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The Obama defectors


* In what was billed as his closing argument, Mitt Romney sounded an optimistic note at a campaign stop in Wisconsin on Friday, saying, “Americans don’t settle. We build, we aspire, we listen to that voice inside us that says, ‘We can do better.’” Romney also received the endorsement of Football Hall of Famer Bart Starr, a former Green Bay Packers quarterback. 

* At a campaign stop in Ohio, President Obama vowed to work with Republicans in Congress during a second term, but acknowledged there would be disagreements. “I’m a very nice guy, people will tell you. I really am,” Obama said. But if “the price of peace in Washington” means cutting deals to slash student financial aid or give health-insurance companies more power, “I’m not going to make that deal."

* Obama holds a slim, 50 percent to 47 percent lead over Romney in Ohio, according to the latest CNN/ORC International survey of those likeliest to vote in the state. 

* The conservative 501(c)(4) Crossroads GPS launched a $1.4 million TV ad buy in Minnesota hitting Obama over the nation's debt. The state leans toward Obama, though both sides are now spending money there. 

* Obama cut a TV ad for Connecticut Democratic Senate nominee Rep. Chris Murphy, marking the first time this year the president has made a direct appeal for a Senate contender over the airwaves. Obama praises Murphy's job creation record and in the spot, and says the congressman will "always stand up to those who would turn back the clock on women's health."


* Bill Clinton will campaign for Obama in Pennsylvania on Monday. Obama holds a single-digit lead over Romney in the Keystone State, recent polling has shown. Both Romney and running mate Paul Ryan (Wis.) will be campaigning in the state this weekend. 

* Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) met with Republican Governors Association officials on Wednesday about the prospect of running for governor of Illinois in 2014. "He's made it pretty clear to a lot of donors," that he is considering running for governor, one well-connected Illinois Republican said.

* Obama's campaign has spent more on ads than Romney's, according to an analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project. Super PACs and other outside groups have allowed Romney to surpass Obama in overall spending. Since June, though, Romney and his allied GOP groups have aired about 50,000 fewer ads than Obama. 

* Retiring Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) appears in a new ad in which he defends former state attorney general Heidi Heitkamp (D) against Rep. Rick Berg (R) on the subject of military bases. "Rick Berg wants to you to believe that Heidi Heitkamp would close our bases. It's ridiculous," he says. 

* If Romney wins the presidency, don't expect Senate Democrats to cooperate with him, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) said Friday. "Romney's fantasy that Senate Democrats will work with him to pass his 'severely conservative' agenda is laughable. In fact, Mitt Romney's Tea Party agenda has already been rejected in the Senate," Reid said. 


Unicycle hockey. It's a thing. 

With Aaron Blake