PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) — Mitt Romney says President Barack Obama is "in part" to blame for rising gas prices.

Campaigning on Mississippi's Gulf Coast, Romney says Obama has contributed to the spike in gas prices by slowing the licensing and permitting of both offshore and onshore drilling. Romney repeated his calls for accelerating drilling permits and pledged to approve the Keystone pipeline that would bring oil from Canada into the U.S.

Economists say there's not much a president of either party can do about gasoline prices.

Romney spoke at the Port of Pascagoula against the backdrop of oil rigs brought in for repair. The Republican front-runner is spending two days campaigning in the deep South, with events in Mississippi and Alabama. Both states hold primaries on Tuesday.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.