VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — President Barak Obama and Mitt Romney campaigned in each other's shadow for a third straight day, hunting for votes already beginning to be cast and arguing over who would be the better job creator.
The president rallied voters in Virginia Beach while Romney told veterans in Springfield, to the north, that across-the-board defense spending cuts scheduled to take effect in January under a deal Obama made with Congress are "a kind of a gun-to-your-head opportunity."
"It's a strange proposal in the first place," Romney told about 200 people at the American Legion post outside Washington. "It's even stranger it's being put into place."
The candidates' debate spread across the airways in Virginia and a handful of other swing states where the campaign is being waged in its final days. Obama released the latest in a series of new ads his campaign has produced featuring a secret recording of Romney saying that 47 percent of Americans believe they are victims and are dependent on government. The latest spot features audio of Romney speaking over photos of people who might fit into that 47 percent category: women with children, veterans, Hispanics and working-class women.
Obama also released a lengthy two-minute commercial in which he speaks into the camera and describes a "new economic patriotism" that he says will create 1 million manufacturing jobs, cut oil imports and hire thousands of new teachers.
Both ads are set to air in New Hampshire, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Nevada and Colorado. They were not running in North Carolina, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, underscoring the states where the president's campaign contends the election is truly being fought.
Although Election Day is six weeks away, ballots are already being cast in some of those swing states.