PORTSMOUTH, Va. - A pair of Republican governors took turns bashing President Barack Obama's record on Wednesday during a small rally on the Virginia waterfront intended to inspire the GOP base in the critical battleground.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal acted as surrogates for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, telling a few dozen supporters in Portsmouth that Obama's policies have been a failure. Among other things, they pointed to the nation's unemployment rate and rising cost of gasoline.
"He has been the most incompetent president since Jimmy Carter was in the White House," Jindal said. "And I mean no disrespect to Jimmy Carter by saying that, by the way."
McDonnell criticized the president's energy policies, saying that unnecessary environmental regulations are hurting the coal industry and adversely affecting Virginia's port operations as a result. McDonnell also criticized Obama for not doing enough to avoid automatic spending cuts that will take place in January, the result of a budget agreement with Republicans last year.
The automatic cuts are slated to take effect because a bipartisan congressional panel failed last year to come up with a plan to put in place $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years. A White House report has said the cuts would be "deeply destructive" to the military, which is a major employer in the state.
"This president has absolutely failed to do anything about it. He's been a bystander," McDonnell said.
The duo gave speeches at Crofton Industries, a diving, construction and crane rental business in Portsmouth. They were scheduled to hold meet-and-greets at a restaurant in Chester and a lumber company in Sterling, in northern Virginia, later in the day.
"It's a very close election," McDonnell said. "But at the end of the day it's about your one-on-one voter contact. It's phone calls and its putting up signs."
Romney will also make another campaign stop in Richmond on Friday. That follows events in Lexington and Newport News on Monday.
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