“He said, ‘You know, I’m showing up on the employment rolls, but my life is changed dramatically,’” Romney said.
Of Obama’s campaign slogan, ‘Forward,’ Romney said, “It doesn’t feel like ‘Forward’ to 23 million Americans struggling to get a good job. It doesn’t feel like ‘Forward’ to the millions of people who don’t have as good of a job as they did a few years ago. It doesn’t feel like ‘Forward.’ It feels like ‘Backward.’”
In Nevada, where early voting began this week, polls suggest Romney is trailing Obama. Despite Nevada’s dire economic picture — the state has the nation’s highest unemployment rate, at 11.8 percent — Obama is buoyed by an extensive ground operation, a growing number of Hispanic voters and a powerful organized labor presence.
Romney focused some of his remarks in Reno on Nevada’s depressed housing market, predicting that if Obama is reelected, “I’m convinced you’re going to see the values of your homes continue to bump along in the basement, and you’re going to find it hard to get a mortgage.”
“If I’m elected — when I’m elected — we’re going to do this, we’re going to finally get this housing market going and get jobs and get this economy going,” he said.
Speaking to reporters in Davenport, the Obama campaign’s chief strategist, David Plouffe, exuded confidence about Obama’s position in battleground states. He was asked about the possibility that the Romney camp is bluffing about his strength right now in an effort to build momentum in those battleground states.
Plouffe said he senses that “they are very concerned about Ohio,” and he suggested that Romney’s spending and travel schedule belie his campaign’s narrative that Florida and Virginia “are moving in their direction.”
“I believe they are overstating their electoral college situation,” Plouffe said. The amount of time Romney is spending in Ohio, along with “historic amounts” of spending in Florida and Virginia by the Romney campaign and super PACs, indicate that his handlers may be less confident about their chances in those states than they let on, he said.
For Obama, after Davenport it was back to Air Force One and on to Colorado, the next stop in a campaign swing that could well help determine who the next occupant of the Oval Office will be.
Rucker reported from Reno. Jason Horowitz in Davenport contributed to this report.