Mitt Romney is on an "Every Town Counts" bus tour rolling across six states won in 2008 by Barack Obama and now being courted by Republicans.
Moving ahead of the Republican presidential candidate through the same states is a "Middle Class Under the Bus" tour sponsored by the Democratic National Committee.
Romney says he'll visit the towns Obama forgot. "Washington's big government agenda should not smother small-town dreams," he told well-wishers Friday at the first stop, the New Hampshire family farm where he launched his campaign a year ago.
The DNC says its counter-tour will "highlight the broken promises" of Romney as governor of Massachusetts.
As election rhetoric heats up, so does slogan warfare.
The Obama campaign has been churning through one theme after another.
There was "Winning the Future" then "We Can't Wait." Also, "A Fair Shot," evoking former President Theodore Roosevelt's national activism. Then, "An America Built to Last" which morphed into "An Economy Built to Last."
The most recent Obama slogan is simply "Forward." That handed Romney an easy target. He quips Obama will take the economy "forward over a cliff."
Romney has mostly stuck with "Believe in America," also used by the last presidential candidate from Massachusetts, Sen. John Kerry in 2004. Lately, "Putting Jobs First" has also started appearing at Romney rallies.
"We're going to take our campaign all the way to the White House and win this thing," he declared Friday on the Scamman Farm in Stratham, N.H.
The tour will continue through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan, with short flights between some legs.
Meanwhile, Obama lunched with winners of a campaign contest and was hosting a reception to observe Gay Pride Month. The first family will spend the weekend in Chicago before Obama heads to Mexico on Sunday for an economic summit.
Follow Tom Raum on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tomraum. For more AP political coverage, look for the 2012 Presidential Race in AP Mobile's Big Stories section. Also follow https://twitter.com/APCampaign and AP journalists covering the campaign: https://twitter.com/AP/ap-campaign-2012