Democrats blame GOP intransigence, led by a conservative wing of tea party favorites, for congressional stalemate. A possible comprehensive agreement on deficit reduction stalled over the refusal of both sides to yield on the issue of tax increases, with Democrats calling for a return to higher rates of the 1990s on income over $250,000 while Republicans rejected any kind of rise.
In his Ohio remarks, Obama challenged Romney's argument, saying his Republican rival offered only a repeat of tax cuts and shrinking government that he blamed for contributing to the recession and financial collapse during the Bush administration.
Obama also leveled a harsh attack on a Romney ad earlier this week that incorrectly implied Jeep would shift manufacturing from the United States to China. The issue resonates in Ohio, one of the most important battleground states still up for grabs, because of its major auto industry.
The auto industry bailout that Obama championed gives him the advantage on the topic over Romney, who called at the time for letting the automakers go bankrupt and then managing their reform.
Obama said the Romney ad caused worried autoworkers to wonder if their jobs were being shipped overseas.
"It's not true. The car companies themselves have told Gov. Romney to knock it off," Obama said, adding that he understood Romney had a tough time in Ohio because he opposed the auto bailout and is "on videotape saying 'Let Detroit go bankrupt.' "
About the ad, Obama said: "You don't scare people just to scare up some votes."
"That's not leadership," he continued. "When I made the decision to rescue the auto industry, I knew it wasn't popular. It wasn't even popular in Ohio. But I knew it was the right thing to do. Betting on workers was right thing to do."
A new CNN/ORC International poll released Friday showed Obama maintaining a narrow edge over Romney, 50%-47%, in Ohio. The result is within the survey's margin of error and is similar to polling in the state over the past month.
Both campaigns are focusing their final push on the handful of battleground states that are vital to their chances. In addition, Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan are heading to Pennsylvania, which was considered to be leaning Democratic but has seen tightening in the polls in recent weeks.
The Obama campaign calls the Romney focus on Pennsylvania a futile effort to win a state that has supported Democratic candidates in the last five presidential elections. However, it announced Friday that former President Bill Clinton, a top surrogate for Obama, will campaign in Pennsylvania on Monday.