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Obama accuses Romney of shifting positions

Two days after what was widely considered a subpar debate performance, President Barack Obama continued his mission of convincing voters that Mitt Romney did a 180-degree shift to more moderate policies during Wednesday’s debate.

“My opponent, he's doing a lot of -- a little tap dance at the debate the other night, trying to wiggle out of stuff he's been saying for a year,” Obama said, battling driving rain at an outdoor field in Cleveland, as 9,000 supporters looked on.

The president threw in a few references to popular reality TV shows (which just happen to be popular with some key demographics, young people and women) as he ridiculed what he called Romney’s political maneuverings: “It was like ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ or maybe it was ‘Extreme Makeover, Debate Edition.’”

Seeking to underscore what he says was his opponent’s dishonesty in the debate, Obama continued, “No matter what he says, my opponent, he's a big believer in these top-down economics.”

The Romney campaign responded to Obama's criticisms with a statement from campaign spokesperson Amanda Henneberg, which read in part, "The President can’t defend his record of failure on jobs and the economy so he has to lie about Mitt Romney’s pro-growth economic policies." 

The president drove that message home earlier Friday at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., noting with a touch of sarcasm that Romney said he wouldn’t raise taxes on anyone -- including corporations and the wealthy.

“He said there’s no way that he’d close the loophole that gives big oil companies billions each year in corporate welfare. Ending tax breaks for corporations that move jobs and profits overseas? He’d never heard of such a thing. Who knew? Who knew?"

And Big Bird, the new symbol for what Democrats call overzealous Republican budget cutting, also figured heavily into both of Obama’s campaign events.

“He said he'd go after funding for public television. So for all you moms and kids out there, don't worry. Somebody's finally getting tough on Big Bird!” he exclaimed in Cleveland.

“You want me to save Big Bird?” he asked as the crowd laughed.