Obama, Romney deliver final pitch; both vow change in Washington

GOP nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama are making a last-minute push in key swing states, with each arguing he's the only one who can fix Washington, D.C.

Speaking in New Hampshire on Sunday with former President Bill Clinton, Obama attacked Romney for his recent argument that he'll bring "real change" to Washington.

"He's a very talented salesman, and in this campaign he's tried as hard as he can to repackage the same old ideas and pretend they're new,” Obama said. “In fact, he's offering them up as change, says he’s the candidate of change. Now, let me just say this: We know what change looks like, and what he’s selling ain't it."

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The GOP nominee fired back, tweaking Obama for his campaign slogan of "Forward."

"He calls them 'forward.' I call them 'forewarned,' " Romney said in Des Moines, Iowa, telling voters that Obama's second term would look a lot like his first.

At an event in Cleveland, Romney told voters that Obama had “just two more days, not four more years.”

“My conviction that better days are ahead is not based on promises or hollow rhetoric but on solid plans and proven results," the former Massachusetts governor said. 


"He wants us to settle,” Romney said. “Americans don't settle, we aspire, we dream, we achieve."

But in an interview Sunday evening with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, Vice President Biden argued that the president could expect more compromise from GOP lawmakers during a second term. 

“I think you’re going to see the fever break,” said Biden of GOP opposition to the president. “I think you’re going to see Obama’s reelected, the idea ‘we can’t let that happen’ is done, and now it’s going to be OK.”

With a number of polls over the weekend showing a close race, the candidates are barnstorming the country, looking for an advantage in the battleground states that will likely decide the contest.

Obama began the day in New Hampshire, before jetting to Florida, a state Romney's campaign had hoped would have been safely in the GOP column at this point, then continuing to all-important Ohio. 

Romney started his Sunday in Iowa before taking off for Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania — his first appearance in that state in months. 

New national polls released over the weekend showed the candidates in a dead heat among likely voters. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll gave Obama a 1-point edge, at 48-47, while ABC News/Washington Post surveys showed the candidates tied at 48, and Rasmussen at 49. 

Both campaigns are scrambling with little time left before Election Day to solidify their standing in the key battleground states that will likely decide the election.

The Romney campaign on Sunday also touted its last-minute push in Pennsylvania as an effort to expand the map. Conservative groups have dumped millions into airtime in the state in the past week, and his team argues the move shows it's closing fast there.

But the Obama campaign dismissed Romney's trip to suburban Philadelphia, calling it a "desperate ploy," in the words of senior adviser David Plouffe, and pointing to public polls showing the president with an edge in other key swing states.

Three new Pennsylvania polls showed conflicting pictures of the state. An Allentown Morning Call poll showed Obama's lead dwindling to 3 points, down from a 5-point edge the last time it polled the state. 

A new poll from Susquehanna Research found the two tied, though that's actually a dip for Romney from its last survey, when a poll taken for the state Republican Party found Romney had a narrow lead. 

The Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) found Obama retaining a comfortable 6-point lead, virtually unchanged from its last poll.

Romney's move into Pennsylvania comes as polls in other states his campaign was confident about capturing remain close. 

A Columbus Dispatch poll found Obama up 50-48 in the Buckeye State. But 11 of the last 12 public polls of Ohio have had Obama in the lead, while the 12th, from the conservative Rasmussen Reports, had the race tied. Romney likely needs to win Ohio to become president — a fact top Romney surrogate Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) admitted Sunday morning.

"Probably, but I wouldn't want to risk it," Portman said when asked on CNN if Romney could find a path to victory that didn't include Ohio. "No Republican ever has [won without Ohio]. And I think we're going to win Ohio, I really do."

Romney is also stumping in Virginia and Iowa. 

The president, though, holds a 5-point lead in Iowa, according to a poll Sunday from the Des Moines Register. Recent polls in Virginia also give Obama a slight edge, with a WeAskAmerica poll putting him up 1 and a CBS/New York Times/Quinnipiac poll putting him up 2 points.

Romney, though, held a strong lead in the latest Florida poll, with the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald/Mason-Dixon giving him a 51-45 edge. Obama is slated to stump in that state later Sunday.

With so many states still a toss-up, both campaigns have hailed the ability of their ground games to make the difference.

The Obama campaign is touting its record mobilizing large numbers of voters to cast their ballots early. 

“[Romney] would have to win 65 percent of the remaining votes in North Carolina, 59 percent in Iowa and Colorado, 58 percent in Nevada, 55 percent in Florida and Ohio and 52 percent in Virginia and Wisconsin,” the Obama campaign said in a memo on early voting released late Saturday.

"Early vote's gone very well for us. We think we're closing with strong momentum," senior Obama strategist David Plouffe said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.

Romney adviser Ed Gillespie pushed back, arguing that the Romney campaign expected a groundswell of support from undecideds on Election Day.

"Number one, their ground game is not superior, and number two, I think those undecided voters are going to turn out and they're going to break pretty strongly against the president," said Gillespie.

This story was posted at 1:34 p.m. and has been updated.

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