(CNN) – President Barack Obama delivered harsh lines against his Republican rival on Tuesday, saying while he was impressed with Mitt Romney's corporate career, the presumptive GOP nominee had "drawn the wrong lessons from these experiences."
"When I hear governor Romney say his 25 years in the private sector gives him a special understanding of how the economy works, my question is why are you running with the same bad ideas that brought our economy to the brink of disaster?" Obama said at a campaign fund-raiser in Baltimore.
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The president took a swipe at Romney's economic policies, which oppose tax hikes on the wealthy.
His comments came as both candidates accuse each other of being "out of touch." Obama, referring to himself as someone who has "spent time in the real world," hinted that Romney had a misguided orthodoxy on the way the economy operates.
"The challenge we are facing is that for over a decade, harder work hasn't led to higher incomes," he said. "Bigger profits at the top haven't led to better jobs across the board. You can't solve that problem if you can't even see it."
The debate over the economy rose to new heights in the last few days after Obama took heat for saying the private sector was "doing fine" while suggesting the public sector needed a boost.
Hitting back, Romney, made the case that the federal government needs to decrease, not increase, spending on public jobs, including those for fire fighters, police and teachers.
Both candidates' comments have since spiraled into war on words, prompting a debate over whether a stronger private sector or more robust public sector would best stimulate the economy.
Talking about deficit-reduction measures, Obama joked Tuesday that he loves "listening to (Republicans) give us lectures on debt and deficits" and pointed out the trillion-dollar deficit he inherited.
"It's like somebody goes to a restaurant, orders a big steak dinner, martini, all that stuff. And then, just as you're sitting down, they leave," he said to laughter. "And accuse you of running up the tab."
The event marked one of six fund-raisers for Obama on Tuesday, half in Maryland, the other half in Pennsylvania. The president could raise at least $3.6 million at the events.
All proceeds from the events to go the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee of the Obama re-election campaign, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties.