Romney, Obama in final flurry of visits to swing states
THE FINAL frenzy of presidential election campaigning will take US president Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney to the swing states of Colorado,Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin before election day on Tuesday.
In closing arguments at rallies in Ohio and Wisconsin yesterday, the candidates talked about change, bipartisanship and Mr Obama’s record in office.
“Governor Romney, he’s a very talented salesman,” Mr Obama said in Ohio. “He’s tried as hard as he can to repackage these same [Bush-era] policies and offer them up as change. But we know what change looks like, and what the governor is offering ain’t it . . . Refusing to answer questions about the details of your policies until after the election – that’s not change.”
Romney advertisements that give the misimpression that Chrysler is sending US car industry jobs to China backfired badly this week. He has been denounced by Chrysler and General Motors and at least a half-dozen newspapers in Ohio and Michigan.
At three Obama rallies in Ohio yesterday, the crowd laughed and cheered when the president accused Mr Romney of “massaging facts”.
Mr Obama asked undecided voters to “think about the issue of trust . . . After four years as president, you know me. You may not agree with every decision I’ve made . . . but you know what I believe. You know where I stand. You know I tell the truth.”
In response to chants of “four more years” at Obama rallies, Mr Romney told a crowd in Wisconsin: “We are shouting ‘four more days’.”
He ridiculed Mr Obama’s record in office, saying: “Words are cheap. A record is real and earned with effort. Change cannot be measured in speeches; it is measured in achievements . . . Four years ago, candidate Obama promised to do so very much, but he has fallen so very short. He promised to be a ‘post-partisan president’ but he became the most partisan – blaming, attacking, dividing.”
As if responding to Mr Romney’s accusations, Mr Obama said: “The status quo in Washington has fought us every step of the way. They’ve spent millions trying to stop us from reforming the healthcare system. They’ve spent millions trying to keep us from reforming Wall Street. They engineered a strategy of gridlock in Congress, refusing to compromise on ideas that both Democrats and Republicans in the past have supported.”
Mr Romney has crowded into Mr Obama’s territory as champion of the middle class. In the final days of the campaign, he is blaming the president for Republicans’ refusal to co-operate in Congress.