Tuesday , March 18, 2014 - 3:47 PM
FAIRFAX, Va. - President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney squeezed in one last burst of campaigning Friday before they hunker down for the weekend to prepare for their final debate on Oct. 22.
During an appearance at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Obama coined a new term - "Romnesia" - for what he said are Romney’s changes in positions.
"If you come down with a case of Romnesia and you can’t seem to remember the policies that are still on your website or the promises that you’ve made over the six years that you’ve been running for president, here’s the good news: Obamacare covers pre-existing conditions," Obama, 51, said in a reference to the health-care law enacted in 2010.
Obama’s rhetoric "tells voters everything they need to know about his campaign," responded Amanda Henneberg, a Romney spokeswoman. Romney is focused on "delivering a real economic recovery," she said in an email.
Romney, 65, didn’t have any campaign events until Friday night, when he was to be joined by his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, for a rally in Daytona Beach, Fla.
A CNN/ORC poll released Friday afternoon showed a virtual tie in Florida, the biggest electoral prize among the states both campaigns view as the most competitive. The survey shows Romney backed by 49 percent, Obama by 48 percent, a difference well within the poll’s error margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Romney arrived in Florida, after winning the endorsement of the Orlando Sentinel. Another major Florida newspaper, The Tampa Bay Times, endorsed Obama. The Salt Lake Tribune in Utah also backed the president.
Of four campaign rallies Obama has held this week, three have been on college campuses, as he seeks to reignite the enthusiasm he spurred among young voters in 2008.
Obama again today emphasized his commitment to women’s issues. He said Romney wants to take the nation backward and has policies "more suited" to the 1950s.
"We’re in the 21st century," Obama said, adding that women deserve "equal pay for equal work."
Obama carried Virginia in 2008, the first time a Democratic presidential candidate won there since 1964. Polls indicate this year’s contest for the state’s 13 electoral votes is close.
Ahead of the debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., Obama will spend the weekend at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, while Romney will encamp in Delray Beach, Florida. The final face-off between the men will focus on foreign policy.
Sign up for e-mail news updates.