U.S. President Barack Obama is on a marathon campaign tour Thursday, while Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is concentrating his campaign efforts on the swing state of Ohio.
President Obama addressed supporters in Tampa, Florida, asking them not to be swayed by his opponent's plan to fix the economy.
"It is a sketchy deal that says folks at the very top get to play by a different set of rules than you do. They get to pay a lower tax rate. They outsource jobs. They want to roll back Wall Street reform. That was his philosophy in the board room; that was his philosophy as a governor, and if it sounds familiar it is because that was the philosophy that caused a great recession," said Obama.
Obama has stops planned in two other so-called swing states - Virginia and Ohio. He also will visit his home state of Illinois, where he will cast his ballot for this year's election, taking advantage of the state's early-voting policy.
Romney is in Ohio all day, holding campaign events in Cincinnati, Worthington, and Defiance.
In Cincinnati, Romney promised to bring "big change" to improve education, get the economy going and grow jobs. He cited a man who complained he used to have a job earning $25 an hour with benefits, but now has a job for only $9 an hour.
"The president's campaign slogan is 'forward,' but to this gentleman, things do not feel like they are going forward; it feels more like backward. To 23 million Americans, it feels like backward to those who can not find good work," said Romney.
Polls show the presidential race tied, and winning over uncommitted voters is crucial.
Romney's visit to Ohio underscores the fact that no Republican has won the White House without winning that midwestern state.
The Republican presidential candidate told a crowd of supporters Wednesday in another swing state, the western state of Nevada, that the Obama campaign is "taking on water" [sinking], while his campaign has been energized and is "full steam ahead."
Obama appeared on a late-night talk show - the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" - Wednesday to pitch his campaign promises. He vowed to "pull an all-nighter" in the campaign tour that began early Wednesday.
He also referred to controversial remarks about rape and abortion made by a Republican Senate candidate, saying the comment by Indiana's Richard Mourdock are "exactly why" politicians should not make decisions about women's health care.
Mourdock said he does not believe abortion should be allowed in cases of rape and that pregnancies resulting from rape are “something God intended to happen." Romney's campaign said he has not withdrawn his support for Mourdock, although he disagrees with Mourdock's position.
Meanwhile, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has endorsed Obama's re-election bid. Powell said the Democratic incumbent's actions against terrorism have been "very, very solid." He also said Obama ended the war in Iraq and is working on ending the war in Afghanistan.
Powell, a Republican, also backed Obama's presidential bid in 2008.