Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has called on the Obama campaign to back away from “dishonest” attacks about his time at Bain Capital.
Mr Romney said in a nationally televised interview President Barack Obama should focus on his own record.
The president says his rival’s time at the private equity firm is fair game.
Mr Obama returned to the swing state of Ohio later on Monday, while Mr Romney joined Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal on a fundraising trip.
With November’s election looming, the campaigns have stepped up efforts to criticise each other’s records, but recent polling suggests the race is fairly close.
Mr Romney’s appearance on Monday follows a barrage of interviews on Friday. In those interviews he responded to reports that he was still listed on Bain’s regulatory filings a couple of years after he said he left the company to run the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
President Barack Obama
The timing is key because Bain was responsible for closing down American firms and shipping jobs overseas between 1999 – when Mr Romney said he left the company he founded – and 2001.
In Monday’s interview on Fox News TV Mr Romney did not call for an apology from the president, but said he was “very proud of the record I had in my business career”.
Labelling the Obama campaign’s attacks “dishonest”, Mr Romney said: “What does it say about a president whose record is so poor that all he can do in this campaign is attack me?”
“I think when people have accused you of a crime, you have every reason to go after them pretty hard.”
On Sunday Romney adviser Ed Gillespie said the one-time Massachusetts governor has “retired retroactively” from Bain.
“He ended up not going back to the firm after his time in Salt Lake City. So he was actually retired from Bain.”
Bain said in a statement that Mr Romney “remained the sole stockholder” while ownership of the company was being transferred to a new management team.
Source: BBC News