(CNN) – As President Barack Obama gears up for a big rally in Ohio–his first official campaign event this cycle–his likely opponent Mitt Romney penned a not-so-warm welcome letter for the president in The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
"Dear Mr. President: Welcome to Ohio. I have a simple question for you: Where are the jobs?" Romney wrote in the op-ed published Friday.
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The letter largely targets Obama over his economic policies, describing the president's time in the White House as a period marred by "paltry results."
"I recognize, of course, as do all Americans, that you inherited an economic crisis. But you've now had three years to turn things around. The record of those three years is clear. Your policies have failed, not only in Ohio, but across the nation," Romney wrote.
He added: "Undoing the damage you've done will be a daunting challenge."
The president will hold a big rally at Ohio State University in Columbus on Saturday. Later in the day, he'll travel to hold a second event in Richmond, Virginia.
Saturday will likely mark the first of many major campaign days in Ohio, as it's set to be a crucial battleground in the fall.
The president won the Buckeye State in 2008 with 52% of the vote. Since then, however, Republicans have made big gains, sweeping statewide offices and picking up the governor's office. The GOP also held an open U.S. Senate seat and gained five seats in the House.
A recent Quinnipiac Poll indicates the race is all tied up in Ohio between Obama and Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. According to the survey, 44% of voters back Obama, while 42% support Romney.
While the unemployment rate in Ohio is lower than the national average at 7.5%, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Romney challenged the president on his job creation record and argued the president's campaign 2008 "promises now ring hollow."
"Whatever the case, what you are offering Ohio now is too little, too late," Romney said.
Obama's re-election campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.
– CNN National Political Correspondent Jim Acosta contributed to this report.
I ask the same thing after the 2010 election that the party of no ran on "JOBS" – they forgot and have been too busy focusing on the war on the women!!!
The mess we are in was created over many years (primarly by Repubilcans) and will not be fixed that fast. Romney and the rest of the GOP dolts are great at criticizing, but I don't see one original idea or plan among them.
Open reply to Romney: Why is it, two years after a republican house take over, are jobs an issue? Your team only seems to care about jobs when it's an election year. After said election, you just spend more time trying to shut down government and put government into the bedroom, but I don't recall ever seeing a republican jobs bill unless it was a response to the democrats jobs bill.
From January 2001-January 2007 Republicans were in complete charge of the government. During that time we were hit with the worst terrorist attack on American soil, engaged in two wars that were not paid for, and suffered the worst economic meltdown with zero (net) job creation since the Great Depression and Republicans call Obama a failure?
Please, if you want to know where the jobs are ask the Congress where the jobs are and where all the jobs are they vowed to bring during the 2010 election.
Yes, Mr. Romney, where are the jobs Mr. Boehener promised?
Willard must have amnesia. He forgot he shipped jobs overseas as governor of Massachussettes and whenn he was with Bain Capital.
The closest Romney will ever get to the White House is the day after Obama wins his re-election, he takes his dog out on the White House lawn for a walk and to greet the Press and stops to scoop the poop his dog makes with a newspaper with his name on the front declaring, "Obama Wins Re-election while Romney Loses bid for White House."
Where is the proof of Romney's job claim he made about Bain? Romney lied again.
Where are the jobs in MA while Romney was governor? Romney ranked a dismal 47th in the country.
In fact, unemployment is fortunately down in Ohio & our nation. President Obama 2012
How many jobs did you create in MA? How many jobs have you held since losing to Ted Kennedy? How many American jobs did you kill and/or offshore to China as a vulture capitalist.
What are your plans to create jobs? Simply implying austerity with no specific numbers for cuts or balancing a budget does not count. What SPECIFIC plans are on your plate for CREATING jobs??? I have a boatload of cash that I am sitting on because there is no demand and I'm banking profits (profits before people heh heh)
Your best friend,
Ya think he should have waited until he found out about the unemployment rate dropping again?
140K jobs added. 350K people gave up looking. That's a net of -210K. I don't think Barry or the administration, or any of his minions, should be throwing any kind of party on this noise.
The Republicans did well in the House during the 2010 election. Where are the jobs? The rich continue to get benefit from the Bush tax cuts so where are the jobs?
The jobs are where President Obama created them – in the auto industry, in small businesses recovering from the recession, alternative energy, and in manufacturing now getting back on it's feet after the uber-rich sent the jobs offshore. IUn spite of the Republicans efforts to block the recovery (105 filibusters in the Senate and no real Bills from the House) we are pulling out of it. Thank you President Obama!
Romney let me ask you a question why you outsource american jobs overseas.
I cant wait until the president debate so president Obama would bring you down on your jobs outsource.
mitt you sent them to china–remember