WHITE HOUSE — Two weeks before the election, Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney are intensely seeking votes in several key states that could decide the outcome of the election. Public opinion surveys on Tuesday show the race is virtually tied.
One day after the last of their three presidential debates, President Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Romney traveled across America, looking for an advantage among the electorate.
At a campaign stop in Delray Beach, Florida, Obama said his opponent shifted his positions on several issues in the debates.
“In all seriousness, I mean, we are accustomed to seeing politicians change their positions from, like, four years ago. We are not accustomed to seeing politicians change their positions from four days ago,” Obama said.
Romney held a rally near Las Vegas, Nevada, where he said the president has no plan to improve the economy.
“We have gone through four debates, with the vice presidential debate and my debates, and we have not heard an agenda from the president. And that is why his campaign is taking on water and our campaign is full speed ahead,” Romney said.
Obama responded to criticism that he has not specified his plan for the next four years by releasing a booklet, laying out where he intends to lead the country during a second term in office.
The president’s newly-released plan calls for instituting tax breaks for companies that create jobs, reducing dependence on foreign oil, increasing spending for education and job training, cutting the U.S. deficit, and rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure.
After leaving Florida, Obama made yet another trip to Ohio, a state both campaigns say they need to win.
In Dayton, the president made a joint campaign appearance with Vice President Joe Biden.
At a rally in Toledo earlier in the day, Biden sharply criticized Governor Romney for comments he made on foreign policy during Monday night’s debate.
“Whether it was the strength of the United States Navy, or our plans for Afghanistan, or how to handle Iran, or our relationship with Israel — you got a very clear sense that these guys just do not get it,” Biden said.
Governor Romney and his running mate, Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, shared the stage in Nevada.
Ryan criticized Mr. Obama’s performance on his handling of the U.S. economy.
“We do not have to settle for 23 million Americans struggling to find work. We do not have to settle for 11.8 percent unemployment in Nevada. We do not have to settle for all these underwater mortgages [i.e., mortgages that are more expensive than than the value of their corresponding properties]. We do not have to settle for 15 percent of our fellow countrymen and women living in poverty,” Ryan said.
Although public opinion surveys show that most Americans believe President Obama won Monday’s debate, Governor Romney has closed the gap in many swing states.