With voters heading to the polls today, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is doing last-minute campaigning in Pennsylvania and Ohio "“ two states that could be make-or-break for him today "“ while President Obama opted to remain in Chicago to do several satellite interviews in battleground states.
In a radio interview with Ohio station WTVN this morning, Romney invoked a once controversial comment by former President Richard Nixon and said he believes there is a "silent majority" who will turn out at the polls for the GOP ticket.
Asked what he's learned about the country from many months of campaigning, Romney replied, "People care very deeply about what's happening in the country today. You know, we've always spoken about a silent majority. The silent majority became very vocal in the last few years. First with the tea party movement, and then with the movement across the country to get behind our campaign.
"We have these rallies that are every bit as large and a good deal more boisterous than what we're seeing on the other side of the aisle. I think people realize a lot is at stake and that's obviously a very positive sign for the election outcome today."
Nixon, in a November 1969 speech, described a "silent majority" of Americans who he said supported his war effort in Vietnam, were not part of the counterculture movements at the time and were in his view overlooked by the media and chattering class.
Obama's decision to stay put in Chicago raised questions on the morning news shows today, prompting campaign senior adviser Robert Gibbs to defend the move, saying that the president would reach more voters via the satellite interviews and that a last-minute visit by the president would be a burden for people voting in whatever states he visited. Obama campaigned on Election Day in 2008.
"We feel like we've got a great opportunity for the president to speak with still undecided voters in those nine battleground states today," Gibbs said on NBC's Today.
Meanwhile, Romney had scheduled events in Cleveland, Ohio, and Pittsburgh, Pa., both critical battleground states.
"We have momentum at the end of this campaign," Romney campaign senior adviser Ed Gillespie said on NBC News. "Gov. Romney's positive, uplifting message has resonated I think. "¦ We see incredible intensity on the part of our voters, and we're leaving nothing on the field."
Gibbs called Romney's final push for the Keystone State "desperate," saying the Obama campaign has the polling advantage.
"It is desperate for them," Gibbs said on MSNBC's Morning Joe program. "The reason they went to Pennsylvania, and the reason they're trying to go back to Pennsylvania, is they understand going through Ohio and a number of states throughout the Midwest isn't going to bear fruit for them. So, they're trying to conjure a genie out of a bottle."
Obama is holding his Election Night rally in Chicago, while Romney heads back home to Boston.
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