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Romney, Obama Stump for Votes Following Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner

October 19, 2012

U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are returning to the campaign trail on Friday, a day after they poked fun at each other during a high-profile charity dinner in New York.

Mr. Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan will reach out to voters in Florida, a battleground state in the November election.

President Obama will speak at a Virginia rally before heading to the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland.

Both men are gearing up for their third and final debate on Monday. The showdown, in Florida, will focus on foreign policy.

On Thursday, both men took a break from the often combative presidential campaign as they delivered light-hearted remarks at a dinner hosted by New York's Catholic Archdiocese.

Mr. Romney, a multi-millionaire, began the evening by taking a shot at his own wealth, telling the formally dressed crowd that he was glad he and his wife Ann could slip into clothes they “wear around the house.”

His speech also poked fun at the media, which many Republicans accuse of favoring Democrats.

“Let's just say some in the media have a certain way of looking at things. When I suddenly pulled ahead in some of the major polls, what was the headline? 'Polls show Obama leading from behind.' And I have already seen early reports from tonight's dinner. Headline: 'Obama embraced by Catholics,' ' Romney dines with rich people.'”

President Obama also took aim at Mr. Romney's wealth, noting that while he had earlier gone shopping at some stores in Midtown Manhattan, Mr. Romney “went shopping for some stores.”

Mr. Obama made light of his performance in the first debate, during which many said he looked tired and uninterested.

“This is the third time that Governor Romney and I have met recently. As some of you may have noticed, I had a lot more energy in our second debate. I felt really well rested after the nice long nap I had in the first debate.”

The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, named after a former Democratic governor of New York and the first Roman Catholic presidential candidate in 1928, is expected to raise $5 million for Catholic charities.

Recent polls show both candidates locked in a tight race, with less than three weeks until election day.

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