In Missouri, Republican Rep. Akin's comments on rape came in the midst of his campaign to unseat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Obama condemned Akin's remarks as "offensive" and took issue with past attempts by lawmakers in Congress to limit taxpayer funding of abortions to cases of "forcible rape," incest and danger to the life of the mother.
"Rape is rape," the president said.
Romney also weighed in, calling Akin's comments on rape "insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong." A number of other Republicans decried the remarks as well and at least two Republican senators called on Akin to drop out of the race. "If it was me," GOP Chairman Reince Priebus told CNN, "I would step aside and let someone else run for that office."
Akin on Monday apologized anew but said he would stay in.
Obama said: "What I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn't have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women." He acknowledged the criticism of Akin from Romney and fellow Republicans, but said:
"I think the underlying notion that we should be making decisions on behalf of women for their health care decisions -- or qualifying forcible rape versus non-forcible rape -- I think those are broader issues, and that is a significant difference in approach between me and the other party."
A House bill last year would have placed abortion restrictions on some federal tax breaks for medical care. Federal laws have long banned the use of taxpayer money for abortions except in cases of rape and incest or to save the life of the mother. Last year's proposal initially referred to an exception for "forcible" rape. That wording was eventually dropped from the bill the House passed.
In New Hampshire, Romney and Ryan made a multi-pronged case against the administration, saying Obama's policies on taxes, Medicare and foreign policy have let down the American people.
The GOP running mates promised a sunnier future of lower taxes, lower deficits, more jobs at home, and greater U.S. prestige abroad. But they offered few details on how they would achieve these goals, which have vexed Congresses and White Houses for years.
Romney's pledge not to raise anyone's taxes while also reducing federal deficits is one of several promises he has made that many independent analysts have questioned. He said tax cuts lead to greater economic growth, which in turn brings greater overall tax revenues to run the government.
The burden on U.S. taxpayers, as a proportion of the overall economy, is lower than it has been in several decades, but the nation's debt is at a record high.
After his joint appearance with Romney in New Hampshire, Ryan drove to Boston to meet the legion of staffers who worked on his rollout and now arrange all aspects of his life between now and Election Day. He also called the entire staff at Romney headquarters together for a pep talk, aides said.
Associated Press writers Philip Elliott and Julie Pace in New Hampshire contributed to this report.
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