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Campaign notebook: Romney speeches to focus on policy differences

Notebook

Moderator Lehrer lost control, never got it back

Pundits and the Twitterverse had harsh criticism for Jim Lehrer, moderator of Wednesday night's debate. The candidates often talked over him and ignored his attempts to enforce time limits. The Washington Post wrote, "The attempt to structure the debate around a series of 15-minute segments discussing different aspects of the economy and other domestic policy matters failed almost before it started.''

"I am not going to say I have done a poor job," Lehrer said near the end. But others did.

Al Roker, of NBC's Today, tweeted: "I hope Jim Lehrer gets license plate of truck that drove over him in this debate.''

Someone created a Twitter account: @silentjimlehrer. Late Wednesday night, it had more than 7,000 followers. And what did @silentjimlehrer tweet? "... uh, excuse me ... " ''... I ... so, I ... guys ...'' "... er ... okay so ... now...''

Rubio speech takes off on Biden's remark

Sen. Marco Rubio kicked off a Mitt Romney rally in Denver on Wednesday by quoting the new Republican superstar, Joe Biden. "Over the last four years, the American middle class has been buried," he said, telling a crowd what "the distinguished vice president" uttered this week. The crowd booed. "Don't boo," Rubio said. "He's the best thing we've got going. In a moment of clarity, in a brief moment of clarity, he just told us what we already knew." Rubio then ran down a list of the economic troubles he said were caused by President Barack Obama, arguing to a receptive audience that government burdens the middle class and small business. Rubio then gave remarks in Spanish, mentioning Biden again. "This election is not just a choice between a Republican and a Democrat," he said, switching back to English. He called it a "referendum" on the nation. The audience, which included a number of Hispanics, was familiar with the Florida Republican. "I was hoping he would be our VP choice," said Vera Ortegon, a Romney volunteer who drove two hours to introduce Rubio.

Obamas' anniversary in traded Tweets

The Obamas' 20th wedding anniversary was Wednesday and they took to Twitter to toast each other. From @Barack-Obama: Twenty years ago today, I married the love of my life and my best friend. Happy anniversary, Michelle. -bo. Tweets written by the president carry his initials, B.O. Then there's @Michelle-Obama: Happy 20th anniversary, Barack. Thank you for being an incredible partner, friend, and father every day. I love you! –mo

Romney to deliver policy speeches

Romney is planning to deliver a number of policy-focused speeches with new details during the presidential campaign's final five weeks. The Republican nominee is trying to deepen his contrast with President Obama and answer criticism that he hasn't clearly outlined his plans. Obama has narrow leads in a number of state and national polls. Romney plans a speech on foreign policy next week in Virginia. Aides say that subsequent speeches are expected to focus on his plans for job creation, debt and spending, although the subjects may change.

Debate schedule ramps up now

The two presidential rivals are scheduled to debate Oct. 16 in Hempstead, N.Y., and Oct. 22 in Boca Raton. Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin have one debate, Oct. 11 in Danville, Ky.

Times staff writer Alex Leary contributed to this report, which includes information from POLITICO, the Associated Press and Washington Post.

Campaign notebook: Romney speeches to focus on policy differences 10/03/12 [Last modified: Thursday, October 4, 2012 12:28am]

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