President Obama urges voters in football-mad Ohio to ignore Mitt Romney’s ‘economic playbook’

Two days after the Ohio State football team won its first game under new coach Urban Meyer, President Obama suggested Ohioans would not enjoy similar success under coach Mitt Romney.

Obama told a crowd full of union workers in Toledo that Romney’s “economic playbook” includes hiking taxes on the middle class, weakening bank regulations aimed at preventing another fiscal crisis, and jeopardizing Medicare benefits for seniors.

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“Sounds like unnecessary roughness to me,” Obama quipped.

It was Romney who introduced the football metaphor to the campaign during a trip to Cincinnati on Saturday, shortly before Ohio State beat Miami of Ohio—Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s alma mater—56-10.

“Let me tell you, if you have a coach that is zero and 23 million, you say it’s time to get a new coach,” Romney said, referring to the number of Americans who are unemployed or under-employed.

“It’s time for America to see a winning season again, and we’re going to bring it to ‘em,” Romney added.

Speaking about Romney on Monday, Obama told Ohio voters, “You don’t need that coach.”

The president’s remarks coincided with his campaign’s launch of a new ad in Ohio and six other swing states that accuses Romney of planning to raise taxes on middle-class families while offering large tax cuts to wealthy Americans.

Romney has proposed cutting income tax rates for every American by a fifth. Despite lower rates across the board, Romney has said, his plan would maintain current revenue levels by broadening the tax base and closing unspecified tax loopholes. The GOP presidential nominee has promised to protect the mortgage interest tax deduction and vowed to make wealthy Americans carry the same share of the nation’s tax burden as they do now.

But a study published last month by the independent Tax Policy Center concluded that Romney likely would not be able to keep all those promises. To achieve revenue neutrality, a principal goal, he would have to reduce or eliminate some tax deductions enjoyed by the middle class, the center reported, resulting in a net tax increase for middle-income households.

At the same time, high-income Americans would pay lower taxes.

Responding to Obama’s criticism, Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in a statement that “over 23 million people are struggling for work this Labor Day, and President Obama once again offered no new ideas for getting our economy back on track.”

“President Obama has a record of zero and 23 million, and it’s time to get a new coach,” Henneberg said. “Americans aren’t better off than they were four years ago and are longing for a winning season. Mitt Romney has a serious plan to fix the economy and get people back to work.”