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Wed Oct 24, 2012, 08:27 PM

"With Debates Over, Candidates Race to Clinch Vital States"

With Debates Over, Candidates Race to Clinch Vital States

By MICHAEL D. SHEAR and HELENE COOPER at the NY Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/24/us/politics/a-tight-focus-on-battleground-states-as-campaigning-time-dwindles.html?ref=politics&_r=0

"SNIP..............................................


In the president’s minute-long ad, and in appearances at the start of a frenetic week, Mr. Obama stepped up his effort to convince the nation that he had brought it back from the brink of economic collapse and that Mr. Romney would embrace the policies that caused the problems. Looking directly into the camera, the president asks voters to “read my plan, compare it to Governor Romney’s and decide which is better for you.”

But even as he sought to strike a positive note at the start of a three-day swing that is taking him through Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, Florida and Virginia, Mr. Obama also enthusiastically stepped up his attacks. The Republican candidate, the president said at a rally in Florida, wants to “turn back the clock 50 years for immigrants and gays and women” and is pursuing a foreign policy that is “all over the map.”

Appearing later with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. at a raucous rally before 9,500 people in Dayton, the president went into a spirited assault, using his new favorite attack word — “Romnesia” — to highlight his rival’s position on the auto bailout, which the White House says was vital to saving jobs in Ohio and throughout the Midwest.

“Last night, Governor Romney looked me right in the eye, tried to pretend he never said, ‘Let Detroit go bankrupt,’ ” Mr. Obama said, one of many instances all day when he suggested Mr. Romney was not being honest about his positions as he seeks to appeal to a general-election audience after a Republican primary campaign in which he emphasized conservative stances.

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