(CBS News) Among the softballs gently tossed at President Obama Monday during his visit with the ladies of "The View," Barbara Walters wanted to know "what would be so terrible if Mitt Romney were elected?"
"Would it be disastrous for the country?" she asked.
It's an issue Mr. Obama has addressed countless times in the 61 campaign rallies and over 200 fundraisers he's done since filing with the Federal Election Commission as a candidate for re-election last year.
"We can survive a lot," the president said of the prospect of a Romney victory. "But the American people don't want to just survive. We want to thrive."
The president said he and Romney have decidedly different visions of how to grow the economy. "We grow faster when the middle class is doing well," he said.
Ever since candidate Bill Clinton donned Blues Brothers sunglasses and played his saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1992, it's become an increasingly frequent occurrence for presidential incumbents and challengers to appear on TV shows more often home to Hollywood celebrities than political leaders.
"I told folks I'm just supposed to be eye candy here for you guys," Mr. Obama quipped about the fact that he was the only man on the couch with Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, the First Lady, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd.Continue »
(CBS News) LAS VEGAS- At the end of what he called a "tough day," on which it was learned that four American personnel were killed in Libya, including the U.S. ambassador, President Obama used a campaign rally to talk tough, vowing to "bring their killers to justice." His audience of some 8,000 supporters gave him a thunderous cheer.
"And we want to send a message all around the world to anybody that would do us harm: No act of violence will shake the resolve of the United States of America," he declared.
Standing behind a lectern bearing the presidential seal instead of a campaign placard, Mr. Obama said the U.S. will not be deterred, because "the world needs us. We are the one indispensable power in the world."
He later said that the U.S. will be "relentless in our pursuit of those who attacked us yesterday."Continue »
"Whatever I say here today," he told more than 11,000 supporters on the campus of Norfolk State University, "it's gonna be at best a distant second to the speech you will hear tonight from the star of the Obama family, Michelle Obama."
He likened his midday speech, the fifth in four days on his "Road to Charlotte" campaign swing, to a relay race. "You start off with the fastest person," he said of himself.
But he was quick to say he would be back at the White House tonight with his daughters watching their mom's address the convention - and the nation.
"I'm gonna try not to let them see their daddy cry," he said. "Because when Michelle starts talking, I start getting all misty."Continue »
(CBS News) TOLEDO, Ohio -- In what may be the longest football metaphor ever spoken by a presidential candidate in American politics, President Obama on Monday portrayed Mitt Romney as a "losing coach" whose game plan should be "punted away."
At a Labor Day event sponsored by the United Auto Workers Union, Mr. Obama seized on a comment Romney made in Ohio after the Republican Convention that "he's gonna be the coach that leads America to a winning season."
Actually, Mr. Obama left out the part of Romney's football analogy that targeted him. It was a swipe at the number of unemployed and underemployed on Mr. Obama's watch.
"If you have a coach that is zero and 23 million, you say it's time to get a new coach," said Romney last Saturday at a rally in Cincinnati.
Nevertheless, Mr. Obama downplayed Romney's chances of delivering a winning season for the economy, saying, "Everybody's already seen his economic playbook."Continue »
He called for a Rocky Mountain Showdown between his supporters at rivals University of Colorado and Colorado State to register the most voters.
When his supporters booed at his mention of the Mitt Romney agenda, as they did today, Mr. Obama told them: "Don't boo - vote." It's become a boilerplate line in his campaign speeches.
He defended his policies and took plenty of swipes at those of Mitt Romney and the Republicans, but he all but begged his crowds to make sure they can vote.
He urged them to go online at GottaRegister.com - apologizing to English teachers for the "gotta" in the website name.
His rally today marked Mr. Obama's 13th visit to Colorado as president and his eighth this year. The frequency of his trips here reflects the importance his campaign strategy places on keeping Colorado and its nine electoral votes in his win column. It's a state he won in 2008 by a 9-point margin, 54 percent to 45 percent, but which polls now show to be a toss-up.Continue »
"It was something to behold," he said.
Relishing this first opportunity to fire back at the opposition party's gathering in Tampa, Mr. Obama said the agenda the Republicans offered was more often than not "better suited for last century."
"It was a rerun," Mr. Obama said of the policies offered up at the GOP convention. "We'd seen it before. You might as well have watched it on a black and white TV."
Addressing some 10,000 people on a farm in this town outside Des Moines, the president argued, "There was a lot of talk about bold truths and hard choices" at the GOP event. But, he said, "Nobody actually bothered to tell you what they were."
Mr. Obama said Romney "did not offer a a single new idea - just retreads of the same old policies that have been sticking it to the middle class for years."
"If you hear anyone trying to say that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, don't you believe it," said Mr. Obama, in a speech to some 5,000 soldiers in camouflage fatigues.
"Here's the truth," he said. "Our alliances have never been stronger. We're leading on behalf of freedom, including standing with the people of Libya that are finally free from Muammar Qaddafi."Continue »
(CBS News) CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Though the TV was on in his hotel room last night in Colorado, President Obama was watching ESPN, not the Republican convention.
"Watching sports, but not watching the convention," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Air Force One as the president flew here for a campaign rally ending a two-day swing through three swing states.
Carney also said Mr. Obama was otherwise occupied monitoring the path and impact of Hurricane Isaac.
Even so, Mr. Obama urged the 7,500 people at his campaign rally to "pay a little attention to what's happening in Tampa this week."
"Don't boo - vote," he told his audience under the big tent of the Charlottesville Pavillion.Continue »
Updated 6:30 p.m. ET
(CBS News) FORT COLLINS, Colorado - President Obama took a political chance today embarking on a campaign trip to three swing states even as Hurricane Isaac was bearing down on the Gulf Coast.
The last thing Mr. Obama wants or needs is to face criticism two months before the election that he should have been at the White House overseeing federal preparations for and response to the approaching storm rather than campaigning for re-election.
At his first campaign event on the campus of Iowa State University, Mr. Obama was quick to show concerns about the storm were on his mind.
"Before I begin," he told a crowd of 6,000, "I think it's important to say that our thoughts are with fellow Americans down on the Gulf." He said response teams and supplies were already in place.
"No matter what this storm brings," he said, "America will be there to help folks recover."
"When disaster strikes, we're not Democrats or Republicans first - we are Americans first - we're one family and we help our neighbors in need."Continue »
(CBS News) LAS VEGAS - Making a campaign issue of funding for education, President Obama on Wednesday portrayed Mitt Romney as oblivious to the needs of America's schools and students.
He said Romney would rather cut funding for education than cancel tax cuts for the super-rich.
"Governor Romney says we've got enough teachers, we don't need anymore," Mr. Obama told a rally in a high school gymnasium a short drive from the casinos of the Vegas strip.
The president said Romney's budget plan would cut would cut America's investment in education by nearly 20 percent.
"He's not making these cuts because he wants to create jobs or pay down the deficit," said Mr. Obama. "He's doing it to pay for a new $5 trillion tax cut that's weighted towards the wealthiest Americans."
"Let's prove the cynics wrong, show them your voice counts," the president urged a mostly student crowd estimated at 3,300 assembled for his appearance on the campus of Capital University.
Mr. Obama used his campaign speech to spotlight administration initiatives to help make college more affordable for students while blasting Romney for offering no such proposals.
"Putting a college education within reach of working families doesn't seem to be a priority for my opponent," the president told supporters.
In fact, he ridiculed Romney for suggesting on a prior visit to Ohio that if college students need financial assistance, they should either "shop around" or "borrow money if you have to from your parents."
"That's it. That's his plan," said the president, conveying a deliberate air of incredulity.Continue »
(CBS News) WASHINGTON - The White House affirmed on Wednesday that President Obama opposes the Boy Scouts' policy barring gay scouts and scoutmasters. But he has no intention of stepping down as the organization's honorary president, a White House spokesman tells CBS News.
After a confidential two-year review, the Boy Scouts of America last month reaffirmed its policy of excluding gays from participation as members or leaders.
Mr. Obama has yet to personally offer any public comment on the action, but White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told CBS News that the president "opposes discrimination in all forms," including the Boy Scouts policy that "discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation."
Carney made it clear, however, that Mr. Obama will not resign from the organization as its honorary president, though a gay rights group has urged him to do so.Continue »
(CBS News) RENO, Nevada - Reaching out for the votes of military personnel, veterans and their families, President Obama told the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national convention Monday that he kept the promises he made four years ago, stating that today the U.S. is "safer and stronger and more respected in the world."
And though the White House said the president's speech was "official" and not a "campaign" address, Mr. Obama leveled veiled but unmistakable criticism at Mitt Romney's policies and lack of a foreign policy record. Romney addresses the VFW tomorrow.
Mr. Obama began his speech paying homage to four military personnel and veterans who lost their lives in the movie theater shootings three days ago.
"I stand before you as our hearts still ache over the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado," said the president.
He singled out four individuals:Continue »
"Even Air Force One has to fly around the thunder," he explained to an understanding audience, demonstrably happy to see the president under any circumstances.
Along with Virginia and Ohio, Florida is the 3rd battleground state Mr. Obama has visited over the past week - each of them essential to his strategy to win a second term.
He won Florida in 2008 by a narrow 51 to 48 percent margin, but recent polls show him running neck-and-neck with Romney for the state's cache of 29 electoral votes.
Making his 19th visit to Florida since taking office and his 7th visit this year, the president used his kick-off speech to reach out to the politically significant population of senior citizens.
He said Mitt Romney threatens their Medicare coverage by advocating it be turned into a voucher program.Continue »
(CBS News) CINCINNATI - Back in the must-win state of Ohio, President Obama said Mitt Romney's tax policies would create 800,000 jobs, but, "They wouldn't be in America."
At the first town meeting-style event of his re-election campaign, Mr. Obama cited "a new study by independent economists" that concluded Romney's plan to eliminate taxes on the foreign income of U.S. companies would create jobs abroad, not in the United States.
"They'd be in other countries," said the president in remarks to a wildly supportive crowd of 1,200 gathered in the Cincinnati Music Hall.
The Obama campaign spotlights the study's conclusion that tax reforms supported by Romney "would significantly increase incentives for U.S. firms to move economic activity abroad."
(Obama answers a young girl's question on his favorite Girl Scout cookie in Ohio on Monday.)
The study provided Mr. Obama with new ammunition to fire at his presumptive opponent's policies and portray them as oblivious to the needs of working Americans.
But the Romney campaign was quick to return fire, asserting the study was the work of a liberal college professor who contributed to the Obama campaign.Continue »
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