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Obama: 'Prosperity Doesn't Trickle Down'

President Barack Obama said Wednesday his Republican rivals are sincere, patriotic — and absolutely wrong about how to reinvigorate the economy. Mitt Romney, meanwhile, said Obama is over his head and swimming in the wrong direction when it comes to the economy.

Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama
Kevin Dietsch/Pool | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama

Obama, who spoke in politically pivotal Ohio, said Republicans "don't seem to remember how America was built."

Pounding home the theme of his re-election run, Obama said the rich should pay higher taxes to support priorities, such as education, that help the entire nation.

"In this country, prosperity doesn't trickle down," Obama told an audience of roughly 400 people at Lorain County Community College. "Prosperity grows from the bottom up and it grows from a strong middle class out."

"That's why I'm always confused when we keep having the same argument with folks who don't seem to remember how America was built," Obama said.

In Charlotte, N.C., Romney gave a scathing indictment of Obama's policies. The Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting said virtually nothing Obama has done in his time in the Oval Office has helped create jobs.

Total Cost: $58,065Tuition: $43,840Room & Board: $13,980Fees: $245Claremont McKenna, located near downtown Los Angeles, accepted only 12.4 percent of its applicants for the class of 2016, a rate that admissions counselor Brandon Gonzalez said ensures that students here will be going to school only with other top students.�The class of 2016 will be one of the most talented groups of students we have ever seen,�  The school will charge these students a tuition of $21,920 per semester, or $43,840 for the entire academic year, incurring a total cost of
Total Cost: $58,065Tuition: $43,840Room & Board: $13,980Fees: $245Claremont McKenna, located near downtown Los Angeles, accepted only 12.4 percent of its applicants for the class of 2016, a rate that admissions counselor Brandon Gonzalez said ensures that students here will be going to school only with other top students.�The class of 2016 will be one of the most talented groups of students we have ever seen,� The school will charge these students a tuition of $21,920 per semester, or $43,840 for the entire academic year, incurring a total cost of

Romney said more Americans have lost jobs, more houses have plunged in value, gasoline prices have doubled and health care costs have risen during Obama's tenure.

Romney spoke Wednesday across the street from the Bank of America Stadium, where Obama will accept the Democratic Party's nomination to a second term in early September.

Obama did not call out Romney by name.

"We have two competing visions of our future," Obama said. "The choice could not be clearer. Those folks running on the other side, I'm sure they are patriots, I'm sure they are sincere in terms of what they say, but their theory, I believe, is wrong."

Each candidate has material to work with in making his economic case: Nationally, the unemployment rate has dropped from 9.1 percent last August to 8.2 percent in March, the lowest since about the time Obama took office. But job growth has been weak, millions of people remain unemployed and improvements in hiring haven't translated into higher salaries for those who are working.