Hilliard, Ohio (CNN) - In auto manufacturing heavy Ohio Friday, President Barack Obama took on recent attacks from Mitt Romney over his efforts toward that industry, saying the charges prove the former governor is attempting to scare Americans into supporting him.
"You don't scare hard working Americans just to scare up some votes," Obama told a crowd of 2,800 in small town Hilliard, Ohio. "That's not what being president is all about, that's not leadership."
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"Trying to massage the facts, that's not change, that's just…" And, while the president didn't use the word, the crowd needed no cue yelling "lying!"
As a result of Romney's recent ad, Obama said employees at Jeep are calling their bosses, worried their jobs will be shipped overseas, a claim in the ad that "everybody knows is not true."
"The car companies themselves have told Gov. Romney to knock it off," he added.
The Romney commercial, which accused Jeep of shipping jobs overseas, resulted in two response spots from Team Obama. The president said the attack proves his opponent is attempting to run away from past positions because he is "having a tough time in Ohio."
Obama expectedly defended the steps he took to "rescue the auto industry," despite their unpopularity at the time.
"It was the right thing to do," Obama said. "That bet paid off right here in Ohio."
Friday morning's fairground event was the first of three Buckeye State stops in small cities as attention from both campaigns remains largely focused on the battleground state.
The candidate's closing arguments coincided with the release of the October jobs numbers Friday, which showed 171,000 jobs were added while the unemployment figure rose to 7.9%.
"We learned companies hired more workers in October than at any time in the last eight months," Obama told the crowd. "The American auto industry is back on top."
A Romney campaign spokeswoman said Obama’s remarks were “false and misleading” and emphasized losses in manufacturing jobs as evidence of Obama’s failed record.
White House Producer Adam Aigner-Treworgy contributed to this report.