Salem, New Hampshire (CNN) - Mitt Romney continued to step up his attacks on President Barack Obama Thursday, charging he was a "crony capitalist" who protected his own job ahead of Americans'.
During a town hall with voters at the Salem Boys and Girls Club, Romney repeatedly said the president had looked out for his friends and donors to the detriment of economic growth.
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"The president is a crony capitalist. He's a job killer," Romney said. "People who happen to contribute to his campaign are finding they get government help in starting their business. This is crony capitalism."
Romney pointed to the recess appointments Obama made Wednesday to the National Labor Relations Board, saying the president was "paying back big unions that helped his campaign."
The same day, Romney's campaign released a television ad in South Carolina hitting Obama for the appointments. Romney and Sen. John McCain planned to campaign in the state Thursday afternoon.
The former Massachusetts governor, who in recent weeks has trained his attacks almost exclusively on the president instead of his Republican opponents, also cited the federal government's loan to failed solar manufacturer company Solyndra. President Obama touted Solyndra in a speech last year.
"He said he wanted to create green jobs," Romney said. "I don't think we understood he wanted jobs for the people who gave him the green."
Ben LaBolt, Obama's campaign press secretary, pointed to Romney's own jobs record in response to the candidate's comments.
"This is a bold statement from a governor whose state was 47th out of 50th in job creation during his tenure and a corporate buyout specialist who enriched himself by bankrupting companies and outsourcing jobs," LaBolt said. "While the president is fighting to ensure that hard work and responsibility are rewarded, and that everyone from Main Street to Wall Street plays by the same set of rules, Mitt Romney is willing to settle for an economy where fewer people succeed no matter how hard they work."