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Analysts on the Final Campaign Push

By The NewsHour, The NewsHour - November 1, 2012

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JUDY WOODRUFF: After devoting the first half of the week to Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, the president returned to the campaign trail today. With the election around the corner, Mr. Obama received a surprise endorsement.

With the devastation of the megastorm consuming his attention, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg surprised the political world today by endorsing President Obama for reelection.

In a statement, Bloomberg said: "The hurricane's cost in lost lives, lost homes and lost business brought the stakes of Tuesday's presidential election into sharp relief."

He credited Mr. Obama with taking major steps to reduce carbon consumption and noted, not only President Obama's position on climate change, but also on a woman's right to choose and marriage equality as evidence of a vision different from that of Mitt Romney.

The news came as the president returned to the campaign trail, stopping first in Green Bay, Wis. He revived his own slogan of 2008 to question Mitt Romney's ideas.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Gov. Romney has been using all his talents as a salesman to dress up these very same policies that failed our country so badly, the very same policies we have been cleaning up after for the past four years. And he is offering them up as change.

(LAUGHTER)

BARACK OBAMA: He's saying he's the candidate of change.

Well, let me tell you, Wisconsin, we know what change looks like.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BARACK OBAMA: And what the governor's offering sure ain't change.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Polls currently give the president a slight edge in Wisconsin. But, nationally, they are mostly dead even.

Romney spent his day in Virginia, a tied state, telling a crowd in Roanoke that the president is clueless when it comes to business.

MITT ROMNEY (R): So we came up with an idea last week, which is he's going to create the Department of Business.

(LAUGHTER)

MITT ROMNEY: I don't think adding a new chair in his Cabinet will help add millions of jobs on Main Street.

(LAUGHTER)

MITT ROMNEY: We don't need a secretary of business to understand business; we need a president who understands business, and I do.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

MITT ROMNEY: And that's why I will be able to get this economy going.

JUDY WOODRUFF: A charge his running mate, Paul Ryan, continued later in Colorado.

REP. PAUL RYAN, R-Wis.: You know, we already have a secretary of business. It's actually called the secretary of commerce. That's what this -- that's what this agency does.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden spent the day in Iowa, where he attacked Ryan's budget plan.

VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH BIDEN: Look, Ryan saying that his budget doesn't cut, it just slows, is a little like Romney standing in an unemployment line and saying to the unemployed guy, look, I want to make it clear to you. I didn't outsource your job. I just offshored your job.

JUDY WOODRUFF: In fact, today, the candidates, their running mates, spouses and surrogates blanketed seven tossup states around the country.

Former President Bill Clinton has hit the trail hard, appearing today in Wisconsin and Ohio on behalf of the president.

BILL CLINTON, former U.S. president: I am far more enthusiastic about him today than I was four years ago.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Mr. Clinton was in Minnesota earlier in the week, where the Romney campaign recently announced a new ad buy. It's a place both sides had earlier assumed would belong to the Democrats.

The Obama camp countered with a new ad of his own, featuring the endorsement of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, ran it there and in nine other states.

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