Obama Campaigns in West Vowing to Avenge Libya Killings

U.S. President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama resumed campaigning as his administration grappled with the aftermath of attacks on U.S. diplomatic outposts in Egypt and Libya. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

President Barack Obama resumed campaigning for re-election as his administration grappled with the aftermath of attacks on U.S. diplomatic outposts in Egypt and Libya.

“We are going to bring those who killed our fellow Americans to justice,” Obama said at a rally today in Golden, Colorado.

Obama was wrapping up a two-day trip in Colorado after a stop in Nevada yesterday; both states are battlegrounds in November’s election. Obama’s agenda for the previously scheduled campaign swing was overtaken by the assaults on U.S. diplomatic outposts in Egypt and Libya and the deaths of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans in Benghazi.

The violence, sparked at least in part by a film about the Prophet Muhammad that is viewed as blasphemous by Muslims, overtook the economy as the campaign’s main issue, as Mitt Romney attacked Obama’s handling of the situation and Democrats accused the Republican presidential candidate of politicizing a potential foreign policy crisis.

‘Aim Later’

In an interview for the CBS program “60 Minutes,” recorded yesterday, Obama said Romney “didn’t have his facts right” in claiming the administration apologized to protesters. Romney has “a tendency to shoot first and aim later,” Obama said.

In his campaign speeches, Obama didn’t directly address Romney or his criticisms.

Romney kept up his attacks on Obama’s foreign policy today in the battleground state of Virginia, where he said that under the administration the U.S. is at the “mercy of events” rather than shaping them.

In Las Vegas and in Golden, Colorado, Obama returned to his main campaign themes about the economy and taxes, laying out a contrast with Romney and asking voters for patience for the economy to fully heal.

Republicans are offering the same economic prescriptions that they’ve put forward before, Obama said in Colorado, tax cuts “for whatever ails you.”

“I don’t think the best answers for today’s new challenges are old sales pitches,” Obama said yesterday in Nevada.

Obama won both states in 2008, getting 54 percent of the vote in Colorado and 55 percent in Nevada. Obama has about a three percentage point advantage over Romney in the states in this year’s race, according to an average of recent polls compiled by the website RealClear Politics.

Romney at his Virginia event in Fairfax, Virginia, pressed his case that he has the credentials to fix an economy and that Obama has failed on that front.

He said the U.S. is “on the doorstep” of a fiscal crisis under Obama. “His policies have not worked,” said Romney, a former private equity executive. “I didn’t just study the economy in school,” he said. “I actually lived in the economy for 25 years.”

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