Romney, Obama Question Each Other's Records

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President Obama answered questions from voters at a town-hall-style campaign event in Cincinnati on Monday. Meanwhile, his rival Mitt Romney suggested in a Fox News interview that the president's record should be subjected to greater scrutiny. The Romney campaign has spent the past several days responding to conflicting reports about when the former Massachusetts governor left the private equity firm Bain Capital.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. From the presidential campaign trail today, more attacks: On President Obama's stewardship of the economy and Mitt Romney's leadership of Bain Capital. Each side accuses the other of distorting its record. We have details from NPR's national political correspondent Don Gonyea.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: President Obama was in Cincinnati, dropping in on a Skyline Chili where he ordered a local favorite: a hotdog covered with spaghetti smothered with chili and beans. Fueled up, he took the stage at his first town hall this election. He spoke of the economic crisis he inherited.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Our goal has not just been to get back to where we were before the crisis struck, but rather to build an economy that lasts, to build an economy that says no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, no matter what your last name is, you can make it if you try here in America.

GONYEA: The president went after Mitt Romney on the economy.

OBAMA: Today we found out there's a new study out by nonpartisan economists that says Governor Romney's economic plan would, in fact, create 800,000 jobs. There's only one problem: The jobs wouldn't be in America.

(LAUGHTER)

GONYEA: Romney's campaign appearance today was on television, in an interview on the "Fox & Friends" morning show on Fox News.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, 'FOX & FRIENDS')

MITT ROMNEY: I got a pretty solid record. Let's look at your record, Mr. President. And the American people, I don't have to try and convince them about his record. The American people know whether things are better now than they were four years ago. I think we all know that answer. This president - he just hasn't been able to do the job he told us he was going to try and do.

GONYEA: The Obama campaign has pressured Romney to release more than the two years of his personal tax returns that he's promised. There are questions about his tax rate, about overseas accounts and whether he was truly uninvolved in all Bain Capital activities after 1999. Now, some conservative commentators say Romney could clear the air by releasing more returns. His reaction?

(SOUNDBITE OF INTERVIEW)

ROMNEY: John McCain ran for president and released two years of tax returns. John Kerry ran for president, you know, his wife, who has hundreds of millions of dollars, she never released her tax returns. Somehow, this wasn't an issue. The Obama people keep on wanting more and more and more.

GONYEA: A Monday in mid-July is often a slow day during a presidential campaign - not this year. Don Gonyea, NPR News.

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