In Reno, Obama pushed Congress to approve mortgage refinancing legislation. For contrast, his campaign pointed to Romney's past assertion that the solution to the foreclosure crisis was to let the housing market hit bottom.
Earlier this year, Obama proposed lower lending rates for millions of borrowers who haven't been able to get out from under burdensome mortgages. Obama would cover the estimated $5 billion to $10 billion cost with a fee on large banks. But that plan faces an uphill fight in Congress. The White House says it would not insist on the bank fees to finance the plan.
In choosing Nevada, Obama focused on a state that he won in 2008 but whose economic struggles have been among the worst.
Nevada's unemployment rate was 12 percent in March, the highest in the nation. The state's foreclosures rates are second highest in the country, behind Arizona. And the Nevadans most affected by the state's poor economy are the very voters who rallied behind Obama in 2008.
Like Romney, Obama will be drawn back to social issues after Friday. On Monday he plans a major fundraiser with gay and Latino donors in New York City, headlined by singer Ricky Martin, himself a gay Latino. He also will speak at Barnard College, sharing the stage with Evan Wolfson, the founder of the pro-gay group Freedom to Marry.
Associated Press writer Philip Elliott in North Carolina contributed to this report.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.