Game On: Romney, Obama reengage for final 5-day sprint

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DENVER — Bounding off of Air Force One in a leather bomber jacket, President Barack Obama, returned to the stump with a call for national unity and praise for the bipartisan response to the storm.

“We morning the loss of so many people. Our hearts go out to those who have lost their loved ones,” Obama said at a rally in Green Bay, Wisc. “We pledge to help those whose lives have been turned upside down.

A day after he toured the devastation from Sandy along the New Jersey coast with Republican Gov. Chris Christie, Obama sought to portray himself as a Commander in Chief above the political fray.

“In the end we’re all in this together — that we rise and fall as one nation, one people.” Obama said. “We’ve also been inspired these past few days. Because when disaster strikes, we see America at its best.

“All the petty differences that consume us in normal times, all seem to melt away,” Obama continued. “There are no Democrats or Republicans during a storm — just fellow Americans.”

When he did finally turn to Romney, mentioning the GOP nominee about 15 minutes into his remarks in Green Bay, the first of 17 scheduled rallies for the president between Thursday and Election Day on Tuesday, Obama softened the attacks he’d been leveling against his opponent.

The references to “Romnesia” are out, as Obama instead pushed back at Romney’s recent effort to cast himself as the candidate who represents change, Obama’s own 2008 theme.

Romney back on the attack

Romney, meanwhile, was back on the attack Thursday morning in Virginia, returning to his well-work attack lines against the president after a three-day truce during the storm.

Romney also added a new attack, mirroring a new campaign ad he has on the air, mocking an Obama statement about adding a “Secretary of Business” to his cabinet.

“He came up with an idea last week, which is he’s going to create a Department of Business. I don’t think adding a new chair to his cabinet will help adding millions of jobs to Main Street,” Romney told thousands of supporters gathered in a window factory in Roanoke.

“We don’t need a secretary of business to understand business. We need a president who understands business, and I do.”

Romney will make three campaign stops Thursday in Virginia, a state that remains very close despite the GOP’s best efforts to lock it up.

Colorado in the crosshairs

His running-mate, Paul Ryan, will campaign in Greeley, Colo. around noon Thursday, kicking off five straight days of campaigning by the candidates in the Centennial State.

President Obama, after a rally in Las Vegas, will rally supporters in Boulder Thursday night; and he’ll be back in Colorado for another rally in Aurora on Sunday.

Romney will be here Saturday, with rallies set in Colorado Springs and Greenwood Village.

Ryan has a Friday event in Montrose as well, and Vice President Joe Biden is set to campaign Saturday in Pueblo.

Romney’s campaign Thursday also released a web video featuring a Coloradan, Dave Martinez, who volunteered for Obama in 2008 but is now supporting the GOP candidate.

The video’s title, “Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Colorado Can’t Lose”, features the refrain created by the TV show “Friday Night Lights” that Romney’s campaign continues to use, despite a letter from the show’s creator, Peter Berg, asking him to stop.