Romney blasts Obama on jobs in key swing state

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 30, 2011 11:54 AM
Romney blasts Obama on jobs in key swing state

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticized President Barack Obama's jobs record in a key swing state on Thursday by spotlighting a closed factory that Obama once touted as a symbol of economic hope.

Taking aim at an issue that could be Obama's key vulnerability in the 2012 election, Romney launched a 40-second Web video blaming the Democratic president's economic policies for 100,000 job losses in Pennsylvania and the total of 470,000 jobless workers in the northeastern state.

The video, coming on a day when both Romney and Obama were due to visit Pennsylvania, focuses on the Allentown Metal Works that closed in January, just over a year after Obama visited the plant to tout his economic stimulus efforts.

Romney was due to hold a news conference at the factory site on Thursday.

The economy and joblessness are considered among Obama's main weaknesses in his re-election effort. Romney is leading in opinion polls among the candidates seeking the Republican 2012 presidential nomination to face Obama.

Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and businessman, is trying to promote himself as an economics-savvy jobs creator.

Obama's victory in Pennsylvania in 2008 was instrumental in his presidential election victory. The state could be pivotal again in his 2012 re-election campaign.

The state has recently shown signs of favoring Republicans, partly as a result of the conservative Tea Party movement that helped Republican Pat Toomey win election to the Senate in 2010.

(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Will Dunham)