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Obama looks to regroup; Romney appears confident

WASHINGTON (AP) — As the White House race shows signs of tightening nationally, President Barack Obama's campaign is banking on a massive get-out-the-vote operation and state-by-state shades of economic improvement to maintain its apparent polling edge in battlegrounds from Ohio to Virginia. Republican Mitt Romney, re-energized by last week's debate, is flashing new confidence on the campaign trail and pressing toward the political center on both foreign and domestic issues. But aides have outlined no clear path to winning the 270 Electoral College votes required to gain the White House.

Obama ribs his own debating; Romney eyes speech

LOS ANGELES (AP) — On a last dash for cash in the celebrity scene of California, President Barack Obama on Sunday took a good-natured shot as his own underwhelming debate performance, marveling at how his friends in the entertainment business could turn in flawless showings every time. "I can't always say the same," Obama told thousands of supporters, who got the joke right away. It was Obama's most direct acknowledgment that his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, thoroughly won their debate Wednesday as a tight race rolled into its last month.

Obama raises California cash; Romney eyes speech

LOS ANGELES (AP) — On a last dash for cash in the celebrity scene of California, President Barack Obama on Sunday took a good-natured shot as his own underwhelming debate performance, marveling at how his friends in the entertainment business could turn in flawless showings every time. "I can't always say the same," Obama told thousands of supporters, who got the joke right away. It was Obama's most direct acknowledgment that his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, won their debate on Wednesday as a tight race rolled into its last month.

Obama raises California cash for race’s last month

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fresh off his strongest fundraising month this year, President Barack Obama is looking to raise millions of dollars from celebrities and wealthy donors in California with just one month left in a tightening race. The two-day swing through the solidly Democratic state highlights the critical role that fundraising will play in the campaign's final weeks as Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, escalate their barrage of television ads in competitive states like Ohio. The president is to return there Tuesday.

Romney shows softer side; Obama raising more cash

APOPKA, Fla. (AP) — Mitt Romney is showing his softer side, while President Barack Obama works to extend his cash advantage as both men begin the final-month sprint to Election Day. The Republican presidential nominee was spending a second consecutive day campaigning in Florida on Sunday, where he is drawing on the success of his recent debate performance and pressing a populist message.

Campaign travel offers Obama view of tough economy

HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Sometimes all President Barack Obama has to do is look out the window to get a firsthand look at the country's economic woes. This week in this town, the presidential motorcade speeds past opulent homes lining manmade Lake Las Vegas as he heads to the sprawling luxury development where he's preparing for the upcoming debates with Mitt Romney. But many houses here are empty, victims of Nevada's foreclosure crisis, and others are worth far less than their purchase price.

Rough economy in clear view for Obama on the road

HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Sometimes all President Barack Obama has to do is look out the window to get a firsthand look at the country's economic woes. This week in this town, the presidential motorcade speeds past opulent homes lining manmade Lake Las Vegas as he heads to the sprawling luxury development where he's preparing for the upcoming debates with Mitt Romney. But many houses here are empty, victims of Nevada's foreclosure crisis, and others are worth far less than their purchase price.

As debate looms, Romney looks to Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — His path to victory narrowing, Mitt Romney is looking to Pennsylvania to help slow President Barack Obama's momentum ahead of a high-stakes meeting on the debate stage next week. The Republican presidential nominee was to campaign Friday in the Philadelphia area, first courting donors at a high-dollar fundraiser and then meeting voters at a midday rally.

NJ woman accused of cancer scam for wedding, cash

MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. (AP) — When Lori Stilley told her friends and family that she had bladder cancer, they delivered meals, held raffles and a T-shirt sale, hastily planned and paid for her wedding and raised more than $10,000 for her treatment. But prosecutors say it was all a scam.

Santorum, DeMint endorse Akin in Mo. senate race

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin won two high-profile Republican endorsements Wednesday, a day after guaranteeing his candidacy would continue despite calls for him to quit because of comments about rape and pregnancy he since has apologized for. Former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Sen. Jim DeMint, a tea party favorite, announced support for Akin's challenge to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. They called Akin a "principled conservative" — the same phrase Akin uses to describe himself at campaign events.

AP IMPACT: Tragedy meant big money for NY minister

NEW YORK (AP) — Before the Sept. 11 attacks, the Rev. Carl Keyes was a little-known pastor of a small New York City congregation searching for members and money. When the twin towers fell, his fortunes changed.

Obama launches new tax offensive against Romney

CHICAGO (AP) — President Barack Obama's campaign is launching a new offensive Monday against Republican Mitt Romney, blasting the GOP nominee for criticizing Americans who don't pay income taxes without having "come clean" about his own. The campaign started the new push with a television advertisement, its first spot using Romney's comments that 47 percent of voters pay no income tax, and believe they are victims and entitled to government assistance. The ad was to begin airing in Ohio — a crucial swing state where Romney was campaigning this week — but was also expected to be part of the campaign's final push elsewhere between now and Election Day.

AP IMPACT: Tragedy meant big money for NY minister

NEW YORK (AP) — Before the Sept. 11 attacks, the Rev. Carl Keyes was a little-known pastor of a small New York City congregation searching for members and money. When the twin towers fell, his fortunes changed.

Obama gaining in battleground state contributions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Showing impressive momentum, President Barack Obama raised more in high-dollar contributions than Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during the last two months in 10 of 11 battleground states that are pivotal to win the presidential election, according to an analysis of new campaign financial reports by The Associated Press. Importantly, Romney's campaign has raised more money from donors who gave over $200 than Obama's organization overall since May in four of those 11 battleground states — in some cases by wide margins, such as $21 million for Romney in Florida versus $11.2 million there for Obama. And nationally, Romney has continued to out-fundraise Obama.

Obama camp argues Romney video offends seniors

WOODBRIDGE, Va. (AP) — The presidential campaigns were trying to win older voters Friday with speeches before the AARP and a new video produced by President Barack Obama's campaign that argued rival Mitt Romney derides seniors behind closed doors. Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, who was bringing along his 78-year-old mother for an appearance before the AARP's convention in New Orleans, reassured attendees that he and Romney care about senior citizens.

Romney tries to seize mantle of change

WASHINGTON (AP) — Now it's Mitt Romney who wants to be the candidate of change. Romney seized on President Barack Obama's comment that "you can't change Washington from the inside." Grasping for a way to right his campaign and appeal to independents, the Republican nominee said he has what it takes to end the nasty partisanship in the nation's capital.

Prophet film puts spotlight on US Copts

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The anti-Islamic movie trailer inflaming the Middle East opens with Muslims ransacking a Christian medical clinic and then segues into a flashback of Muhammad's life. "Set the place on fire! We'll burn out these forsaken Christians!" cries one Muslim character. The opening scene from "Innocence of Muslims," although crude, resonates with some Egyptian Christians, who have suffered years of persecution and attacks by Islamic militants.

Obama boosted by upbeat housing reports, new polls

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fresh signs of a national housing rebound and growing support in public opinion polls boosted President Barack Obama's bid for a new term in the White House on Wednesday as Republican rival Mitt Romney struggled to quell his video controversy. The challenger's attempts to get his campaign back on track ran into new difficulty in the form of criticism from rank-and-file Republicans concerned about their own election prospects in the fall.

Romney: I care about the poor and middle class

ATLANTA (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told donors Wednesday that he cares about the poor and middle class as he tried to stem criticism and address concern from within his own party over secretly-recorded comments that he doesn't need to worry about the half of the country that doesn't pay federal income taxes. The White House accused Romney of desperately trying to change the subject from an unauthorized video as its political allies continued to drum up heat over the remarks. The video was a welcome change of subject for Democrats from the campaign's long-running debate over the lackluster economy during Obama's presidency.