ATLANTA (AP) — Sustaining his attacks on rival Mitt Romney, President Barack Obama pledged Tuesday to bring back jobs that have moved overseas and portrayed his challenger as the type of wealthy investor who would pollute, outsource jobs and take down unions to maximize profits.
For the second day in a row, Obama targeted Romney, emphasizing that the contest between them is a choice between ideologies, not a referendum on his own performance.
"The question is not whether we need to put more folks back to work or whether we need to see the economy growing faster or whether we need to bring down our debt," he told a crowd of donors in Atlanta. "The question is how do we do it."
The president built upon his campaign's recent attacks Romney's business record. The Obama team says the private equity firm Romney formerly ran invested in companies that sent jobs to China and India.
"His basic vision is one in which if wealthy investors like him, folks at the very top are freed up from any kind of regulations, if they are maximizing their profits, even if they are polluting more, or offshoring jobs or avoiding taxes or busting union, whatever the strategy is — if they are doing well, then everybody else is automatically doing well," Obama said.
The president spoke at a 500-person fundraising reception, with ticket prices started at $500 per person. He had additional fundraisers planned later Tuesday in Florida.
His remarks were on the second day of a fund raising trip that comes as Obama and his team raise alarms that Romney and his Republican allies will outspend him during the presidential campaign.
In an e-mail to supporters Tuesday, Obama bluntly stated: "I will be the first president in modern history to be outspent in his re-election campaign, if things continue as they have so far."
The urgent tone is designed to spur more giving. Until last month, Obama had been by far the leading fundraiser in the presidential contest. But Romney, after securing the nomination, has consolidated his support.
Romney raised more than $76 million last month for his presidential campaign and for the GOP, compared to $60 million for Obama and the Democrats. Obama's advisers say they expect Republican-leaning super PACs to pull in $1.2 billion before the election, posing a big-money challenge for the president. Obama has more than $100 million in his campaign account, but Democratic super PACs have struggled to raise money, making it possible that an incumbent president will be outspent.
Obama has now raised the stakes, saying that even without the help of GOP-leaning super PACs, Romney could still outspend him.
Obama was to collect more than $2.3 million at fundraisers in Atlanta and Miami on Tuesday following top-dollar events Monday night in Boston.
"They will spend more money than we have ever seen in American history, and their message is very simple," Obama said Monday in Boston. "They will just tell you that the economy is not where it needs to be, the economy is bad, and it's all my fault."
Obama was holding the fundraisers at the start of a pivotal week for his campaign. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on Obama's health care overhaul law this week, passing judgment on the most significant piece of legislation during his presidency.
The president was holding two fundraisers in Atlanta, followed by two events in Miami Beach, including a performance by singer Marc Anthony.