2012 ELECTION

President Obama, challenger Mitt Romney trade attacks on coal, wind power

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That opposition is giving Obama the chance to create a local wedge issue to appeal to unaligned voters.

Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said the Republican candidate would boost the wind industry by "promoting policies that remove regulatory barriers, support free enterprise and market-based competition, and reward technological innovation."

In the coal regions of eastern Ohio, the Obama administration is blamed for pushing ahead with regulations on new power plants that make it harder to build new coal-fired plants that have hurt places like Beallsville.

"To win Ohio, he's got to win eastern Ohio, and he's got to get the votes of people in communities all around us here," Romney said. "And you're not going to let that happen."

The presidential contest moved across five swing states Tuesday, with both campaigns operating on full strength for a second day. Romney was on his final day of a multistate bus tour, with three stops in Ohio.

Running mate Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin congressman, was dispatched to court voters and donors in Colorado and Nevada.

For all the advantages of having a running mate to share the workload, the Republicans are working through the challenge of planning double the events, coordinating messaging on the road, handling new security stresses and simply getting to know each other.

Vice President Joe Biden kept up his criticism of the Republican ticket and its support for a House GOP budget plan, telling supporters in rural southern Virginia that Romney and Ryan are "good men" but with "fundamentally flawed judgment."

Biden prompted a Republican backlash when he said the Republican candidates and GOP lawmakers would put them "back in chains" by getting rid of financial industry regulations Obama signed into law.

Said Biden: "Unchain Wall Street. They're going to put y'all back in chains."

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said Biden's comments are "not acceptable in our political discourse" and a "new low."

An Obama campaign official said it was clear that Biden was talking about the risks of letting Wall Street operate without strong oversight.

Meanwhile, Ryan was to promote Romney's "all-of-the-above" energy approach during his event in Lakewood, Colo., before heading to Las Vegas to highlight Obama's response to the state home foreclosure crisis.

The congressman also was expected to attend a private fundraiser with conservative mega-donor Sheldon Adelson. Also Tuesday, Obama's campaign launched its first television advertisement since Ryan joined the GOP ticket.

The ad, which seeks to link Romney to proposed domestic spending cuts in Ryan's austere budget proposal, criticizes Romney for backing plans that would cut college financial aid for nearly 10 million students.

That's the same criticism the White House has long leveled against Ryan's budget cuts.

Ryan has said Pell grants would still be funded under his budget. The ad is running in Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia.

Romney's camp promptly responded with an ad accusing Obama of cutting $700 billion from Medicare to pay for his health care plan.

Eager to defend Romney from Obama attacks that Republicans intend to alter Medicare, the ad states: "The Romney-Ryan plan protects Medicare benefits for today's seniors and strengthens the plan for the next generation."

 

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