The Obama campaign on Wednesday escalated its attack on Mitt Romney's business career, with Vice President Joe Biden scheduled to aggressively question how Romney's management of Bain Capital might translate into running the U.S. economy.
On Monday, Obama's re-election campaign unveiled a new swing state ad questioning Romney's assertion that he was a job creator while running the private equity firm. The Romney campaign countered later in the day with its own ad.
On Tuesday, the Obama campaign's mantra was picked up by the pro-Obama superPAC Priorities USA Action, in what was officially (and by law) an uncoordinated ad — albeit, one with a very similar storyline.
And on Wednesday, Biden is scheduled to take the fight directly to Romney during a speech in Youngstown, Ohio.
"He thinks that because he spent his career as a 'businessman,' he has the experience to run the economy. So let's take a look at a couple of things he did," Biden is to say, according to excerpts released by the campaign.
Romney has defended his work at Bain as — among other things — helping struggling companies and helping to create jobs in total. He also has acknowledged that not all of Bain's efforts were successful, and has said he welcomes the focus on economics in a faceoff with President Obama.
But the Bain-specific attacks mirror some charges made before Romney's 1994 loss to Sen. Edward Kennedy in Massachusetts, and others from early in this year's GOP primary campaign.
Biden, in the noon speech, is to say: "Folks, this election is going to create a stark and fundamental choice between two different economic philosophies. ... In the 1990s, there was a steel mill in Kansas City, Mo. It had been in business since 1888. Then Romney and his partners bought the company. Eight years later it went bankrupt."
While Romney worked at Bain when GST Steel was acquired, he had left Bain to run the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City two years before GST Steel went bankrupt.
The Biden excerpts also say: "Romney made sure the guys on top got to play by a separate set of rules, he ran massive debts, and the middle class lost. And, folks, he thinks this experience will help our economy? Where I come from, past is prologue. So what do you think he'll do as president?"
Romney is campaigning in the swing state of Florida on Wednesday, and the Miami Herald's Adam C. Smith reports that the Obama campaign's anti-Bain attacks are taking place on a state level as well.
"At the heart of Romney's presidential campaign is an argument that his successful business record makes him best equipped to turn around the economy. Democrats are aiming to turn his strength into a vulnerability — a strategy that has worked before," Smith writes.