Hoping to make up lost ground in Michigan, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Tuesday reversed course and praised labor unions.

At a town hall campaign event in Shelby Township, the candidate told supporters that "labor unions play an important role in our society."

"There are some like the carpenters union that compete on a fair basis and train their members to have greater skills," Romney noted. "And so, they are an important part of America's economy."

The former Massachusetts governor went on to complain that President Barack Obama was "saluting to the union bosses" instead of looking after the workers.

Just last week, the Romney campaign blasted labor unions, saying that "they too often stand as obstacles to growth and fight against the workers they are supposed to serve."

Romney is in a dead heat with former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum in Michigan, which has one of the highest percentages of union memberships in the country.

Watch this video from CNN, uploaded to YouTube Feb. 18, 2012.

(H/T: Think Progress)