Nashua, New Hampshire (CNN) – In the latest sign of just how tight both presidential campaigns view the race, President Barack Obama rallied voters on Saturday in New Hampshire – a battleground state that caries just four electoral college votes.
Obama carried the state by a 10 points four years ago, but his fortunes in the Granite State now are considerably more in doubt. Obama's victory in 2008 was largely due to support from self-identified independents, who make up more than a third of the electorate.
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Now, all indications suggest rival Mitt Romney, who was governor of neighboring Massachusetts and has a vacation home in New Hampshire, has the edge with independents.
The president's speech to more-than 8,000 supporters outside a picturesque New England middle school in Nashua, was largely a retread of his usual stump speech – touching on themes of lowering taxes for the middle class, promoting women's rights, and winding down the war in Afghanistan.
But perhaps because he was standing not more than 10 miles from the Massachusetts border, Obama also took new swipes at Romney's record while governor there.
"Once he took office, he pushed through a tax cut that overwhelmingly benefited 278 of the wealthiest families in the state, and then he raised taxes and fees on middle class families to the tune of $750 million. Does that sound familiar to you?"
Romney jabbed back at the president in an event in Kissimmee, Florida, saying Obama's campaign this year is weaker than it was four years ago.
"Look, four years ago when he ran for office, he spoke about the big things going on. But today his campaign has been reduced to the smallest," Romney said. "He's talking about characters on Sesame Street and silly word games, and attacks me."
"It's like, you know, there are other ways to go after me – just go after me with the truth, you don't need to make up things," Romney continued. "But he makes things up he knows aren't true, and frankly I think that's in part why his campaign isn't making much progress, is because people recognize this is a critical time."
Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams said in a statement that Obama's comments were "desperate attacks."
"As governor, Mitt Romney worked with Democrats to close a $3 billion deficit, balance four budgets while cutting taxes 19 times, create tens of thousands of new jobs, and lower the Massachusetts unemployment rate to 4.7%," Williams continued, countering Obama's characterization of the former Massachusetts governor's record there.
Ahead of his speech, Obama made a surprise stop a local Teamsters union outpost in Manchester. The president is counting on a strong Democratic turnout to counter Romney's likely advantage with independents in New Hampshire.
"New Hampshire is going to be very important," he told about 60 union members there. "We don't know how this thing is going to play out. These four electoral votes right here could make the difference."
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Keep pushing forward Mr. President. You have a plan that is beginning to work (GDP up, DOW up, 401Ks up, Housing up, We've stop losing jobs, saved from another Great Depression, Osama Bin Laden gone, Equal pay for equal work, GM is alive, etc.)
Come on New hampshire make the right choice. do you want a president who is for the middle class or a president for the rich. It's an easy choice. i sure do NOT want to go back to the bush years. Do you honestly think Romney is telling you the truth or telling you what you want to hear. He still hasn't told anyone about his tax plan or how he is going to create jobs, but people still vote for him. i do not get it, people have to be smarter than this.
Doesn't anybody care that the Obama administration is covering up the killing of the ambassador and 3 others in Libya? Why won't the Communist New Network with Soledad, Wolfie, Andersen, Piers, et al., cover some real news which affects the election?
Sorry Obama the ship has sailed!
How anybody in there right mind could vote for Mitt Romney is beyond reality. This man has changed positions for years and has not said anything this whole campaign but,trust me ill get the job done. Look at these lunatic senate candidates from Indiana and Missouri, that's the real GOP.
If Obama is desperate enough to spend the last few days of the campaign fighting for New Hampshire's four votes, his number crunchers have not been bringing him good news.
Independents don't accept the B.S. from Romney and Lyin' Ryan when they won't provide any details at all! The fact checkers have caught them lying every time they open their mouths yet they want us to "trust them". Romney has flip-flopped on every issue and appears to have no actual convictions. He's a spoiled rich boy who wants power. Ryan's budget would kill Medicare, Social Security and hammer the middle class – regardless of the lies they're now spreading.
Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive. The economy is recovering regardless of the Republican's efforts to prevent the recovery. Iraq is over and Afghanistan is winding down fast. Housing values are recovering. The President didn't start a new war but worked with our Allies instead in all foreign affairs. The Obamacare program is keeping millions from doing without healthcare and is exactly like "Romneycare" – but Obamacare tells us how it's paid for. The President represent all Americans – not just the wealthy.
Romney gives promises without any specifics. We still haven't seen his tax returns. None of the math even comes close to working without killing Medicare, trashing Social Security, and heavily taxing the middle class. Still, no specifics. Fact checkers prove that Romney and Ryan constantly lie. Why would anybody believe them?
All of President Obama's events have massive amounts of attendees.
Spending by each President for budgets they actually wrote. passed and
Reagan 1982-85 increase of 8.7%
Reagan 1985-89 increase of 4.9%
GHWBush 1990-93 increase of 5.4%
Clinton 1994-97 increase of 3.2%
Clinton 1998-01 increase of 3.9%
GWBush 2002-05 increase of 7.3%
GWBush 2006-09 increase of 8.1%
Obama 2010-13 increase of 1.4%
Obama/Biden 2012 - ( for a chance to make more than $1 / hour with Mitt )
21 of 22 countries polled want Obama to win a 2nd term. Only Pakistan wants Romney.
What do we know that half of America can't see? Obama looks and sounds Presidential. Romney sounds like the Bernie Madof of American Politics looking to pull the wool over millions of Americans eyes.
Yeah, you would think Mitt Romney could come up with a new line, if he were intelligent! But he can't! I heard you Robme the first 30 times!
Mitt is a cntrol freak hes a angry man who likes to control women well mitt just because your wife likes to be controlled doesnt other women do weve come a long way baby and dont want to go back
Obama is a 70% favorite to win New Hampshire. If Romney did such a bang up job as Governor, why is he losing badly in Massachusetts?
Where is John Sununu ?
Why are Americans supporting Rommney the snake Oil sales man. People before you vote stop and think what done Rammney stand for, can you trust him when his positions change when ever he feels or think he can gain something. All the Bush people are now adving Rommney, do we want another usless war to kill thousands of Americans... No help from NATO and allies aroud the world this time. The world trust, respect and listen to America once again thanks to President Barack Obama. Don't screw it up by vote by voting for Rommney and the GOP.
Check this out courtesy of ABCNews:
"A study by the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures found that in 2003, the first year of Romney’s tenure in Massachusetts, the state imposed roughly $500 million in higher fees, more than any other state. Mortgage-recording fees increased from $36 to $158; driving permits increased from $15 to $30; and marriage licenses went from $4 to $50, the study found.
The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation estimated that new fees and loophole closures raised $750 million per year between 2003 and 2007. Romney did not approve any formal tax increases, contrary to Obama’s suggestion, though his critics argue there is little difference between fee hikes and taxes."
Romney did no raise taxes but hiked fees You do not need the legislature to hike fees but you need them to cut or raise taxes so the argument from romney's camp does not hold water.
well this is 1 NH republican voting for Obama. if Mitt wanted my vote he should have showed me his taxes. i am not interested in a president who starts with something to hide.
What Obama should be pushing for is boxes!
He is going to need them so he can pack up his stuff and move back to the windy city. Thats funny, he is windy and he is moving back to the windy city. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa