President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney sparred on education in dueling campaign events Wednesday afternoon in separate battleground states.
Obama continued his attack on Romney’s education policy at Canyon Springs High School in North Las Vegas, one day after having accused Romney of being oblivious to the burdens of paying for college during stops at schools in Ohio and Reno.
"How many teachers’ jobs are worth another tax cut for millionaires and billionaires?" Obama said Wednesday in what he called a question for Romney.
Romney fired back on education at an aluminum casting supply company in Bettendorf, Iowa. Noting that Obama "wants to invest in young people," Romney said the president should start with improving kindergarten through twelfth grade education and not "pass on trillions in debt."
"It's not investing in people to max out the credit card," he said.
Romney's campaign was also airing an ad Wednesday called "Nothing's Free" that linked cuts in Medicare to spending on Obama's health care overhaul, The Associated Press reported.
The battleground state push comes ahead of next week's GOP convention in Tampa, Fla., and as the Democratic Obama-Biden ticket leads Romney-Ryan 48 to 44 percent nationally in a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
Obama's lead was down two percentage points from July, suggesting that Romney did not receive a significant bump in support from selecting Paul Ryan as his running mate, NBC News reported.
He continues, though, to be attacked by the president over Ryan's budget plan.
Democrats argue Ryan’s budget proposal would slash $115 billion from the Education Department, which would punish many middle class and low-income families trying to obtain an education.
In a new ad released Wednesday to run in Virginia and Ohio, the Obama campaign suggested that cuts in Ryan's budget plan would lead to larger class sizes, The Associated Press reported.
“Gov. Romney says we’ve got enough teachers, we don’t need any more,” Obama also said Wednesday in Las Vegas. “The way he talks about it, it seems that he thinks these are a bunch of nameless, government bureaucrats that we need to cut back on.”
Meanwhile, Ryan attended rallies in Virginia and North Carolina, and accused Obama of presiding over an "imaginary recovery."
Speaking in Roanake, Va., Ryan invoked Obama's "you didn't build that comments" to accuse the president of having a "mindset" that favored government over private enterprise. Last month, Obama said at a fire station in Roanake that businesses relied on schools and infrastructure funded by the government.
"You didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen," he said then.
Vice President Joe Biden was also on the campaign trail Wednesday, attending events in Detroit, while Michelle Obama was due to speak with grassroots supporters in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
President Obama was also headed to New York City for a campaign event Wednesday evening at Lincoln Center.