One storm over, another ahead.
After a brief
campaign hiatus courtesy of Hurricane Sandy, President Obama and
Republican Mitt Romney resumed a blitz of swing states in the final days
before Tuesday's election - making their closing arguments to voters in
stump speeches and TV ads.
The candidates' weekend travel
schedules made it clear where the election was likely to be decided.
Obama was slated to return to Ohio on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and
Monday. He also was set to stump in Wisconsin, Iowa, Virginia, Florida,
New Hampshire and Colorado.
Romney was scheduled to campaign in
Ohio, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Colorado and Pennsylvania as both
candidates tried to seal the deal at the end of a long, bitter and close
Statewide polls released Thursday differed on who was
ahead in Colorado and Iowa, but they showed Obama with a single-digit
lead in Nevada and Wisconsin. Eight of nine surveys over the past week
in crucial Ohio gave Obama a narrow edge.
"We know what the future
requires," Obama, sporting a bomber jacket, told an airport rally in
Green Bay, Wis. "We don't need a big-government agenda or a
small-government agenda. We need a middle-class agenda that rewards hard
work and responsibility."
He dismissed Romney's claim to being a
candidate of change. "We know what change looks like, and what the
governor's offering sure isn't it," he said.
Romney mocked Obama
for suggesting in an NBC interview having a single official oversee
overlapping business programs. "I don't think adding a new chair in his
Cabinet will help add millions of jobs on Main Street," Romney, stumping
in his shirtsleeves, told supporters in Roanoke, Va. "We don't need a
'secretary of Business' to understand business. We need a president who
understands business, and I do."
A new Romney TV ad also ridiculed Obama's comment. "His solution to everything is to add another bureaucrat," the narrator said.
new Obama ad used a testimonial from a Republican, former secretary of
State Colin Powell, who praised the president's record and urged
Americans to "keep on the track that we are on."
received an unexpected endorsement from New York Mayor Michael
Bloomberg, a Republican-turned-independent. He cited Obama's disaster
response and the need for the next president to address climate change,
which the mayor said increased the ferocity of the storm.
limited number of battlegrounds at times made the campaigns seem to be
circling one another. In Akron late Thursday, Ann Romney and former
president Bill Clinton simultaneously held events just 25 miles from one
Contributing: Aamer Madhani on the road with Obama, Jackie Kucinich with Romney