The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

October 24, 2012

Obama asks for another chance to meet his goals

(Continued)

Obama also predicted he would get a so-called "grand bargain" on the deficit within the first six months but says it "will probably be messy."

The Romney campaign criticized another part of the interview in which Obama said he had no regrets for focusing on health care instead of the economy during his first two years in office. He rejected the notion that he could have accomplished more on the economy if he hadn't been pursuing health care reform.

Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said Obama didn't learn from his mistake.

"In the face of a struggling economy, President Obama took his eye off the ball, and spent over a year focused on passing Obamacare - a massive government takeover of health care that cuts Medicare for today's seniors, raises taxes on millions of middle-class families and impedes job creation," she said in a statement.

The two candidates were picking up their pace of travel with just 13 days left in the election. Their mission remains to sway the small pool of undecided voters, but their increasing emphasis is to implore their millions of supporters to vote, particularly in the battleground states that allow early ballots to be cast.

With polls showing more women backing Romney in recent weeks, Obama's campaign tried to tie his rival to a Republican Senate candidate's comments on rape.

Richard Mourdock, who is running for Senate in Indiana, said during a debate Tuesday that when a woman becomes pregnant during a rape "that's something God intended."

Obama spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki told reporters that the president finds Mourdock's comments "outrageous and demeaning to women." Romney's campaign has said he does not agree, but Psaki said it was "perplexing" that Romney hasn't demanded Mourdock take down the ad he taped endorsing the candidate.

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