Obama chooses jobs as battleground
President Barack Obama has tried to tarnish Mitt Romney as a corporate titan who got rich by cutting rather than creating jobs, opening a new effort to undercut the likely Republican nominee's claims that his business background is just what America needs in a time of deep economic uncertainty.
At the centre of the Obama campaign effort are a new website, TV ad and online video including interviews with onetime workers at a Kansas City, Missouri, steel mill that Mr Romney's former private equity firm, Bain Capital, failed to successfully restructure.
Workers lost jobs and health care benefits. Pensions were reduced.
"It was like a vampire. They came in and sucked the life out of us," said steelworker Jack Cobb.
John Wiseman added: "Bain Capital walked away with a lot of money that they made off this plant. We view Mitt Romney as a job destroyer."
Countering the criticism, Mr Romney's campaign said the former Massachusetts governor welcomes an election-season conversation with Mr Obama about jobs.
"Mitt Romney helped create more jobs in his private sector experience and more jobs as governor of Massachusetts than President Obama has for the entire nation," Mr Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement.
Mr Romney's campaign has pointed to a net job loss during Mr Obama's presidency, most of which occurred during the first few months of his administration.
Mr Obama has touted the creation of 4.2 million new jobs over the last 26 months as his policies took hold.
Both candidates are seeking to pivot to voters' top issue, the economy, and away from the social issues that dominated after the president announced his support for gay marriage last week.