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Romney stumps in Virginia highlighting debate, women's suffering

October 17, 2012|By Seema Mehta

CHESAPEAKE, Va. -- Mitt Romney on Wednesday basked in his debate with President Obama the night before, saying that the testy clash showed that his rival has no plans for a second term and spent all his time attacking the GOP nominee's proposals.

"I have to be honest with you, I love these debates, you know, these things are great, and I think it's interesting that the president still doesn't have an agenda for a second term," Romney told 3,500 supporters at a sunny outdoor rally here.

"Don't you think that it's time for him to finally put together a vision of what he would do for the next four years if he were elected?" he asked. "I mean he's got to come up with that over the weekend because there's only one debate left on Monday."

He said Americans expect Obama to describe his intentions for a second term.

"He spends most of his time trying to talk about how my plan won't work," Romney said. "Well, what about his plans? We know his plan has not worked."

Romney and Obama met Tuesday night in a contentious town-hall-style meeting in which they were asked questions by undecided voters. Romney accused Obama of failing to directly answer the questions, including about job creation for college graduates, high gas prices, immigration reform and others.

But he focused most on one woman's question about how to fix the pay-equality gap between men and women to launch into a long critique of the president's economic policies and how they have hurt women. Appealing to undecided women is key to Romney's path to the White House, and his campaign is focusing on them.

"Why is it that there are 3.6 million more women in poverty today than when the president took office? This president has failed America's women. They've suffered," he said.

As he has campaigned across the nation, Romney said, he routinely hears from women who want better jobs for themselves, their spouses and their children, as well as better schools.

"That's what the women of America are concerned about, and the answers are coming from us, not from Barack Obama," he said.

But women are also concerned about Romney's stances on issues such as abortion, forcing his campaign to create a new ad that highlights that the GOP nominee does not oppose contraception and would allow abortion in cases of rape, incest or jeopardy to the mother's life.

Obama's campaign countered that it was Romney who has failed to offer specifics, notably about how he would pay for his plan to cut taxes by $5 trillion.

"If Mitt Romney wants to talk about plans, he might want to start with coming up with some of his own," said campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith.

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seema.mehta@latimes.com

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