(CNN)–Mitt Romney's headed to the hometown of the man he'd like to kick out of the White House.
The former Massachusetts governor and all-but-declared 2012 Republican presidential candidate will be in Chicago Thursday to meet with business owners and talk about jobs and the economy.
Romney, who also made a bid for the GOP nomination in 2008, is considered a front-runner at this early stage of the presidential cycle–due to national and state polling, his strong campaign organization, and fundraising.
Chicago happens to be President Barack Obama's hometown and the city where he's headquartering his re-election campaign.
"Gov. Romney is going to take his strong pro-jobs message to every part of the country. The failure of President Obama to lift the nation out of its economic problems has created misery for millions of Americans, including in his home state of Illinois," Andrea Saul, spokesperson for the Romney for President Exploratory Committee, told CNN.
Illinois's unemployment level stood at 8.7 percent in April, slightly below the nine percent national jobless level, according to figures from the Labor Department.
Just last week Obama traveled to what could be considered Romney territory. The president headlined two fundraisers for his re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee in Boston, the city where Romney is headquartering his presidential exploratory committee.
The DNC has often criticized Romney for what they say is his tendency to change his stance on issues. DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan told CNN that Romney "may be ordering deep dish today, but knowing Mitt Romney I'm sure he'll flip and order thin crust tomorrow."
–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn