- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 1, 2012

President Obama and the Democrats are converging on Charlotte, N.C., next week for their three-day national convention, but Republicans aren’t ceding the spotlight in the swing state.

The Romney campaign said Saturday that vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan has scheduled a campaign stop Monday at East Carolina University in Greenville.

The Democratic National Convention kicks off a day later at the Time Warner Cable Arena across the state in Charlotte.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden had planned to campaign in Florida during the GOP convention in Tampa, but that trip was canceled because of concerns about the proximity of then-tropical storm Isaac.

During the convention, the GOP is planning to run its own “rapid response” operation in Charlotte, with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus heading a group of that includes South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Under the Dome, a web site covering North Carolina politics, reported Saturday the Romney campaign has a new anti-Obama flier in mailboxes around the state.

The flier, titled “Barack Obama. What a disappointment,” repeats the Republican talking point that the president’s health care reforms take more than $700 billion out of Medicare to fund the Affordable Care Act.

The latest polls show Mr. Romney running dead even in North Carolina with Mr. Obama, who eked out a victory in the traditionally red state in 2008 by less than half a percentage point.

Both the Obama and Romney campaigns, along with their supporters, are buying up television ad time in the state.

American Crossroads, a Karl Rove-led independent group running ads against Mr. Obama, bought $48,000 in ads on Charlotte’s CBS affiliate that will run this week, while on Thursday, Mr. Obama made two major television ad buys on Charlotte’s NBC affiliate, bringing his total ad buys on that station to $310,000 in recent weeks.

Readers can track ad buys in North Carolina and in other states on The Washington Times’ exclusive television ad buy tracker, a new interactive online feature.