Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith responded to the ad, saying: "President Obama believes that, in 2012, women should have access to free contraception as part of their health insurance, and he has done so in a way that respects religious liberty."
The issue flared anew after roiling the campaign months ago when the new health care rules were announced, and it reflected efforts by Romney and Obama to go after women voters. Polls show they heavily favor Obama.
Seeking to keep that edge, Obama reintroduced the contraception issue into the campaign in Colorado when he was introduced Wednesday by Sandra Fluke, whose congressional testimony earlier this year became a flashpoint in the debate over contraception and women's health. Fluke gained notoriety after conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh called her a slut because of her support for the Obama health care law's requirement that insurance companies cover contraception.
On Wednesday, Fluke criticized Romney for not rebuking Limbaugh more strongly.
"If Mr. Romney can't stand up to extreme voices in his own party, then he will never stand up for us," she said to a predominantly female audience in Denver.
Obama was spending a second day in the state Thursday, visiting Pueblo and Colorado Springs. He carried Colorado in 2008, but he and Romney are engaged in a tight contest for the state's nine electoral votes.
Obama highlighted his support for tax credits for wind energy manufacturers in Colorado and other states. The credit, which helps offset the cost of electricity production during a wind farm's first 10 years, is set to expire Dec. 31 unless Congress extends it. Obama supports extending the credit; Romney does not.
"At a moment when homegrown energy, renewable energy, is creating new jobs in states like Colorado and Iowa, my opponent wants to end tax credits for wind energy producers," Obama told a crowd at the Colorado State Fairgrounds.
Without the tax credits, as many as 37,000 American jobs, including hundreds in Colorado, are at risk, Obama said, using figures from a study financed by the wind industry.
Meanwhile, in a new fundraising email to supporters, Obama notes that he and Democrats "got beat by the other side" again in the race for campaign cash and declares flatly that "I will be outspent in this election."
Obama adds, "That's OK. But only if we're able to keep the spending gap close enough so that our investments in a truly grass-roots campaign pay off."
Across the country, Romney held a fundraiser Thursday on Park Avenue in New York City.
"I need you to speak the truth — talk to your friends and colleagues," he implored donors at a breakfast that raised more than $1.5 million for his campaign. Woody Johnson, a top fundraiser, told the crowd the campaign is "halfway" to its ultimate fundraising goals for the election.
Romney was spending the rest of the day in Boston, preparing for Saturday's start of a four-state bus trip and an announcement, expected soon, on his running mate.
Pace reported from Pueblo, Colo.
- 19 little-known facts about the Mission:...
- 31 things you might not know about the Harry...
- 13 baby names that are making a comeback
- The one thing you may be giving your children...
- Which U.S. cities are the best for upward...
- Abortion supporters get help from federal...
- LDS Church 're-evaluating' Scouting program...
- Dozens of Clinton emails that traversed...
- LDS Church 're-evaluating' Scouting... 110
- Religious groups react to Boy... 79
- Boy Scout board approves end to blanket... 71
- Trump's call for mass deportations runs... 17
- Obama administration wants to give... 15
- The lie behind the idea that ‘sex... 15
- With Boston out, another Salt Lake... 14
- Obama to extend college Pell grants to... 12