DAVENPORT, Iowa â?? Scrambling to hold onto his job in a tense re-election battle, President Obama attacked Republican opponent Mitt Romney during a campaign rally here Wednesday, the first leg in what he called "a 48-hour-fly-around-marathon campaign extravaganza."
Obama was more forceful than usual on the stump, calling Romney an untrustworthy double-talker and then, in more measured tones, admitting he hasn't achieved all the goals he spelled out as a candidate in Iowa four years ago.
Romney, who also campaigned in Iowa on Wednesday, said Obama has no meaningful plan to restore the nation's economy, which he said remains the central campaign issue.
"The Obama campaign is slipping because it can't find an agenda to help the American families. But our campaign is growing into a movement across this country that says we're going to get America back, we're going to get America strong," Romney said in Cedar Rapids.
Before a crowd of 3,500 at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, Obama offered an extended riff on what he called "Romnesia" â?? describing in faux-medical terms Romney's tendency, in the president's view, to change his policies and contradict himself depending on the audience he is speaking to.
"But don't worry," he dead-panned, "Obamacare covers pre-existing conditions."
A central peg of Obama's attack Wednesday was an attempt to undermine voters' opinions of Romney's character.
"We joke about 'Romnesia' but all of this speaks to something that's really important, and that is the issue of trust," he said. "There's no more serious issue on a presidential campaign than trust. Trust matters."
He also brandished a new 20-page blueprint for the future, a booklet released in the wake of criticism that, with just two weeks before the election, he has yet to spell out a detailed plan for a second term.
In response, Romney's Iowa campaign spokesman Shawn McCoy said in two weeks, Iowans will choose Romney's positive agenda over Obama's "increasingly desperate attacks."
"Another four years of President Obama's policies will mean lower incomes, higher taxes, and more debt," McCoy said. "A glossy brochure full of the same policies that haven't worked over the last four years is no substitute for a real agenda that will help grow the middle class and restore America's strength."
Romney, speaking in Reno before flying to Iowa, said his goal is to "get this economy cooking again." Romney urged audience members to consider their personal circumstances, and he said the outcome of the Nov. 6 election "will make a difference for the nation, will make a difference for the families of the nation and will make a difference for your family, individually and specifically."
Wednesday was the start of Obama's non-stop campaign tour from Iowa to Colorado, Nevada, Florida, Virginia and Ohio, with stops in his hometown of Chicago to vote and in Los Angeles to appear on The Tonight Show.
His most substantive comments came in a day-old interview with top editors of the Des Moines Register, originally meant to be off the record, made public Wednesday by the White House under public pressure from the newspaper.
In the interview, Obama said he believed he would be able to pass an immigration reform bill in a second term because Republicans will be looking to make amends with Latino voters.
"Should I win a second term, a big reason I will win a second term is because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community," he told the newspaper.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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Read the original story: More jousting as Obama and Romney stop in Iowa