WHITE HOUSE — Six weeks before the U.S. presidential election, President Barack Obama and his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, spent Saturday campaigning and raising money. Each candidate made the case for his plan to revive the American economy.
In the north central state of Wisconsin, the president told supporters in the city of Milwaukee his economic blueprint will better serve middle-class Americans than Governor Romney’s plan.
"Top-down economics never works," said Obama. "The country does not succeed when just those at the very top are doing well. We succeed when the middle class gets bigger, when it feels greater security.”
Romney, in his weekly podcast, said the president’s economic policies depend too much on government and do too little to help the private sector.
“Under President Obama, we have a stagnant economy that fosters government dependency. My policies will create a growing economy that fosters upward mobility,” said Romney.
Romney spent Saturday in California, not looking for votes but raising money at events in Los Angeles and San Diego.
Obama is widely expected to win California, the nation’s most populous state.
The president was visiting Wisconsin for the first time in nine months. His wife Michelle is expected to campaign there in the coming days.
Public opinion polls in Wisconsin show Obama leading by at least seven points.
At one of his three stops in Milwaukee, the president acknowledged the anti-American unrest in a number of Muslim nations, and said the United States must meet its foreign policy challenges.
“This is a world still full of serious threats. We are going to have to work to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. We are going to have to make sure that not only our diplomatic posts are safe, but we go after folks who threaten or try to kill Americans,” said Obama.
Romney’s vice-presidential running mate, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, sharply criticized Obama’s foreign policy on Saturday.
Campaigning in Florida, Ryan said the president has made America weak.
“By gutting defense, by showing we want to cut defense, by being equivocal, by not speaking up forcefully and clearly for American values of freedom and individual dignity and individual rights and religious freedom, we are projecting weakness abroad,” said Ryan.
Ryan also told Cuban-Americans in Miami that the Obama administration is too soft on the Castro government in Cuba.
Romney is expected to campaign more heavily in swing states in the coming days. The president will visit two college campuses in Ohio in the coming week, and also is likely to visit more swing states.