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Ann Romney: Debate will highlight contrast between candidates

Chris Schneider / AP

Ann Romney speaks to supporters at a campaign event in Littleton, Colo., on Tuesday.



LITTLETON, Colo. – On the eve of the first presidential debate, Ann Romney said Tuesday that the debate will highlight the "contrast" between her husband and President Barack Obama.

"We are excited about that," she said of the debate. "We're focused. And I can't wait for the contrast that we're going to hear tomorrow."

Romney's remarks echo messaging from advisers to her husband, Republican nominee Mitt Romney, as pressure builds for him to deliver Wednesday.

"I think the governor sees it as an opportunity to draw out the very clear choices and the very clear contrast that he wants to offer to voters yet to make up their mind," senior adviser Kevin Madden told reporters Monday.

Several recent polls have shown Romney trailing Obama, although the race remains close. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday shows Obama three points ahead among likely voters, 49 to 46 percent, which is within the poll's margin of error.

Littleton, where Ann Romney spoke Tuesday, is about 10 miles south of Denver, where Wednesday's debate will be held.

Though Ann Romney said her husband "doesn't fail" and that he "knows how to do turnarounds," most of her speech Tuesday focused on his character.

Saying she is grateful for others who are tired of hearing the former Massachusetts governor "mischaracterized," Ann Romney recounted the story of her husband comforting a 14-year-old boy named David Oparowski who was dying of Hodgkin’s disease.

Pat and Ted Oparowski, David's parents, met the Romney family through their LDS church near Boston and told their story at the Republican National Convention in August. Mitt Romney helped their son craft a will, they said at the convention, and at David’s request, gave his eulogy.

"That is where Mitt is when someone's in trouble," Ann Romney said. "He's there, he's by the bedside. Right now, the country's in trouble. We need someone that cares."

From tramping through cornfields to munching ice cream cones to holding babies – the time-honored traditions of the campaign trail leave President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney looking surprisingly alike.