NORFOLK -- With forty-three days to go until the election, both candidates are still working hard for Virginia’s 13 Electoral College votes. One of the hopefuls spoke to us from half-a-country away.
Republican nominee Mitt Romney did his fourth one-on-one interview with WVEC-TV Monday. He appeared via satellite from Pueblo, Colorado.
Romney has made three in-person appearances in Hampton Roads this campaign season. His running mate Paul Ryan gave a speech in Newport News last week.
President Obama has campaigned in Hampton Roads two times so far in 2012. His third visit will take place Thursday at the Farm Bureau Live Amphitheater in Virginia Beach.
Virginia voted for Republican candidates for president every election between 1964 and 2004. But in 2008, Obama became the first Democrat to win the state since Lyndon Baines Johnson.
Romney told 13News Virginia is crucial to both campaigns, and neither candidate can afford to ignore it. "I think we recognize Virginia could well be the place that chooses the next president," Romney said. "And it’s a state where people are interested in the direction of government and they’re interested in the direction of the country.”
The Obama campaign responded to Gov. Romney's claim in the interview that Pres. Obama would raise taxes if he wins a second term:
“The truth is, Mitt Romney thinks it’s ‘fair’ that millionaires like himself pay a lower tax rate than middle-class families. Mitt Romney’s tax plan would ask the middle class to pay more just to cut taxes for the wealthy. His plans wouldn’t create prosperity for the middle class, they would only lead to endless deficits. President Obama is fighting to ensure that everyone pays their fair share, and people like Mitt Romney pay the same tax rates as the middle class.”
-Joanne Peters, Obama campaign spokeswoman