(TheBlaze/AP) -- President Barack Obama lampooned the recently-completed Republican National Convention as better-suited to an era of "black-and-white TV" and " trickle-down, you're on your own" economics Saturday, saying Mitt Romney "did not offer a single new idea" to fix the economy.
"There was a lot of talk about hard truths and bold choices, but no one actually told you what they were," Obama said in Iowa, chuckling, as he set out on a three-day tour of battleground states in the run-up to his own convention. Later, Obama said, the Republican gathering was so rooted in the past, there should have been a rabbit-ears antenna on the convention hall.
Yet even the site of Obama's convention, Charlotte, N.C., served as an unwelcome reminder to the Democrats of an economy so weak that it threatens his chances for re-election.
The president carried North Carolina in 2008, but the state's unemployment rate is pegged at 9.6 percent, well higher than the nation's 8.3 percent and tied with next-door South Carolina for fifth from the bottom.
Democrats are taking their turn in the convention spotlight just days after the Republicans met in Tampa, Fla., to nominate former Massachusetts Gov. Romney for the White House and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan to be vice president.
A parade of speakers in Tampa excoriated Obama's handling of the economy, which is struggling in the weakest recession recovery of the post-World War II era.
The economy has been the top-rated issue in opinion polls all year, and the president is eager to turn the focus onto Romney on that subject.
Republicans "will take us backwards," Obama insisted, adding that "Gov. Romney had nothing to say about Afghanistan...or the plans for the 33,000 troops who will have come home from the war by the end of this month."
"Let me recap it for you," he said. "Everything is bad, it's Obama's fault and Gov. Romney is the only one who knows the secret to creating jobs and growing the economy."
Here is the full speech, via C-SPAN:
Obama, pointing to successes, declared, "I said we'd take out bin Laden and we did."
Romney campaigned in Ohio during the day - the opening of the college football season - and proclaimed it was time the country had a winning season after years of a sluggish economy and high unemployment.
Referring to the number of jobless in the country, Romney told his own cheering crowd, "If you have a coach that's zero and 23 million, you say it's time to get a new coach."
He also pledged to cut the federal deficit and "get us on track for a balanced budget."
Polls peg Iowa as one of eight or so battlegrounds where the election is most likely to be decided. The president carried it in 2008, and in an indication of the struggle he now faces, he has been lavishing time on it in recent weeks. He spent three days in August on a bus tour that traversed the state from west to east.
Feller reported from Urbandale and Sioux City, Iowa. Associated Press writers Kasie Hunt in Cincinnati, Beth Fouhy in Charlotte and Steve Peoples in Columbus, Ohio, contributed to this report.