Mitt Romney tried to shift his presidential campaign’s focus back to the sluggish US economic recovery after a week dominated by President Barack Obama’s first public support of gay marriage and a damaging news report that Romney had bullied a gay classmate in prep school.
But the issue of gay rights wouldn’t be easy to shake for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. He spoke in North Carolina yesterday, where voters this week approved a constitutional ban on same-sex unions.
His campaign released excerpts of a speech Romney will give Saturday at an evangelical university, where he will cast strong families as central to a strong economy. The release was an effort to return attention to the top issue this election year, one in which Romney is far more comfortable. He’s still trying to win over conservative Republicans who are skeptical of his past positions on social issues such as abortion.
“Although opportunities seem scarce in this economy, it is not for nothing that you have spent this time preparing,” Romney will tell graduates of Liberty University, the conservative Christian school founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell. “America needs your talent and your energy, all the more now that our country’s in a tough spot. In the most practical, everyday terms, the best cultural assets are values as basic as personal responsibility, the dignity of hard work, and, above all, the commitments of family.”
Obama also was turning his attention to the economy Friday after a glitzy, record-setting political fundraising dinner at the home of actor George Clooney that brought in nearly USD 15 million. Obama spoke in Nevada, which ranks second in the US in foreclosed homes and has the highest unemployment in the country.
Obama touted steps his administration has already taken to help homeowners refinance their mortgages. But the president said he needed help from Congress in order to expand the refinancing efforts.
“There are things that we can do right now to help create jobs, to help restore some of the financial security that so many families have lost,” Obama said. “But I have to say that there are a few too many Republicans in Congress who don’t seem to be as optimistic as we are.”
Obama won Nevada in 2008, but it will be one of the most challenging battlegrounds in the state-by-state race for the presidency.
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