US presidential candidates prepare for second debate
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP):Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is promoting new-found enthusiasm for his candidacy with campaign stops yesterday in Ohio as President Barack Obama highlighted the success of American automakers in as result of a government bailout.
Both men are preparing for their critical second debate, set for Tuesday in New York.
Obama was hunkering down yesterday in Virginia to go over the game plan for the town-hall style debate with Romney.
But his weekly official radio and Internet address spoke of an industry that's critical to Ohio, a battleground state that is perhaps the most important to his Republican opponent's White House hopes.
"We refused to throw in the towel and do nothing. We refused to let Detroit go bankrupt," Obama said in the address.
"GM is back. Ford and Chrysler are growing again. Together, our auto industry has created nearly a quarter of a million new jobs right here in America."
Romney opposed using government funds to help the auto industry go through bankruptcy.
Many analysts believe the industry would not have survived if it had relied on private investment for rescue. It's an issue that has dogged Romney in Ohio, where numerous auto parts suppliers also benefited from the survival of the big three automakers.
new TV ad
The Obama campaign also released a new TV ad narrated by actor Morgan Freeman noting the challenges Obama inherited and highlighting the president's successes, including saving jobs for American autoworkers and killing Osama bin Laden.
Romney is concluding a week of campaign rallies that saw him drawing larger, more excited crowds than he has through the fall campaign.
More than 10,000 people turned out to several rallies, with the campaign saying that more people were signing up to attend events following Romney's strong debate performance on October 3 in Denver, Colorado.
After his widely panned performance in the first presidential debate, polls show Obama still holds a slim edge in Ohio.
The state is crucial for Romney because his path to winning the 270 Electoral College votes he needs to win the election is far narrower if he can't win Ohio. Losing here would mean he'd have to win almost all of the other up-for-grabs battleground states. No Republican candidate has won the presidency without taking Ohio.
Obama was in Ohio this week, too, but he was spending the weekend in Williamsburg, Virginia, preparing for the debate.
The president has acknowledged he needs to turn in a stronger performance when the two meet again.