After talking foreign policy in the city Tuesday, President Obama and Mitt Romney were back on more familiar ground Wednesday, campaigning in a swing state that could determine the outcome of the election, an election that’s even sooner than it seems. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
Don’t let the calendar fool you. Election Day may be 41 days away but voting starts long before.
“On Oct. 2, which is just six days from now, you get to start voting," President Barack Obama said at a campaign event in Ohio Wednesday.
Ohio and most other states now have some form of early voting, unlike New York, which allows absentee voting only if you can’t make it to the polls Nov. 6. This year, it’s expected that about a third of all votes nationwide will be cast early, putting pressure on Mitt Romney just as he appears to be losing ground in battleground states.
A new poll Wednesday showed Romney down 9 points in Florida and 10 points in Ohio, where he held three events Wednesday, talking manufacturing and again blasting China.
“One thing I will do from day one is label China a currency manipulator," Romney said. "They must not steal jobs in unfair ways.”
In response, the Obama camp has sought to tie Romney to investments in China.
“When it comes to making money, those Chinese companies suit him just fine," an Obama ad says. "Romney invested in China’s version of YouTube, a haven for stealing American videos.”
Obama echoed the criticism.
“He’s been talking tough on China. He says he’s gonna take the fight to ‘em. He’s gonna go after these cheaters," the president said. "It sounds better than talking about all the years profiting from companies that sent our jobs to China.”
Romney, meanwhile, released his first TV ad speaking directly to the camera.
“President Obama and I both care about poor and middle-class families," he says in the ad. "The difference is my policies will make things better for them.”
The ad comes barely a week after his comments labeling 47 of percent of Americans as dependent on government were made public, giving his opponent fresh ammunition.
“I don’t believe we can get very far with leaders who write off half the nation as a bunch of victims who never take responsibility for their own lives,” the president said.
The candidates go head-to-head at the first presidential debate next Wednesday night in Denver.