Friday, November 2, 2012
Incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney have returned to campaigning after taking time out due to Hurricane Sandy.
On Wednesday, Obama visited New Jersey, meeting with Governor Chris Christie in Atlantic City, and spoke to victims of the storm at a community center in Brigantine. Obama earned the praise of the Republican governor who said "[Obama had] sprung into action immediately". The President's reaction to the storm also earned him positive polling, with a Washington Post/ABC survey saying 8 out of 10 respondents thought Obama had responded in a "good" or "excellent" manner to the storm.
After restarting the campaign, Obama has campaigned in Wisconsin where he has attacked Romney's proposed policies as being the same as those of George W. Bush. "Governor Romney has been using all his talents as a salesman to dress up these very same policies that failed our country so badly - the very same policies we've been cleaning up after for the past four years - and he is offering them up as change." said the President.
Yesterday, the independent mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg gave his endorsement to Obama. With several areas of New York affected by flooding from Hurricane Sandy, the former Republican mayor said Obama's stance on climate change factored in his decision. Writing an editorial for Bloomberg View, the mayor asserted: "Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it may be — given the devastation it is wreaking — should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action."
Bloomberg said Obama had taken action to deal with climate change; has proposed measures to reduce emissions from cars and power plants. Bloomberg explained he could not support Romney as the Republican challenger had changed his position on several issues. "In the past he has taken sensible positions on immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care – but he has reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the very health care model he signed into law in Massachusetts," said Bloomberg.
Bloomberg did however have some criticism of Obama. He said that Obama had "engaged in partisan attacks and has embraced a divisive populist agenda focused more on redistributing income than creating it." Responding in a statement, Obama said he was "honored to have Mayor Bloomberg’s endorsement".
Romney spoke at an event in the city of Roanoke, Virginia, criticising Obama's proposal to create a cabinet-level position for business development. In his speech in Virginia, Romney stated: "I don't think adding a new chair in his cabinet will help add millions of jobs on Main Street. We don’t need a secretary of business to understand business. We need a president who understands business and I do." Romney also launched a TV advert which stated that the idea represents a broader failing of the Obama presidency by suggesting that Obama's "solution to everything is to add another bureaucrat."
After speaking in Roanoke, Romney spoke in Doswell, Virginia. His speech was interrupted by a protester who shouted "Climate change caused Sandy! Let's get real!"
Romney plans to make a last-minute campaign stop in Pennsylvania on Sunday.
Jill Stein, the presidential candidate for the Green Party of the United States, was arrested on Wednesday in Winnsboro in east Texas for misdemeanor criminal trespassing while trying to bring food and confectionery to environmental protesters who have been camping in trees for over a month to protest the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Stein has been released pending a court date.
== Sources ==
"Obama and Romney fight to claim mantle of 'change'" — BBC News Online, November 1, 2012
Michael D. Shear and Mark Landler. "After Storm Hiatus, Presidential Race Is Back in Full Swing" — New York Times, November 1, 2012
"Romney mocks Obama for 'Secretary of Business' idea" — WLS 890AM Chicago, November 1, 2012
Dan Hirschhorn. "A Play for PA" — The Daily, November 1, 2012
Raf Sanches. "US Election: Barack Obama returns to the trail" — The Telegraph, November 1, 2012
Mark Lander and Michael Barbaro. "An Unlikely Political Pair, United by a Disaster" — New York Times, October 31, 2012
Steven Mufson. "Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein charged with trespassing in Keystone XL protest" — Washington Post, October 31, 2012
James B. Kelleher. "Green Party presidential hopeful arrested in pipeline protest" — Chicago Tribune, October 31, 2012