Election storm resumes
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney returned to attacking President Barack Obama yesterday after a pause in campaigning forced on the candidates by superstorm Sandy, He hit out at the Democrat for proposing more government bureaucracy.
Romney swept into must-win Virginia hoping to increase the turnout of Republican voters in a conservative area of the state to help offset the Democrats' advantage in its north.
Virginia went for Obama in 2008 but might flip for the Republicans this year.
"Turnout here makes a big difference," Romney told a crowd at a factory that makes windows and doors.
With the race too close to call in the last five days before Tuesday's election, Romney is engaged in a frenzy of campaigning in battleground states that will probably decide the race.
The former governor of Massachusetts had not mentioned Obama's name in two days as he toned down campaign rhetoric while Americans along the East Coast reeled from Sandy.
But, with recovery under way, Romney resumed his standard campaign tactic of singling out the president for criticism.
He leapt on a comment Obama made in an interview on Monday when he said that he would like to create a government agency to help businesses create jobs.
"I've said that I want to consolidate a whole bunch of government agencies," Obama said. "We should have one secretary for business instead of nine different departments that are dealing with things like giving loans to [the Small Business Administration] or helping companies with exports."
This comment bolstered Romney's charge that the president wants to expand the government instead of boosting the private sector.
"I don't think adding a new chair to his cabinet will help add millions of jobs on Main Street," Romney said.
After a three-day hiatus, Obama was due to return to the campaign trail later yesterday, his re-election bid strengthened by a resounding endorsement of his disaster response from the Republican governor of New Jersey.
The Democratic incumbent, tied in polls with Romney, begins a two-day trip to the swing states of Colorado, Ohio and Nevada.
Obama viewed flooded and sand-swept New Jersey shore communities on a helicopter tour of the state with Republican Governor Chris Christie.
"The entire country's been watching. Everyone knows how hard Jersey has been hit," Obama told people at an evacuation shelter in the town of Brigantine.