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Obama sought this week to draw a contrast with Romney on taxes, saying the Republican’s call for extending cuts for upper-income earners would mean higher tax bills for the middle class. The president’s new television ad made the case with a highly personalized message: Romney has paid a lower proportion of his income in taxes than many people of lesser means.

Obama planned to hammer his tax message again on Friday by calling on Congress to extend tax cuts for families making less than $250,000 annually before those cuts expire at the end of the year. The president wants to end the tax cuts, first enacted under President George W. Bush, for families making more than $250,000.

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Associated Press writers Steve Peoples in Aspen, Colo., and Ben Feller and AP News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius in Washington contributed to this report.