GOLDEN, Colo. — President Obama is back in Colorado and changing course.
In his last three visits he played it safe, visiting college campuses where students gave him quite the welcome. Thursday, Obama takes his campaign to Jefferson County, which has proven to be the state’s most intense battleground in recent elections.
In the 2008 election, the majority voted for Obama. In 2004, they voted for former President George W. Bush.
The President will once again talk about the economy Thursday, but with Libya fresh on everyone’s minds, he’ll also touch on foreign policy.
It’s exactly the kind of unexpected crisis that can change a presidential campaign.
“The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack,” Obama said hours before Air Force one landed in Colorado.
His opponents were also quick to react. Mitt Romney took issue with a Tweet from the U.S. embassy in Cairo.
“The first response to the United States must be outrage at the breach of sovereignty of our nation, apologies for America’s values is never the right course,” Romney said.
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan echoed those words.
“The best guarantee of peace is American strength and peace through strength will be the Romney-Ryan foreign policy of this country,” Ryan said.
Democrats hit back at Romney for politicizing the tragedy.
“I think Gov. Romney’s comments are about as inappropriate as anything I’ve ever seen at this kind of a moment,” Senator and former presidential candidate John Kerry said.
Some conservatives also questioned Romney’s response.
Colorado Republican congressman Mike Coffman, an Iraq war veteran, said the President should express outrage first. But Coffman also said there is a need for Americans to think more about the consequences of their inflammatory speech. A U.S. movie trailer berating the Islamic prophet Muhammad contains such speech, and the video clip was cited as the reason for the violence by protesters in Libya.
“I think Americans ought to think twice about some of their actions,” Coffman said.
The President did not take questions at the Rose Garden, and ignored the attacks from the Romney campaign. He addressed them with CBS news ahead of his campaign stop in Golden.
“Gov. Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later,” Obama said. “And as President, one of the things I’ve learned is you can’t do that.”
According to the polls, President Obama has a 12-point edge on foreign policy. Time will tell if that margin goes up or down.
Obama is scheduled to speak here at lions park at 11 a.m.