At the end, Romney, Obama spar over voter revenge

Associated Press Modified: November 3, 2012 at 2:01 pm •  Published: November 3, 2012
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Likewise, virtually Romney's entire senior team left the campaign's Boston headquarters to travel with Romney for the contest's final three days. Their presence for the campaign's waning hours is an admission that the strategy and planning is largely complete. His schedule has been set, the ads have been placed and Romney's message has been decided.

The tight inner circle that has worked with him for several years in most cases plan to enjoy the final moments on the campaign trail at Romney's side.

"It's been a long road," Ann Romney told reporters aboard the campaign plane, offering breakfast pastries to Secret Service agents and reporters alike. After campaigning on her own for the past month, she joined her husband for the final swing.

After his Saturday morning rally on the New Hampshire seacoast, Romney targeted Iowa and then Colorado. He shifted an original plan to campaign in Nevada on Sunday in favor of a schedule likely to bring him back to Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Obama's Saturday itinerary had him heading from Ohio to Milwaukee and Dubuque, Iowa, and ending the day in Bristow, Va. On Sunday, he was taking his campaign to New Hampshire, Florida, Colorado and Ohio.

GOP running mate Paul Ryan was in Ohio and Pennsylvania, where he, too, took issue with Obama's "revenge" comment.

"We don't believe in revenge; we believe in change and hope," he said in Ohio. "We actually do."

Biden, in Colorado, worked in a new dig at Romney tied to this weekend's shift back to standard time: "It's Mitt Romney's favorite time of year, because he gets to turn the clock back. He wants to turn that clock back so desperately. This time he can really do it."

Polling shows the race remains a tossup heading into the final days. But Romney still has the tougher path; he must win more of the nine most-contested states to reach 270 electoral votes: Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, Nevada, Wisconsin, Iowa and New Hampshire.

Romney has added Pennsylvania to the mix, hoping to end a streak of five presidential contests where the Democratic candidate prevailed in the state. Obama won Pennsylvania by more than 10 percentage points in 2008; the latest polls in the state give him a 4- to 5-point margin.

After months of attack ads, the Obama and Romney campaigns both closed out their campaigns with some upbeat new messages while their allied independent groups continued on a largely negative note.

Obama's campaign was airing a 1-minute ad, "Determination," in all the major battleground states. Obama ticks through his plans to boost manufacturing, invest in education and job training, and bring down the deficit in part by asking wealthy people to "pay a little bit more."

Romney's campaign was running an ad across the battleground states titled "Clear Path," which pulled clips from the third presidential debate where Romney laid out how his presidency would differ from Obama's.

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Benac reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Beth Fouhy and Stephen Ohlemacher in Washington, Kasie Hunt and Steve Peoples in Iowa, Philip Elliott and Julie Pace in Ohio, Matthew Daly in Colorado and Suzette Laboy in Miami contributed to this report.

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Follow Jim Kuhnhenn on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jkuhnhenn

Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/nbenac

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