Obama riffs on Romney's game plan

By Reid J. EpsteinFor

TOLEDO, Ohio - It's football season and the presidential candidates have noticed.

President Obama launched into a two-minute riff about Mitt Romney's platform, ticking through what he believes the GOP nominee would do.

"Gov. Romney came here to Ohio and he said he's going to be the coach that leads America to a winning season," Obama began. "The problem is, everybody's already seen his economic playbook. We know what's in it."

The president then described Romney's plan.

On first do A tax hike for the middle class.

Second do "He calls an audible and undoes reforms that are there to prevent another financial crisis and bank bailout."

Third do A "hail mary" to "end Medicare as we know it."

Apparently Obama's version of Romney's playbook did not include a deliberation on whether to go for it on fourth down.

"I've got one piece of advice for you about the Romney-Ryan game plan, Ohio," Obama said. "Punt it away. It won't work. It won't win the game. You don't need that coach. That's a losing season."

Obama also excised some of the specific language he offered about his Afghanistan plans during stops Saturday and Sunday. In Colorado he said of the U.S. troops in Afghanistan, "I've set a timetable. We will have them all out of there by 2014."

Then later Sunday on Air Force One, press secretary Jay Carney told reporters that was not the case and "not all U.S. troops will have withdrawn necessarily by then."

Here Obama said only that "I'm bringing them home from Afghanistan" but did not offer specifics.

Obama's event, billed as a Labor Day rally at a high school gymnasium here, featured the most raucous crowd of his three-state holiday weekend campaign swing.

Warmed up by UAW President Bob King, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, thecrowd chanted about being "the 99 percent" well before Obama's arrival.

Trumka helped juice the audience of 3,100 people.

"What Mitt Romney is doing is wrong," Trumka said. "What he's doing is beneath the dignity of the American people and we wont let him win."

Reid J. Epstein is a reporter for POLITICO and ABC News 4 have partnered for the 2012 presidential campaign cycle.