Obama, Romney Make Final Pitches to Voters

Obama defends his record and asks for more time, Romney asks voters to make a change.

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Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama entertain voters' babies as the 2012 presidential campaign nears its end.
Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama entertain voters' babies as the 2012 presidential campaign nears its end.

It's the sprint to the finish in the presidential election and the candidates are making their final pitches to voters. Mirroring what their entire campaigns have been focused on up to now, President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney are talking about the economy and job creation in the lead up to Election Day.

In an opinion piece for CNN, Obama highlighted bright spots in the country's ongoing financial recovery.

"Our businesses have created more than five million new jobs in the last two and half years, home values and 401(k)s are rising," he wrote. "We are less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in the last 20 years and the American auto industry is back."

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The president continued to argue for his re-election, saying there's more work to be done and went on the attack against Romney's economic agenda, unfavorably comparing it to that of former President George W. Bush.

Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama entertain voters' babies as the 2012 presidential campaign nears its end.
Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama entertain voters' babies as the 2012 presidential campaign nears its end.

"The path Gov. Romney offers is the one we tried for eight years after President Clinton left office – a philosophy that says those at the very top get to play by a very different set of rules than everyone else," Obama said. "Bigger tax cuts for the wealthy that we can't afford – encouraging companies to ship jobs and profits overseas, fewer rules for big banks and insurance companies. They're the policies that caused this mess in the first place."

The end of Obama's pitch to voters sought to strike an optimistic, forward-looking tone.

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"The America we believe in is within our reach. The future we hope for is within our sights. That's why I'm asking for your vote this Tuesday," he said. "The closing hours of a campaign have a dynamic of their own. Many voters have known for some time who they will vote for. Others are just now putting aside the demands of daily life and considering how their vote will affect their life, the lives of their children, and the course of the country we love."

Romney, meanwhile, delivered one of his final overtures to Wisconsin voters on Friday, seeking to remind voters of Obama's failure to deliver on key promises made in 2008.

"Four years ago, candidate Obama promised to do so very much, but he has fallen so very short. The question of this election comes down to this: do you want more of the same or do you want real change?" Romney said.

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The GOP contender, again continuing the message that he's carried throughout his campaign, said his experience as a businessman will help him best Obama at creating jobs and guiding the recovery.

"I know how to change the course the nation is on, how to get us to a balanced budget and how to build jobs and rising take-home pay," he said. "Accomplishing real change is not something I just talk about--it is something I have done."

Romney, like Obama, also tried to give voters a positive feeling of how the future would be under his leadership.

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"When I am elected, I will work with Republicans and Democrats in Congress," he said. "I will endeavor to find those good men and women on both sides of the aisle that care more about the country than about the politics."

America can do better than the last four years, Romney said.

"If there is anyone worried the last four years are the best we can do, if there is anyone who fears that the American dream is fading away, if there is anyone who wonders whether better jobs and better paychecks are things of the past, I have a clear and unequivocal message: with the right leadership, America will come roaring back," he said. "We are Americans. We can do anything."

The two men and their surrogates are scheduled to make campaign stops at rallies in battleground states from Colorado to Florida to New Hampshire in the final four days before Election Day. Recent national polling shows that Obama and Romney remain virtually tied with four days to go.

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  • Rebekah Metzler is a political writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or reach her at rmetzler@usnews.com.