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Romney: Back on the attack in Virginia

GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney hits the campaign trail in Roanoke, Virginia criticizing President Obama's economic and energy policies.

ROANOKE, VA -- Stumping in western Virginia on Thursday, Mitt Romney resumed his full-throated critique of President Barack Obama, mocking the president's proposed new cabinet position to oversee businesses' needs and predicting four more years of a stagnant economy should the incumbent be re-elected.

David Goldman / AP

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves as he takes the stage for a campaign event at a window and door factory, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Roanoke, Va.

“He’s got to find something to suggest it’s going to better over the next four years," Romney said of the president in his opening remarks.  "And so he came up with an idea last week, which is he’s going to create the Department of Business. I don’t think adding a new chair in his cabinet will help add millions of jobs on Main Street."

"We don’t need a secretary of business to understand business. We need a president who understands business, and I do,” he concluded.

President Obama suggested consolidating other federal agencies into a "one-stop shop" position of a cabinet-level secretary overseeing business issues in an interview with MSNBC earlier this week.

Top Talkers: Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski talk with President Obama on Saturday, October 27 in Nashua, New Hampshire about everything from the recent attacks in Benghazi, Libya to his thoughts on his last campaign.

Romney's attack on the president marks a return to more aggressive tactics, which were shelved for several days during Hurricane Sandy and its immediate aftermath.

Campaigning in Florida on Wednesday, Romney never mentioned the name "Obama," focusing instead on his own plans, and leaving any criticism of the president implicit. Romney continued to urge his supporters to donate to the relief effort this morning, but with the president returning to the campaign trail today, it was clear that the time for holding back had ended. 

"I can also tell you this – if the president were to be re-elected, you’re going to see high levels of unemployment continue and stalled wage growth – if any wage growth at all, just like we’ve seen over the last four years," Romney said. "We know something about the past, we’ve seen what his policies have produced – the only way to get this economy going is the kind of bold change I’ve described."

Democrats were quick to push back on Romney's remarks here, and issued a statement which attempted to draw focus back to the auto bailout, which continues to be a driving issue in the campaign's final days in Ohio, perhaps the most hotly contested battleground state.

“The idea that Mitt Romney would help businesses grow as president doesn’t match his record or his policies. When the American auto industry and a million jobs were on the line, Romney turned his back, which is why he’s trying to rewrite history by telling desperate falsehoods to Ohio voters," Obama campaign spokesperson Lis Smith said in a statement.