A Day Before Election, Candidates Make Final Push


bjbjVwVw GWEN IFILL: The presidential contenders
and their running mates dashed through eight states this election eve. With the race so
close, it came down to one last drive to the finish line, and two very different paths
to victory. We hear from Margaret Warner with the Romney campaign in Boston and Ray Suarez
at Obama headquarters in Chicago. RAY SUAREZ: It’s the final frenetic day of the final campaign
of his political career. The president ran from state to state, starting in Madison,
Wis. The star power was kicked up a notch with an introduction from rock legend Bruce
Springsteen. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: And I get to fly around with him on the last day
that I will ever campaign. So, that’s not a bad way to end things. RAY SUAREZ: Mr. Obama
called on his supporters not to be frustrated by the pace of change. Instead, he encouraged
them to send a message to those who blocked his policies every step of the way. BARACK
OBAMA: What they’re counting on now is that you’re going to be so worn down, so fed up,
so tired of all the squabbling, so tired of all the dysfunction, that you’re just going
to give up and walk away and leave them… CROWD: No! BARACK OBAMA: … leave them right
where they are, pulling the strings, pulling the levers, and you locked out of the decisions
that impact your lives. In other words, their bet is on cynicism. But, Wisconsin, my bet
is on you. RAY SUAREZ: The president also accused his Republican rival of trying to
repackage old ideas and brand them as change. BARACK OBAMA: Another $5 trillion tax cut
that favors the wealthy is not change. Refusing to answer questions about your policies until
after the election, that’s definitely not change. That’s the oldest game in the book.
RAY SUAREZ: For the president, today was all about protecting his Midwest firewall. He
followed the Wisconsin stop with an afternoon rally in Columbus, Ohio, a state both sides
are fighting hard to win and where polls show the race is close. And Mr. Obama planned to
end the day in Des Moines, Iowa, in the state that propelled him to victory in the Democratic
caucuses four years ago. VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH BIDEN: We need you, Virginia. RAY SUAREZ:
Vice President Biden, meanwhile, held a pair of events in another key battleground state,
Virginia. The campaign is headquartered in Chicago, where the president began his political
career. Obama national press secretary Ben LaBolt said the main focus for the president’s
reelection team was getting supporters to the polls. BEN LABOLT, Obama Campaign: We
know that this all comes down to turnout. And so we’re focused on making sure that every
piece of that GOTV operation is up and running at 4:00 a.m. on the East Coast tomorrow morning.
RAY SUAREZ: Who is out there? Is there an army of volunteers that has been deployed?
What are they doing? What are they looking for? BEN LABOLT: They are, and they’re local.
We’re not talking about importing people into states where they haven’t lived. That’s the
value of having an organization that we have built over the course of several years. They
know who those undecided voters are. They know who those Obama supporters are. It’s
a call from a friend or a neighbor asking them to turn out that we think will be the
most effective at the end of the day. RAY SUAREZ: Even in these final hours before the
polls open nationwide, the Obama campaign says it believes there are still small pockets
of voters out there who can be convinced to cast a ballot and cast a ballot for their
man. My colleague Margaret Warner got a very different view of the same electoral landscape
from the Romney campaign. MARGARET WARNER: After a frantic days-long campaign swing,
Mitt Romney returns to Boston tonight to await the voters’ verdict on his seven-year quest
for the presidency. With polls showing President Obama enjoying a slight edge in several crucial
battleground states, Romney’s strategists are counting on the undecided independent
voters breaking his way. ED GILLESPIE, former Republican National Committee chairman: I
think the momentum remains with Gov. Romney. MARGARET WARNER: Ed Gillespie is a senior
adviser to the Romney campaign. ED GILLESPIE: It’s a close race. We always knew it would
be close. But I believe at the end of the day, it’s actually going to be and can be
and will be decisive for Gov. Romney. When I look at the numbers and the data and the
underlying data, I think those undecided voters out there are going to break strongly for
the governor. MARGARET WARNER: The Romney camp also believes it has an advantage in
the intensity of his core supporters, like the crowd that greeted the governor at this
early-morning rally in Sanford, Fla. MITT ROMNEY (R): Look, we have one job left. And
that’s to make sure that, on Election Day, we make certain that everybody who is qualified
to vote gets out to vote. We need every single vote in Florida. (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) MARGARET
WARNER: Romney said Tuesday will prove a turning point for the country. MITT ROMNEY: Tomorrow,
we begin a new tomorrow. Tomorrow, we begin a better tomorrow. This nation is going to
begin to change for the better tomorrow. MARGARET WARNER: After Florida, he made two stops in
Virginia, Lynchburg, in the center of the state. MITT ROMNEY: Perhaps some of your family
and friends have not yet made up their vote — their mind who they’re going to vote for.
So ask them to look beyond the speeches and the ads and all the attacks, because talk
is cheap. Ask them to look at the record. A record is real and it’s earned with real
effort. The president promised change, but change can’t be measured in speeches. It’s
measured in achievement. MARGARET WARNER: And, in Fairfax, an independent voter-rich
suburb of Washington, D.C.: MITT ROMNEY: So many of you look at the big debates in this
country, not as a Republican or a Democrat, but as an independent thinker, as an American.
And you watch what’s happened in this country over the last four years with an independent
voice, you hoped that President Obama would live up to his promise to bring people together,
to solve big problems. He hasn’t. I will. (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) MARGARET WARNER: And
in late afternoon, he rallied supporters in Columbus, the capital of all-important Ohio.
ED GILLESPIE: We feel good about the nature of the race. I think we’re going to win Ohio.
MARGARET WARNER: Do you see a path to victory without winning Ohio? ED GILLESPIE: There
are numerous paths to victory to get to 270. But, like anyone else, I would rather get
there with Ohio than without it. MARGARET WARNER: Ohio is so crucial that Romney’s running
mate, Paul Ryan, was there today, too, on the heels of stops in Nevada, Colorado, and
Iowa. Romney’s day won’t end until midnight, after an election eve rally in Manchester,
N.H. JUDY WOODRUFF: And late Monday, in a surprise move, Romney announced that he will
hit the trail one final time tomorrow, touching down on Election Day in both Pennsylvania
and Ohio. Margaret talked with Romney’s communications director, Gail Gitcho, about the campaign’s
micro-targeting, get-out-the-vote effort. It’s called the Orca Project, named for the
killer whale. You can find that video online. h5M} h5M} h5M} h5M} h5M} h5M} urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags
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