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UPDATE: As promised, President Obama and Mitt Romney faced off with about 250-odd miles between them Thursday, as both men delivered speeches on the economy from opposite corners of Ohio.
While the dueling speeches provided talking heads and pundits with the closest thing they've seen to a head-to-head match-up this general election season, ultimately, neither speech delivered the concrete specifics needed to fully compare exactly where they stand on economic policy. (That is unless you count disagreeing with the other guy as a policy blue print.)
Romney made the first move in Cincinnati, bumping his address up to begin half an hour before the president was set to take the podium. Meanwhile, in a more direct attempt to run interference a Romney campaign bus honked its horn as it circled the Cleveland venue of the president’s speech, the Washington Post reported.
The presumptive GOP nominee outlined his tripartite economic strategy to improve domestic energy production, abandon Obama’s health care proposal, and reduce the deficit, Fox News notes. Taking advantage of the opportunity to attack the president’s economic record, Romney compared the economy of the last four years to the financial crisis in Europe. "You call that forward?" he said, mocking the president’s campaign slogan. "That’s forward over a cliff. That’s forward on the way to Greece."
Obama responded quickly to Romney’s efforts to preempt him, offering an attack of the Republican’s proposals, Politico reports. "We tried this," the president said, drawing comparisons between Romney’s economic policies and those of George W. Bush. "If you want to give the policies of the last decade another try, then you should vote for Mr. Romney."
As was expected, Obama did not propose any new economy policies in the speech. He instead stood by his first-term approach of fortifying the middle class by creating stronger education programs and establishing infrastructure for the future, and blamed inaction on his proposals on partisan gridlock in Congress.
Thursday, June 14: So far the 2012 general election has been fought mostly through political ads, surrogate attacks and fundraising tallies. But Thursday, President Obama and Mitt Romney will come face-to-face. Well, almost.
In what is being heralded as one of the first near-direct clashes of the campaign, the two men will deliver dueling speeches on the economy in Ohio, just 250 miles apart at roughly the same time.
Obama will speak at a community college in Cleveland as part of his 21st visit to the Buckeye State since taking office in 2009.The Associated Press reports that the president is expected to draw sharp contrasts between Romney's economic vision and his own, which includes spending on education and scientific innovation, and cutting debt by raising taxes on wealthy.
Romney, meanwhile, will take stage at a manufacturing company in Cincinnati, where the presumptive GOP nominee will outline his own vision for the economy: cutting regulation and spending, scrapping the Obama health care plan, and supporting the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. The former governor squeezed off an early shot Wednesday, saying that he expected the president to speak eloquently but that "words are cheap" and actions "speak a heck of a lot louder."
Obama has rested his case somewhat on the assertion that nation's recent economic ills are largely remnants from the George W. Bush era, a perception shared by more than two-thirds of Americans, according to a recent Gallup poll. However, the president is taking some heat from Democrats outside the White House who feel he needs to offer a more concrete economic plan rather than simply attack his opponent, CBS News reports.