Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign… (Justin Sullivan / Getty…)
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NEWINGTON, N.H. — [Updated, 10:19 a.m.: Mitt Romney seized on a remark President Obama made about voting against the GOP nominee as the “best revenge,” highlighting the comment on the stump and planning to air an ad on it as he launched a three-state, four-rally day on Saturday.]
The dust-up is over a comment Obama made on Friday while stumping in Springfield, Ohio. When the president mentioned Romney’s name, the crowd booed.
"No, no, no — don’t boo, vote," Obama responded. "Vote. Voting is the best revenge."
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The new Romney ad features footage of Obama, and then a clip of Romney saying that people ought to vote because of “love of country,” a theme he reiterated at a tarmac rally on a chilly Saturday morning.
“Yesterday, the president said something you may have heard by now that I think surprised a lot of people. Speaking to an audience he said, you know, voting is the best revenge. He told his supporters, voting for revenge. Vote for revenge? Let me tell you what I’d like to tell you: Vote for love of country,” Romney said, and the crowd of more than 1,000 cheered. “It is time we lead America to a better place.”
Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the president’s comment came in the context of Romney’s “scare tactics” on television in Ohio, where she said he was “frightening workers in Ohio into thinking, falsely, that they’re not going to have a job.” By saying that “voting was the best revenge,” Psaki said, “The message he was sending is if you don’t like the policies, if you don’t like the plan that Gov. Romney is putting forward, if you think that’s a bad deal for the middle class, then you can go to the voting booth and cast your ballot. It’s nothing more complicated than that.”
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With three days left until election day, Romney urged his supporters to seek out Obama supporters and discuss the president’s failures to live up to his campaign promises, such as being post-partisan, cutting the deficit and bringing down healthcare costs.
“I need you to spend some time in the next three days to see neighbors and maybe ones with an Obama sign in front of their home and just go by and say, look, let’s talk this through a bit,” he said. “Because, you see, see President Obama came into office with so many promises, and he’s fallen so fall short.”
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Romney stressed bipartisan collaboration and pledged to work with Democrats to fix the economy, as he said he did when he was governor of Massachusetts.
Democrats said this claim was laughable.
“Mitt Romney can’t be trusted to work across the aisle as president because he’s never done it before. Despite his claims in the final days of this race, Romney refused to work with Democrats as governor,” said Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith. “And throughout this campaign, he has shown himself to be too weak to stand up to the far-right wing of the Republican Party.”
After the morning rally, Romney and his wife, Ann, are heading to Iowa and Colorado for three additional events.
A previous version of the story said Romney already aired a new ad; he plans to air a new ad.
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