Obama blasts Romney for ‘requiring’ miners to be in his ad

While Republican candidate Mitt Romney slammed Barack Obama's policies as bad for coal, the President took a more personal approach.  Not only did he go after Romney's business record, but he has also denounced his opponent's use of unpaid coal miners in his campaign through a provocative TV ad (watch it below).

The video, released Tuesday night in Ohio, uses footage from Romney’s spot in which he attacked Obama’s coal policies. It goes on to tell viewers those miners received a memo saying their attendance to the Republican’s rally was “mandatory.”

The same day Romney released that video, Los Angeles Times reported those coal workers had said they were forced to appear in it.

The rally was held last month in Beallsville, Ohio, thick with miners from the Century coal mine, owned by Murray Energy, a major donor to Republican causes. Within days of the rally, Murray employees contacted a nearby morning talk radio host, David Blomquist, to say they were forced to attend the Aug. 14 event at the mine.

Murray closed the mine the day of the rally, saying it was necessary for security and safety, then docked miners their pay for those hours. Asked by WWVA radio’s Blomquist about the allegations, Murray Chief Operating Officer Robert Moore said, somewhat confusingly,  ”Attendance was mandatory but no one was forced to attend the event.”

Seeking votes in the traditional mining cities of Ohio and Virginia, both candidates have flooded TV, radio, newspaper and any other media they can have their hands on with coal mining-related ads.

Obama and Romney come face to face for the first time in this presidential campaign Wednesday night for a nationally televised debate that will give millions of Americans an opportunity to size up the competitors.