In his first campaign speech since returning from his trip abroad, Republican Mitt Romney on Thursday told an audience in the swing state of Colorado that President Obama has failed on the economy. And he wielded a scorecard to make his point.
"His policies have not worked," Romney said in Golden, Colo., outside Denver. "They have not gotten America back to work again. My policies will work."
Obama spent much of the day in battleground Florida before a planned evening trip to another swing state, Virginia.
For the second day in a row, Obama assaulted Romney's plan for cutting taxes if he were to become president, citing an analysis by the Tax Policy Center that says the Romney plan would help the wealthiest Americans but cost those in the middle class, an analysis that Romney's campaign has called biased.
"Look Orlando, we know better," Obama told an audence. "They have tried to sell us this trickle down tax cut fairy dust before. And guess what? It didn't work then. It will not work now."
The battle over economic principles resumed a give-and-take from before Romney's weeklong trip to England, Israel and Poland. And it came a day before the Labor Department releases its monthly jobs report, sure to amp up the focus.
In Colorado, Romney audience members received a copy of what he called the "presidential accountability scorecard," rating the two candidates on six areas including jobs, home prices and family income.
"When the president was here as a candidate accepting the nomination four years ago, he laid out the report card in which he hoped to be judged," Romney said, referring to Obama's 2008 Democratic nomination acceptance speech in Denver.
During that speech, Obama discussed what he considered to be the differences in the way Republicans and Democrats measured success. Obama said at the time: "We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business."
Romney attacked Obama's record, alluding to comments the president made earlier this month about how small businesses are built (and which the Obama campaign says have been taken out of context):
"I hope he understands that actually the people that have a good idea and start a business are the ones who actually build the business," Romney said. "We're at a 30-year low in the number of business start-ups that have occurred, a 30-year low, perhaps because he thinks government is the one that helps build businesses as opposed to people."