CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Standing in a factory here in a pivotal swing state Friday, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney made the case that American manufacturing is on the brink of a comeback, but he made no mention of the $2 billion loss by one of Wall Street's most recognizable banks.
"We're on the verge of a manufacturing resurgence in this country," Romney said to a packed gathering at Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company. "Jobs are going to come back with the right guidance."
While the former Massachusetts governor spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of supporters and blue-collar workers, he did not address news of a surprise $2 billion trading loss by a division of JPMorgan Chase. Though on a much smaller scale, the hit taken by the banking giant has drawn comparisons the 2008 Wall Street collapse and renewed talks of the need for regulation by some lawmakers.
But Romney's focus on Friday remained set on making the case that President Barack Obama has failed to develop alternative forms of energy, engages in class warfare, and has "scared the dickens" out of banks and insurance companies.
"One of the things I object to the most of the president's policies ... is to watch the president engage in this divisiveness, this pitting of one American against another American," he said.
The company where he spoke has gone 30 years without layoffs, and served as an example of the type of manufacturing boom a Romney presidency hopes to achieve.
Some of the candidate's biggest applause lines came when he promised one of his first executive orders would be that union and non-union workers can work on federal projects and "clamping down on cheaters like China when they take away American jobs."
North Carolina is predicted to be a pivotal swing state in the general election, with the winner here getting a significant boost in his chances of taking the White House.
"I'm counting on North Carolina next November to help us take the country back," Romney said as he took the stage after an introduction from North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr.
Saturday, Romney heads to another pivotal swing state to deliver the commencement address at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.