COLUMBUS, Ohio - Vice President Joe Biden kept up the attacks on Mitt Romney during a visit to central Ohio Thursday, criticizing the Republican presidential hopeful for opposing the auto bailout and holding onto a "philosophy" of outsourcing jobs.
Biden briefly visited a welding technology firm in Columbus before telling a friendly crowd of around 600 at a labor union hall that the manufacturing industry is rebounding because of President Barack Obama's policies and job-creating efforts.
Biden chided Romney, saying he outsourced jobs while running the private equity firm Bain Capital, a claim Romney has rejected. And the vice president defended the continued attacks by the Democrats on Romney's connection to the firm because Romney is using his time there as his "primary credential to be president of the United States."
"He did create jobs, but they were in Singapore, China and India," Biden said. "They weren't in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania."
The vice president's speech at the plumbers and pipefitters union hall in a key battleground state was to highlight the administration's support for the auto industry and manufacturing, which has added thousands of jobs in Ohio since the recession.
Manufacturing is the cornerstone of Ohio's economy, accounting for 17 percent of the state's gross domestic product with a total payroll of $33 billion annually, according to the Ohio Manufacturers' Association.
"Ohio is coming back. America is coming back," Biden said. "The middle-class is coming back."
Meanwhile, Romney kept the focus on the sluggish economic recovery under Obama's watch. Traveling in Massachusetts on Thursday, he cited new government figures showing that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose by 34,000 last week, a figure that may have been skewed higher by seasonal factors.
The pace of campaigning by the two sides in the state has been picking up in recent weeks. Biden's trip comes three days after the president held a town hall in Cincinnati. Romney made three stops in Ohio on Wednesday.
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