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Has US economy bottomed out? Census suggests yes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy is showing signs of finally bottoming out: Americans are on the move again after record numbers had stayed put, more young adults are leaving their parents' homes to take a chance with college or the job market, once-sharp declines in births are leveling off and poverty is slowing. New 2011 census data being released Thursday offer glimmers of hope in an economic recovery that technically began in mid-2009. The annual survey, supplemented with unpublished government figures as of March 2012, covers a year in which unemployment fell modestly from 9.6 percent to 8.9 percent.

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.

Obama allies continue to push secret Romney video

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's campaign allies continued to push out an unauthorized video of rival Mitt Romney dismissing the half of Americans who don't pay income taxes, while the Republican nominee tried to turn the campaign disruption into a debate over the role of government in family finances. "My course for the American economy will encourage private investment and personal freedom," Romney wrote in an op-ed essay in Wednesday's USA Today. "Instead of creating a web of dependency, I will pursue policies that grow our economy and lift Americans out of poverty."

Republicans: Bad gets worse for Romney

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bad stretch for Mitt Romney just got worse, and Republican insiders now are growing increasingly pessimistic about the GOP presidential nominee's chances of winning the White House. The latest heartburn for these insiders is Romney's refusal to back down from his statement that nearly half of Americans believe they are victims dependent upon government.

Carter grandson arranged Romney video’s release

WASHINGTON (AP) — Midway through a routine Internet search, James Carter IV stumbled upon a video that just didn't seem right. The grandson of former President Jimmy Carter and a self-fashioned Democratic opposition researcher, the younger Carter had watched countless hours of footage of Republican Mitt Romney and made it a habit to search YouTube every few days for keywords like "Romney" and "Republicans."

Appeals court reverses ruling on campaign donors

WASHINGTON (AP) — An appeals court on Tuesday reversed a lower court ruling that likely would have led to greater disclosure of who is paying for certain election ads. In March, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that the Federal Election Commission overstepped its bounds in allowing groups that fund certain election ads to keep their financiers anonymous.

Romney video: Palestinians not interested in peace

WASHINGTON (AP) — GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney told donors in a newly released video clip that Palestinians "have no interest" in peace with Israel and suggested that efforts at Mideast peace under his administration would languish. Romney says that Palestinians are "committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel" and that the prospects for a two-state solution to Mideast peace were dim.

Obama chides China, hopes to use as campaign wedge

CINCINNATI (AP) — President Barack Obama lodged an unfair-trade complaint against China Monday and immediately used it as a wedge against Republican challenger Mitt Romney, whose beleaguered campaign hit another pothole — in the form of private remarks made to donors — just as it was trying to reassure anxious supporters. Obama told voters in Ohio, where the auto industry is important, of his administration's new push for the World Trade Organization to sanction China for subsidizing exports of vehicles and auto parts — and costing American jobs.

Obama team tries to lower expectations for debates

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — President Barack Obama's re-election campaign doesn't want to talk about what the Democrat is doing to prepare for the fall debates with Republican Mitt Romney. But aides are readily setting expectations — and not surprisingly, they want to keep them low for Obama while raising the stakes for Romney. "While Mitt Romney has done 20 debates in the last year, he has not done one in four years, so there certainly is a challenge in that regard," Jennifer Psaki, Obama's campaign spokeswoman, said of the president on Monday.

Romney makes fresh appeal to Latino voters

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Republican Mitt Romney is making a fresh appeal to Latino voters and trying to cut into President Barack Obama's advantage with a key portion of the electorate. Romney, in Los Angeles to address the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, says he'll work with both parties to address immigration and push economic policies to help small-business owners. He accused Obama of "playing politics" by pursuing a temporary measure to exempt from deportation immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Obama reassures US diplomats in wake of riots

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama has called officials at U.S. diplomatic facilities in North Africa and the Middle East to reassure them that their security is a top priority for the U.S. government. Obama called officials working in Sudan, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen in the wake of violent protests that broke out in response to a low-budget movie that denigrates the Prophet Muhammad. The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed last week, and riots continue throughout the region.

Obama touts new auto case against China

CINCINNATI (AP) — President Barack Obama says when it comes to unfair Chinese auto subsidies, he's fighting back — but Mitt Romney's mostly talk. Campaigning in Ohio, Obama announced a new challenge with the World Trade Organization, saying the subsidies have cost thousands of jobs at auto and auto parts companies.

Obama takes on China as Romney shifts strategy

CINCINNATI (AP) — Appealing to Rust Belt voters, President Barack Obama announced a new trade enforcement action against China on Monday, while Republican challenger Mitt Romney planned a greater emphasis on policy details that distinguish him from Obama to stop the incumbent's election momentum. Romney's shift comes as Republicans openly fret about the state of their nominee's campaign and press him to give voters a clearer sense of how he would govern. In newly published polls, Romney has lost the edge he held over Obama as the candidate better able to handle the federal budget deficit and taxes.

Romney hits Obama on economy, Obama takes on China

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Mitt Romney launched fresh critiques of President Barack Obama's handling of the economy Monday in an attempt to cut the incumbent's momentum, as the White House announced new a new trade enforcement case against China in the battle for working-class voters. Obama was promoting a new trade enforcement action against Chinese subsidies of its auto industry during a campaign stop in Ohio, four days after Romney launched a commercial blitz accusing the president of allowing American manufacturing jobs to be lost to the rising Asian power.

AP Sources: Obama launches new China trade action

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is launching a new trade enforcement case against China as he seeks an advantage over Republican rival Mitt Romney on an economic issue that has become a flashpoint in the presidential campaign. Senior administration officials said Obama will announce the new action, targeting Chinese subsidies for exports of automobiles and automobile parts, Monday during a campaign trip to Ohio. The swing state has a large manufacturing base where many blame China for depressing its industry. The officials requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the trade action publicly ahead of the president.

GOP activists to Romney: Why aren’t you winning?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican activists are incredulous: Why can't Republican Mitt Romney seem to break open a tight race with President Barack Obama given the nation's sluggish economy and conservative enthusiasm to beat the Democrat? "He ought to be killing Obama, and he's clearly not doing that," said 32-year-old R.J. Robinson, one of the thousands of activists attending the annual Values Voters Summit this weekend. "He should be doing better."

Obama makes fresh push on economy in key states

BOSTON (AP) — Sensing an opening on the economy, President Barack Obama launched an aggressive new effort Saturday to convince voters in the most competitive states that Republican rival Mitt Romney is risky for the nation's recovery with a plan that caters to multimillionaires over the middle class. "They want to go back to the same old policies that got us in trouble in the first place," former President Bill Clinton is shown saying in the 60-second TV ad set to run in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, and Virginia.

Campaigns push forward as Mideast unrest spreads

BOSTON (AP) — As Election Day nears, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is looking to recover from a tough week dominated by foreign policy as President Barack Obama balances campaigning for a second term with the duties of the Oval Office in the face of spreading anti-American violence in the Muslim world. It is a delicate balance of politics and policy for Obama as the world watches. For his part, former businessman Romney is working to refocus attention on the nation's economy and broaden his appeal with polls giving the Democratic incumbent a narrow, but stubborn, lead.