(WEATHERLY, Pa.) — At a dusty foundry and machine shop in eastern Pennsylvania on Saturday, Mitt Romney said he wants to talk about the economy — the cornerstone of his campaign — more than President Obama does.
“I know the president wants to talk about the economy a little,” Romney told Pennsylvanians on the second day of his six-state bus tour, “not as much as I want to talk about the economy.”
Standing on the floor of the Weatherly Casting & Machine Company, in Carbon County, which Obama carried in 2008 by just two percentage points, Romney suggested a revised slogan for Obama’s re-election campaign.
“Last time around, as you recall, his campaign slogan was hope and change,” Romney said. “Now I think he’d like to change it to ‘hoping to change the subject.’ He’s not wanting to talk about the economy like I want to talk to the economy, because what I want to do — I want to get America working again. I want to create more good jobs for Americans.”
Romney, misspeaking and suggesting that Obama had once been elected governor, sought to portray the president as ill-equipped for his job, and suggested that before becoming president he should have started “perhaps at a lower level.”
“I’m concerned that over the last three-and-a-half years we’ve had a President who may have been well meaning but didn’t know what it takes to help enterprises grow and thrive,” Romney said. “He, upon becoming governor – excuse me, President.”
Romney added, “Governor might have been a better job for him to have started with,” as the crowd broke into applause. “I say that because I actually think you learn from experience. I think it helps to have been in business before you actually start to run something in government.”
Romney was joined at his first stop on Saturday morning by Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who fired up the crowd before Romney spoke.
“The best sermons aren’t preached, they’re lived,” Pawlenty said, playing up Romney’s background.
The presumptive GOP nominee will cover more than 130 miles on the Pennsylvania roadways on Saturday, the second day of his five-day bus tour through six states.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Z. Byron Wolf, CNN
Dylan Byers, CNN
Azadeh Ansari and Angela Dewan, CNN