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Obama argues for 'new economic patriotism' in ad

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By contrast, the president says he would create a million new manufacturing jobs, cut oil imports in half by producing more American energy and improve education through teacher hiring and student aid.

"It’s time for a new economic patriotism, rooted in the belief that growing our economy begins with a strong, thriving middle class," Obama says. "Read my plan. Compare it to Governor Romney’s and decide for yourself."

But while Obama does draw a difference between himself and Romney, the ad strikes a softer tone than recent commercials — evidence both that the president is trying to break through in swing states that have become saturated by political advertisements, and that he is trying to solidify recent gains in the polls that show him opening significant leads in states including Ohio, Iowa and Florida.

The ad, which runs at four times the length of most campaign commercials, will air in New Hampshire, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Nevada and Colorado.

In a statement Thursday, the Romney campaign played off the president's "patriotism" argument to blast his economic plan.

“Four years ago, Barack Obama called it ‘unpatriotic’ to run up debts our children will have to pay," Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said. "Yet in the time it takes his latest ad to run, our national debt grows by at least another $5 million. With $16 trillion in debt, 23 million Americans struggling for work and spending out of control, President Obama’s record is clear. We can’t afford another four years that look like the last four years.”

Both Romney and Obama have campaign events scheduled for Thursday in Virginia.