CLIFTON, Va. -- An unrelenting President Barack Obama jabbed at Mitt Romney's record with a private equity firm in an ad yesterday that aimed to keep his rival on the defensive just as the GOP challenger's campaign hoped to take advantage of poor economic data to gain an edge on the incumbent.
Obama met Romney's Friday plea for an apology for the attacks with a mocking ad that charged that the firm, Bain Capital, shipped American jobs to China and Mexico, that Romney has personal wealth in investments in Switzerland, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, and that as Massachusetts governor, he sent state jobs to India.
Romney's chief contention is that as a former businessman, he has the experience to create jobs and spur a struggling economy. The Obama campaign has countered that Romney ran a firm that pioneered the practice of sending American jobs out of the country and that his background is one of an investor.
But Romney said he stepped down from his private equity firm years earlier than federal records indicate. He sought an apology Friday from Obama for the attacks.
Pressure was building on Romney from within his own party to release all financial documents requested of him.
Yesterday Obama kept up the charge while speaking to about 900 people in Glen Allen, Va. "He invested in companies that have been called pioneers of outsourcing," Obama said.
Romney's spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, fired back yesterday, accusing Obama of being less than truthful about Romney's record. "The American people deserve the truth and they certainly deserve better from their president," Saul said.
Romney was taking a weekend off from campaigning.