President Barack Obama, Mitt Romney showing new urgency in close race
The president, Kerry and the Democratic debate team will head to Williamsburg, Va., this weekend for intensive preparations before next Tuesday's face-off at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. They held a similar "debate camp" in Nevada in the days before the first debate.
Obama plans to rally support from students at Ohio State University on Tuesday, the last day for Ohioans to register to vote. Early voting is under way there and in many other states in one form or another
Tough-talking New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was joining Romney for a second day of Ohio campaigning Wednesday. Ryan lamented the negative ads from Obama's campaign blanketing the Ohio airways.
"He doesn't have anything to run on so he's running all of these ads, outspending us here in Ohio trying to basically call us liars," Ryan told WTOL, a TV station in Toledo, Ohio.
The Obama campaign unleashed a new ad Tuesday on national broadcast and cable networks featuring its favorite new weapon: Big Bird.
Employing ominous narration, the spot ridicules Romney for singling out the "Sesame Street" character and PBS subsidies as examples of spending he would cut. "One man has the guts to say his name," says the ad, which flashes to Romney and then the feathered creature. "Big. Yellow. A menace to our economy. Mitt Romney knows it's not Wall Street you have to worry about. It's Sesame Street."
Sesame Workshop, the producer of the show, said in a statement on its Web site that it requested the ad be taken down because it's a nonpartisan nonprofit that doesn't participate in political campaigns.
Romney ridiculed Obama for focusing on Big Bird instead of serious issues. "So you have to scratch your head when the president spends the last week talking about saving Big Bird," Romney said told his Iowa supporters. "I actually think we need to have a president who talks about saving the American people and saving good jobs."
Pickler reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Jim Kuhnhenn, David Espo and Julie Pace in Washington, Tom Beaumont in Des Moines, Iowa; Steve Peoples in Van Meter, Iowa, and Ann Sanner in Columbus, Ohio, contributed to this report.
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