Sensing an opening on the economy, President Obama launched an aggressive new effort Saturday to convince voters in the most competitive states that Republican rival Mitt Romney is risky for the nation’s recovery with a plan that caters to multimillionaires over the middle class.
‘‘They want to go back to the same old policies that got us in trouble in the first place,’’ former president Bill Clinton is shown saying in the 60-second TV ad set to run in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, and Virginia.
‘‘We’re not going back. We are moving forward,’’ Obama adds in the commercial.
Romney doesn’t agree and says Obama’s leadership has done little to jolt an economy hampered by an unemployment rate just over 8 percent. ‘‘All the false and misleading ads in the world can’t change one simple fact: Americans are not better off since President Obama took office,’’ said Ryan Williams, a Romney campaign spokesman.
Obama stayed in Washington this weekend. He plans rallies in Ohio on Monday, a fund-raiser in New York on Tuesday, and a two-city Florida swing on Thursday. The president is also expected to campaign next weekend in Wisconsin.
Obama’s campaign spent about $6 million to buy airtime for the new ad in the key battleground states.
The fresh Obama push, coupled with ads this past week by both candidates squaring off over China’s impact on the US economy, comes seven weeks before Election Day and as polls point to modest gains for the president after the national political conventions.
Ryan finds fault in $40b Fed plan
Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan thinks the Federal Reserve is making a mistake in its new effort to prop up the economy.
Ryan spoke at a rally in Oldsmar, Fla., near Tampa on Saturday. He said the Fed’s plan to spend $40 billion a month to buy mortgage bonds in an effort to keep interest rates low won’t work.
He said it will help banks and Wall Street but not people. He called the idea ‘‘sugar-high economics.’’ Ryan’s comments came during a speech that often criticized President Obama’s economic policies.
The Wisconsin representative and top budget writer in the House said Obama inherited a bad situation and made it worse. He stressed how important Florida, with its 29 electoral votes, is in electing GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
Romney took Saturday off from campaigning. He was trying to refocus his campaign on the economy after a difficult week dominated by foreign policy, a vulnerability, in the wake of unrest at US embassies.
Romney is set to campaign in Colorado on Sunday before Monday appearances in California and Texas. He’ll spend Wednesday and Thursday campaigning in Florida.
Both Romney and Obama will appear separately at a forum this week hosted by the influential Hispanic television network Univision.
Spending limits favored, poll says
Americans don’t like all the cash that’s going to super political action committees and other outside groups that are pouring millions of dollars into races for president and Congress.
More than 8 in 10 Americans in a poll by the Associated Press and the National Constitution Center support limits on the amount of money given to groups that are trying to influence US elections.
But they might have to change the Constitution first. The Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in the Citizens United case removed limits on independent campaign spending by businesses and labor unions, calling it a constitutionally protected form of political speech.
The strong support for limiting the amount of money in politics stood alongside another poll finding that shows Americans have a robust view of the right to free speech. Seventy-one percent of the 1,006 adults in the AP-NCC poll said people should have the right to say what they please, even if their positions are deeply offensive to others.