In Ohio, Obama says ‘more work to do’ on economy

  • President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in Hilliard, Ohio, before heading to another campaign stop in in Springfield, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in Hilliard, Ohio, before heading to another campaign stop in in Springfield, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • A little girl takes shelter under and American Flag before President Barack Obama arrives to speak at a campaign event at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in Hilliard, Ohio, before heading to another campaign stop in in Springfield, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)A little girl takes shelter under and American Flag before President Barack Obama arrives to speak at a campaign event at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in Hilliard, Ohio, before heading to another campaign stop in in Springfield, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • Constance Okonkwo, 5, holds an American flag while waiting for President Barack Obama to speak at a campaign event at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in Hilliard, Ohio, before heading to another campaign stop in in Springfield, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)Constance Okonkwo, 5, holds an American flag while waiting for President Barack Obama to speak at a campaign event at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in Hilliard, Ohio, before heading to another campaign stop in in Springfield, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • President Barack Obama greets supporters after speaking at a campaign event at Franklin County Fairgrounds in Hilliard, Ohio, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)President Barack Obama greets supporters after speaking at a campaign event at Franklin County Fairgrounds in Hilliard, Ohio, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  • President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks at a campaign event at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in Hilliard, Ohio, before heading to another campaign stop in in Springfield, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks at a campaign event at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in Hilliard, Ohio, before heading to another campaign stop in in Springfield, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks at a campaign event at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in Hilliard, Ohio, before heading to another campaign stop in in Springfield, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks at a campaign event at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in Hilliard, Ohio, before heading to another campaign stop in in Springfield, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • President Barack Obama is hugged by Judith Kamalay as he arrives to speak at a campaign event at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in Hilliard, Ohio, before heading to another campaign stop in in Springfield, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)President Barack Obama is hugged by Judith Kamalay as he arrives to speak at a campaign event at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in Hilliard, Ohio, before heading to another campaign stop in in Springfield, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks to supporters during a campaign event at Franklin County Fairgrounds in Hilliard, Ohio, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks to supporters during a campaign event at Franklin County Fairgrounds in Hilliard, Ohio, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  • President Barack Obama turns to acknowledge supporters behind him after speaking at a campaign event at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in Hilliard, Ohio, before heading to another campaign stop in in Springfield, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)President Barack Obama turns to acknowledge supporters behind him after speaking at a campaign event at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in Hilliard, Ohio, before heading to another campaign stop in in Springfield, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • President Barack Obama greets supporters before walking on stage to speak during a campaign event at Franklin County Fairgrounds in Hilliard, Ohio, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)President Barack Obama greets supporters before walking on stage to speak during a campaign event at Franklin County Fairgrounds in Hilliard, Ohio, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  • President Barack Obama waves to supporters as he is introduced before speaking at a campaign event at Franklin County Fairgrounds in Hilliard, Ohio, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)President Barack Obama waves to supporters as he is introduced before speaking at a campaign event at Franklin County Fairgrounds in Hilliard, Ohio, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  • President Barack Obama smile as he speaks at a campaign event at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in Hilliard, Ohio, before heading to another campaign stop in in Springfield, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)President Barack Obama smile as he speaks at a campaign event at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in Hilliard, Ohio, before heading to another campaign stop in in Springfield, Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • President Barack Obama high-five a young girls while meeting with supporters after speaking at a campaign event at Franklin County Fairgrounds in Hilliard, Ohio, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)President Barack Obama high-five a young girls while meeting with supporters after speaking at a campaign event at Franklin County Fairgrounds in Hilliard, Ohio, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

“Ohio is at the tip of the spear, and the world and the nation know that Ohio is the firewall for President Barack Obama,” Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland told the crowd in a chilly, dusty barn at the Franklin County fairgrounds. He said Mr. Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin “don’t even know how to fake compassion.” The governor ridiculed Mr. Ryan’s recent photo-op washing dishes at a soup kitchen in Ohio, and Mr. Romney’s effort collecting non-perishable goods for the Red Cross to distribute to victims of Superstorm Sandy.

Mr. Strickland criticized Mr. Romney for “getting his picture taken loading boxes on a truck. Send money, send money to the American Red Cross.”

A new Reuters-Ipsos on Friday found Mr. Obama with a small lead, 47 percent to 45 percent over Mr. Romney in Ohio, although the two are dead even nationally. The Real Clear Politics average of polls also shows Mr. Obama ahead slightly, 48.9 percent to 46.6 percent.

As the president’s motorcade pulled away from the fairgrounds in Hilliard, he was greeted by someone hold a cardboard sign proclaiming: “Benghazi — Don’t Stand Down to Terrorists,” a reference to media reports that U.S. officials failed to send reinforcements immediately while the U.S. consulate in Libya was under attack in September. Four Americans died, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

Again in Springfield, the president was greeted by several people holding signs protesting the administration’s handling of the Benghazi attack, including “Angry Ohio patriot” and “Pretty little liars.”

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