Waterloo, Iowa (CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden took Mitt Romney's central weapon in his White House bid – his time as a businessman – and used it as political ammunition against Romney on Tuesday.
"You got to give Romney credit," Biden said. "He's a job creator - in Singapore, China, India. He's been very good at creating jobs, overseas."
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The vice president spoke in Waterloo, Iowa, as part of a two-day swing that will also put him in Dubuque, Iowa, on Wednesday. The campaign has billed it as part of a "Strengthening the Middle Class" tour.
A local United Auto Workers headquarters hosted Biden and over 400 people. One person in attendance: David Axelrod, squirreled away behind the scenes – a rare sighting of the Obama campaign senior strategist at a Biden event.
The vice president repeatedly used a recent Washington Post story to pummel Romney. The Friday report said Bain Capital - Romney's former private equity firm – owned companies that were "pioneers" in outsourcing U.S. jobs to countries like China and India.
Biden also used Romney's own words against him.
Citing recent speeches in the Ohio cities of Cincinnati and Toledo, Biden said: "He said his experience as a businessman is what gives him a great understanding of what it takes to bring jobs back to the United States of America. That's his premise."
Biden continued: "[Romney] said, that outsourcers have, quote, 'Been able to put American businesses out of business and kill American jobs.' He went on to say if he were president, he was going to end that outsourcing. That's what he tells you."
"There's a huge disconnect between what he says, and what he means, and what he's done."
Claiming that Bain previously helped companies like Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard "outsource their manufacturing from the United States of America," Biden added, "This is totally consistent with Mitt Romney's economic policies."
The Obama campaign's focus on Bain has had mixed success. Some supporters have said it helps to undermine Romney's highlighting of his time in the private sector. Yet others have accused the president of attacking free enterprise – a claim the president denies.
What's clear is that the Obama campaign is not backing down from using Romney's tenure at Bain for political purposes. Also Tuesday, the campaign released new television ads – for Iowa, Virginia and Ohio - playing up the Washington Post report.
On Tuesday, Obama told supporters in Atlanta, Georgia, "We don't need somebody who's a pioneer in offshoring or outsourcing. We need a president in the White House who's going to, every single day, be fighting to bring jobs back to the United States, do some in-sourcing."
The Romney campaign has cried foul.
Responding to the Washington Post report last week, Romney's campaign called the article a "fundamentally flawed story," arguing it fails to point out the difference between "domestic outsourcing versus offshoring."
Outsourcing, the campaign argued, is a common practice and can occur domestically without sending jobs overseas. Offshoring, on the other hand, involves shifting work out of house and overseas.
And on Tuesday, the Romney campaign lashed out with its own assertion about how the president's policies have benefited foreign companies.
"Vice President Biden today doubled down on the Obama campaign's same misleading attacks in an effort to distract voters from the President's disastrous economic record," campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul wrote in a response to reporters. "President Obama thinks that economic development means sending billions of taxpayer dollars to foreign-owned companies and rewarding donors with money from his failed stimulus program."
"President Obama has failed to meet his own standard for lowering unemployment because he has no idea what it takes to get our economy moving again. On Day One, Mitt Romney will take action to jumpstart our economy and give job creators the incentives they need to thrive here in America."
Yet the Obama campaign is not backing down from discussing Romney's business experience – and even his vast wealth.
"When the president encouraged young people to get manufacturing jobs [Romney] said [the president was] out of touch," Biden told the Waterloo rally. "Out of touch? A prospective president with a Swiss bank account and retirement investments in the Cayman Islands?"
"Did you ever think you'd be choosing between two people running for president one of whom had a Swiss bank account?"
- CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report