Updated 2:58 p.m. - Campaigning for the first time since Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, President Barack Obama began the final sprint to Election Day in Wisconsin, where he mocked Gov. Mitt Romney’s calling himself the candidate of “big change” while seeking to reclaim that moniker for himself.
While Obama had refrained from politicking since the storm made landfall earlier this week, he dove right back into heated rhetoric, saying Romney is being deceptive in his efforts to recast himself as a reformer.
A day after he toured storm-stricken New Jersey, President Obama resumed his campaign with an event in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
“In the closing weeks of this campaign, Governor Romney has been using all his talents as a salesman to dress up these very same policies that failed our country so badly,” Obama said.
“And he is offering them up as change. He's saying he's the candidate of change,” Obama continued, as 2,600 supporters at the Austin Straubel airport laughed. “Well, let me tell you, Wisconsin, we know what change looks like. And what the governor's offering sure ain't change."
But even as Obama skewered his opponent, he also highlighted his own efforts at bipartisanship, noting instances when he worked across the aisle in Washington.
“Sometimes Republicans in Congress have worked with me to meet our goals, to cut taxes for small businesses and families like yours, to open new markets for American goods or finally repeal ‘Don't ask, Don't tell,’” he said, adding, however, that sometimes he’s had “big fights” with Republicans that “were worth having.”
Jewel Samad / AFP - Getty Images
President Barack Obama greets supporters during a campaign rally at Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay, Wis., on Nov. 1, 2012.
“I didn't fight those fights for any partisan advantage. I've shown my willingness to work with anybody of any party to move this country forward,” he continued.
The Romney campaign countered Obama's event with a statement from spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg, which read in part, "We've said all along this election is a choice between the status quo and real change - change that offers promise that the future will be better than the past. President Obama's misguided policies and broken promises have let down millions of Americans, and we can't afford four more years like the last four."
After his Green Bay event, the president headed to Las Vegas, Nevada for another rally.