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October 24, 2012

Obama, Romney Crisscross Nation for Votes

by Kent Klein

President Barack Obama and his opponent, Mitt Romney, are traveling across the United States Wednesday, seeking votes, 13 days before the presidential election. Each candidate will have visited four time zones by the end of the day.

With the deadlocked campaign nearing its final days, both the president and the former Massachusetts governor are embarking on grueling schedules of rallies and appearances.

At his first stop on Wednesday, Mr. Obama told a rally in the Midwestern city of Davenport, Iowa that he can be trusted, while charging that Mr. Romney frequently changes his positions.

“All of this speaks to something that’s really important, and that is the issue of trust.  There is no more serious issue on a presidential campaign than trust.  Trust matters,” Obama said.

Vice President Joe Biden, spending his third straight day in the state of Ohio, had a similar message for an audience in the city of Marion.  He said Mr. Romney was trying to project a more moderate image than he did earlier in the campaign.

“But Governor, you cannot run from the truth.  You cannot run from your record.  You cannot run from your policies.  You cannot run from your position, for example, on women’s rights,” Biden said.

After leaving Iowa, the president was headed for Denver, Colorado, Los Angeles, California and Las Vegas, Nevada.  He will spend the night on Air Force One, for an overnight flight to Tampa, Florida, where he will hold his first rally on Thursday.   

From there, he goes to Chicago, Illinois, his hometown, where he will be the first sitting president to take part in early voting.  He will also campaign in Richmond, Virginia and Cleveland, Ohio before returning to Washington Thursday night.

Romney was also campaigning in Nevada, Colorado and Iowa Wednesday, as well as Ohio.

In Reno, Nevada, the Republican nominee projected confidence about his chances of winning, and sharply criticized Mr. Obama’s performance on the economy.

“The president has been unable to find an agenda, and to communicate an agenda, and to defend an agenda, and that is one reason why, I think we all know, that he is out of ideas, and out of excuses, and in November, you are going to put him out of office,” Romney said.

Romney’s running mate, Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, was also in Ohio, a state both campaigns say they need to win.  He told an audience in Cleveland the Republicans are working to encourage economic self-reliance, which he said the Democrats are not.

“Mitt Romney and I are running because we believe that Americans are better off in a dynamic, free enterprise-based economy that fosters economic growth and opportunity and upward mobility, instead of a stagnant, government-directed economy that stifles job creation and fosters government dependency,” Ryan said.

Both campaigns are concentrating on several states where analysts believe the November 6 election is likely to be decided.

Recent public opinion polls show the race is almost even, with Mr. Obama slightly ahead in some key states and Romney with a small advantage in some others.