|CALVIN WOODWARD and BEN FELLER, Associated Press|
Obama addresses a United Auto Workers
Romney was quick to issue a statement marking
Obama's backers were up early to try a morning do-over of his supporters' less-than-rosy answers Sunday when asked to answer the classic campaign question: Are Americans better off than they were four years ago?
"What they're counting on is that you get so discouraged by this, that at a certain point you just say, you know what, I'm going to leave it up to somebody else." Obama did not mention his own side's arsenal of negative advertising.
The Republican convention behind him, Romney was staying low for a few days, ceding the political attention to his rival and preparing for the October debates as Democratic conventioneers gathered for the opening of their event Tuesday in Charlotte.
Younger voters gave Obama a big boost four years ago and he can ill afford to see their support drop off in a tight election where the sluggish economy is the dominant issue in the nation and a specific drag to many young people coming out of college or trying to afford it.
But his campaign surely has a more immediate need for young people, too _ helping to fill the seats for Obama's address Thursday. With 6,000 delegates at the convention and thousands more attached to the event, Democrats hope to pack the nearly 74,000-seat outdoor stadium for the prime-time speech.
Obama has only fitfully defended his health care law from the bully pulpit since its enactment but on Sunday took it on directly. The president declared, as he has on occasion, that "I like the name" Obamacare despite its Republican origins as an insult.
"I do care," he said. "I don't know exactly what the other side is proposing; I guess you could call it `Romney doesn't care.' But this law is here to stay." Republicans have rallied around the idea of repealing the law, although Romney has not laid out a detailed alternative.
Taking a similar critical vein, a new Obama campaign ad running in six closely contested states _
The president and vice president campaigned separately across three battleground states as delegates descended on the Democrats' convention city before their first official meeting Tuesday in the
Some 800 demonstrators marched through the streets around Charlotte's convention hall, protesting what they call corporate greed as well as U.S. drone strikes overseas, said to kill children as well as terrorists. Dozens of police officers walked along with the protesters' parade, carrying gas masks, wooden batons and plastic hand ties. One arrest was reported, for public intoxication.
Biden's itinerary, in particular, underscored the threat that a sluggish recovery and high, 8.3 percent unemployment pose to Democrats seeking another term in power. He was in
Obama's aides and allies flooded the weekend talk shows. All talked down Romney, but had no glowing answer when asked if Americans were better off than four years ago. The president took office during a deep recession that ended in official terms six month later but yielded a paltry recovery with persistently high unemployment, now at 8.3 percent.
And another aide,
But Democrats didn't miss a beat when it came to criticizing Romney and drawing contrasts between the convention that launched him into the last leg of the race and their own gathering ahead. Obama campaign spokeswoman
Romney spent Sunday at his
Obama aides said they expected Romney and Republicans to outpace the president and his party in fundraising in August because Obama spent less time raising cash than in the month before and because the
At the Democratic convention,
Woodward reported from
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