US & Canada

Obama and Romney offer US voters election choice

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionBarack Obama: 'We have a lot more work to do'

US President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney have laid out competing visions of the road to recovery in back-to-back speeches in the battleground state of Ohio.

Mr Obama offered what aides called a "framing" of "two very different visions" facing US voters in November.

Mr Romney accused the president of failing to deliver economic recovery, saying "talk is cheap".

The two men will face each other in November's general election.

No Republican president has won without Ohio, which Mr Obama won by 5% in 2008.

'Breaking the stalemate'

Taking the stage near Cleveland in Cuyahoga County, Mr Obama pitted his economic plan against Mr Romney's "top-down" vision, saying Mr Romney would lead the economy down the path it had taken for the last 10 years.

Mr Obama said his vision of the economy saw growth coming from the middle class and that voters had "two very different visions to choose from".

"This election is chance for American people to break the stalemate about America's direction," Mr Obama said.

He acknowledged that the economy was not where it needed to be, but said he believed Mr Romney's recipe for growth was wrong.

He emphasised the refusal of Republicans to pass any economic plans that involved raising taxes for the wealthy, and warned that deep spending cuts backed by Mr Romney and many Republicans would hurt the recovery in the short term.

"Your vote will determine the path that we take as a nation. Not just tomorrow, but for years to come. When you strip everything else away, that's really what this election is about," Mr Obama said.

After his speech Mr Obama was to move on to New York City, where he is scheduled to appear at a fundraising event alongside actress Sarah Jessica Parker and Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

Speaking earlier in Cincinnati, Mr Romney said the reason the president needed to give a speech on the economy was "because he hasn't delivered a recovery for the economy."

"He is going to be a person of eloquence," Mr Romney said, "But don't forget he's been president for three-and-a-half years, and talk is cheap. Action speaks very loud."

Mr Romney criticised the 2010 healthcare law, the economic stimulus bill and the White House's decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline project.

"What he says and what he does are not always the exact same thing," he said of Mr Obama.

Mr Romney's campaign stop in Cincinnati was part of a five-day bus tour through the Buckeye State.

Campaign 'reset'

Correspondents say the president's Thursday speech was being framed by the Obama team as an opportunity to "reset" the president's campaign, which has faltered in recent weeks.

At the beginning of June, a key US unemployment report showed less-than-expected private sector hiring for the second consecutive month.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionA Romney campaign ad highlights Obama's "doing fine" remark

Democrats then lost a closely-watched special election to replace the governor of Wisconsin, before it was confirmed that Mr Romney and the Republicans raised nearly $17m (£11m) more than Mr Obama during May.

The president's news conference remark that the private sector was "doing fine" was quickly seized upon by his opponents, forcing a swift clarification from Mr Obama. It was "absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine", he said.

Republican rivals have used it as the basis of social media attacks, with the Romney campaign releasing a TV ad ahead of Thursday's speeches.

The Romney campaign video replays Mr Obama's recent "gaffe" against a backdrop of figures highlighting the unemployment situation and the economy.

Correspondents say the campaigns and groups that support them have spent more money on advertising in Ohio than in any other state: a total of $1.3m each, the Associated Press reports.

While latest opinion polls show the two candidates neck-and-neck analysts say that with 18 electoral votes, victory in Ohio is vital to win the White House.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites