Romney set for town hall meeting in Bowling Green, Ohio

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is back campaigning in Ohio -- this time with a fundraiser in Toledo and a town hail meeting at the Bowling Green Community Center.

The visit by the former Massachusetts governor to northwestern Ohio comes two days after President Obama held a town hall meeting at Music Hall in Cincinnati.

It's Romney's 13th campaign appearance in the Buckeye State compared to the president's nine stops so far.   However, the President is outspending Romney to try and capture voter support.

Members of the media began their setup Wednesday morning in a gymnasium of the Bowling Green Community Center, which is built in the middle of farm fields about two miles southeast of Bowling Green, Ohio.

A huge sign proclaiming "Believe In America" hangs at the front of the gym above a set of metal bleachers.  White folding chairs surround a cornered-off area where Romney will take questions from supporters.

Above the doorway where Romney will enter the room is a sign which reads "Obama's Upside-Down Economy."

Romney has been critical of the president's handling of the economy -- especially the fact that the nation's unemployment rate remains at 8.2 percent. 

Because of his experience in the private sector, Romney insists he's the better choice to lead the country back to economic health.

However, that experience has drawn a considerable amount of criticism from the president, who claims while Romney was associated with Bain Capital jobs were shipped from America overseas.  The president also has urged Romney to release tax returns prior to 2010.

Romney has deflected the criticism by saying that the president is merely trying to hide the fact that the economy is not getting better.

Bowling Green is the county seat for Wood County, which voted for Republican George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, but switched to Democrat Barack Obama in 2008.

That's similar to the voting trends in Hamilton County and Romney is trying to turn the campaign into a Republican victory in 2012.

Ironically, Romney spoke in Carthage a few weeks ago, while President Obama was in the Toledo suburb of Maumee.

Those are continuing signs of Ohio's importance in the presidential race.  Officials of both campaigns say the candidates will likely be in the state many more times before the November election.

9 News' Tom McKee is in Bowling Green to cover the town hall meeting, so stay with 9 News and WCPO.com for updates about  Romney's Ohio visit as it becomes available.

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