Pittsburgh, Penn. (CNN) – As Mitt Romney's opponents continued to hammer him over details of his business record, the presumptive GOP nominee sought to change the conversation Monday with sharp criticism of President Barack Obama's record in office.
After a weekend dominated by family time, Monday was also a banner day of fund-raising for Romney. He headlined two events that raised roughly $3.7 million, according to pool reports.
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Romney's new attacks came on yet another day when the presidential candidate found himself pushing back against Democratic attacks on his record at private equity firm Bain Capital.
Speaking to donors in Louisiana and Mississippi, Romney renewed his criticism of some loan guarantees made by the Obama administration, especially to automobile company Fisker. During a luncheon fund-raiser in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Romney suggested Obama had steered tax dollars to businesses whose owners supported him.
"It is taking your tax dollars and putting it in businesses owned by contributors to his campaign, and that is smelly at best," Romney told an audience of 40 people, who each paid $50,000 to hear him speak. "It stinks."
The former Massachusetts governor further fueled vice presidential rumors by appearing alongside Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal at the luncheon in Louisiana. An aide to the presumptive presidential nominee tweeted a picture of Romney with Jindal - who's widely believed to be in contention to become Romney's number two.
Jindal blasted Obama for running what he called "an increasingly desperate and negative campaign."
"This president can't run on his record so he has to lie about Gov. Romney's record," Jindal said. "He's been the most liberal, most incompetent president since Jimmy Carter was in the White House. No disrespect to Jimmy Carter, by the way."
Later in the evening, in Jackson, Mississippi, Romney's state finance chairman announced Romney's second fund-raiser had raised more than $1.7 million, which he said was a state record.
An Obama spokeswoman defended Obama's loan guarantee program and accused Romney of turning to attacks in an attempt change the subject and avoid answering questions about his record at Bain.
"Launching a warmed over and false line of attack that has already been debunked by independent news organizations and fact-checkers won’t help him," said Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith.