By John Whitesides
WASHINGTON | Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:23pm EDT
(Reuters) - Republican Mitt Romney's campaign tried to keep the domestic political focus on the U.S. economy and jobs on Monday, although the effort was overshadowed by more controversy from a foreign trip after he made remarks that upset Palestinians.
Hoping to take advantage of President Barack Obama's "you didn't build that" comment, Romney's campaign sent teams of high-profile supporters to 18 events in a dozen swing states to hammer home its message that Obama is an anti-business lover of big government.
One-time Republican presidential rivals Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty, who is now a vice presidential possibility, were among the Romney supporters who fanned out across the country to push attacks on Obama for saying, "If you own a business, you didn't build that."
But Romney was forced to fight off his own controversy after he called Jerusalem the Israeli capital and said later that differences in culture powered Israel's economic success compared with the Palestinians.