's fine, but let’s not hold middle-class folks hostage. The top 2 percent, those tax cuts, that will be settled in the next election,” the president said Friday.
Next week the president is expected to travel to Ohio and Texas for more campaign events.