Romney shows softer side; Obama raising more cash

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally in Apopka, Fla. on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)

AP

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally in Apopka, Fla. on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)

— Mitt Romney is showing his softer side, while President Barack Obama works to extend his cash advantage as both men begin a final month sprint to Election Day.

The Republican presidential nominee was spending a second consecutive day campaigning in Florida on Sunday, where he is drawing on the success of his recent debate performance and pressing a populist message.

"These are tough years for the middle class and the poor in America," he told more than 6,000 supporters Saturday night at an amphitheater in Apopka, Fla., near Orlando.

He later shared his personal connection to three people who have died, including a former classmate who attended one of his rallies despite being wheelchair bound.

Romney said he whispered in his friend's ear, "I love ya and God bless ya."

"He died the next day," he continued. "It's rare that you get a chance to tell someone how much you love him while you still can."

The message is part of a larger strategy to emphasize Romney's compassionate side and centrist political positions as he courts the slice of voters yet to settle on a candidate.

Obama, meanwhile, is trying to recover from a lackluster debate last week that gave his Republican rival some badly needed momentum. The president got some good news of his own when Friday's jobs report put the nation's unemployment rate at the lowest level of his presidency.

Obama's campaign is well positioned to press his message that the nation's economy is moving in the right direction over the contest's final month. While polls suggest the race is tightening, Obama and his party have reported raising $181 million in September.

It was their best fundraising month of the campaign and just short of their record of $190 million in the 2008 campaign, also in September. Romney's campaign has not released its report for the month yet.

Obama was setting out Sunday to collect more campaign cash over two days in California. The state is safely in Obama's column but drawing his attention because it is rich with Democratic donors.

In what will be his final fundraising trip out West this election, Obama's celebrity friends — from actors to singers to chefs — will come out in force to help him get others to donate. Obama was expected to raise several million dollars.

Such a dedicated focus on fundraising this late in the campaign underscores the central role of money in swaying votes, particularly in television advertising in the eight to nine states that will decide the outcome.

On Sunday, Obama was holding two fundraisers in Los Angeles. He is also appearing at a small, elite gathering at the home of entertainment mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, where Obama will be joined by former President Bill Clinton. His campaign calls the gathering a "thank you event" for longtime donors.

Obama's main event will be his remarks at a star-studded concert at the Nokia Theatre, marking exactly 30 days until the election. Actor George Clooney and musical guests Stevie Wonder, Jon Bon Jovi and Katy Perry will entertain the crowd.

The president will wrap up his night at Wolfgang Puck's WP24 restaurant, high above the L.A. skyline in the Ritz-Carlton hotel. With 150 people expected at a cost of $25,000 per person, that event alone will raise $3.75 million.

Obama's trip, in total, will be three days, covering fundraisers in San Francisco and a rally in Columbus, Ohio, the state at the center of both campaign's efforts.

The only official presidential business on the trip comes Monday in Keene, Calif., where Obama will designate as a national monument the home of Latino leader Cesar Chavez, who died in 1993. Yet even that move has political implications. It is an appeal to Hispanic voters, who supported Obama by a 2-to-1 margin in 2008 and favor him by a similar margin over Romney, polling shows.

The weekend had Obama on a high, and he needed it after a lackluster midweek debate against Romney that gave fresh hope to the challenger's bid.

Friday brought the news that the unemployment rate has dropped below 8 percent for the first time since Obama took office. And on Saturday, Obama's campaign reported that the president and his party raised a combined $181 million in September, their most lucrative month of the election. And, belatedly, Obama and his wife celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary.

Meanwhile, Romney's campaign unveiled a new television ad claiming Obama is not telling the truth when he says Romney wants to cut $5 trillion in taxes. The campaign has not said where the ad will run.

Obama's campaign is also running a new TV ad called "Dishonest," which carries on the post-debate theme that Romney grossly misrepresented his own positions as well as Obama's on taxes. Online videos were posted by the campaign with the mantra, "Romney won't tell the truth," about Medicare, energy, taxes and more.

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Comments » 4

20_Days writes:

Chavez will be happy to contribute more to Obumba's campaign with money stolen from his own people. After all, Obumba is part of Chavez's world socialism strategy.

RayPray writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The GREAT OBAMA is for sure God's gift to America, the GREATEST PRez we ever had -- way above Washington & Lincoln -- , as Knock Kinock BIDEN is our most astute Vice.

Everyone I know has contributed thousands in his struggle against the evil of Robot Romney.

See here:

http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/ne...

So, I now challenge Klaus to put his money where his mouth is and mail a check today to our GREAT OBAMA victory campaign for at least $10,000. (That's in US dollars.)

20_Days writes:

If the love of Obama is not there from Chavez why was Chavez quoting in supporting our Socialist In Chief? Patriotism has nothing to do with loving the president it has to do with respecting the office.

Maybe in Germany where you got your education loving the man was loving the country, not in this country it isn't. The world knows how that turned or did you forget or deny?

Was that your family being led thru Aushwitz or Buchenwald when the U.S. Generals forced them to see what they denied was happening. I bet it was!

20_Days writes:

You know the same person who Obama claimed to be the great uncle who liberated Aushwitz. I was going by what your great president was quoted to say and later recanted it when he found out it was the Russians who liberated Aushwitz.

I guess Obama is no smarter then I am and you wish another 4 years with him.

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