Nor was the presidential race the only campaign drawing attention.
Republicans have expressed confidence they will be able to hold control of the House on Nov. 6, but the race for the Senate is anything but settled.
After a string of encouraging signs for the Democrats — including a near Republican meltdown in Missouri — the party's campaign arm was airing a television commercial assailing Republican Linda McMahon in a Connecticut race they had hoped would be safe for Rep. Chris Murphy.
Republicans returned the favor in Maine with an ad criticizing former Gov. Angus King, an independent seen as likely to side with Democrats if he wins the race. The seat is currently held by GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe, and her party can hardly afford to lose it and still gain the four seats needed to assure a majority in the new Congress.
Romney criticized Obama on foreign policy grounds two days after the GOP contender was taken to task by Democrats and some Republicans for his comments on an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
Nor were Obama's aides eager to let it go.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Romney and Ryan seemed to be trying scoring political points. "Now is the time when Americans should be coming together," he said.
As he spoke, anti-American protests had spread to around 20 countries. Demonstrators scaled the walls of embassies in Tunisia and Sudan, while Egyptian police fired tear gas to keep protesters away from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
Associated Press writers Kasie Hunt in Washington and Ken Thomas in Painesville, Ohio contributed to this report.
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