Romney, Obama court key states

BURLINGTON, Mass. – President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney are embarking on a week heavy with travel through battleground states and appeals to key constituencies, with both campaigns wrangling over unrest in the Middle East and who is best equipped to rejuvenate the economy.

Both candidates are courting voters in a series of must-win states and reaching out to a number of voting groups that could determine the election, from working-class white voters in states such as Ohio and Wisconsin to Latino voters in Florida and viewers of a popular Spanish-language television network.

Obama and Romney have dueled for an advantage on foreign policy, with attention focused on unrest in the Middle East in reaction to an anti-Muslim video that led to the storming of several U.S. diplomatic posts and the killing of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

Romney’s campaign has pointed to the events in Egypt and Libya as evidence of national security weakness from the Obama administration. Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, defended the administration on Sunday talk shows, calling the critique a “very empty and baseless charge of weakness.”

Romney and Obama have also tangled over China, each accusing the other of supporting policies that would move American jobs overseas. Romney released a television advertisement last week assailing Obama for “failing American workers” and ignoring unfair trade practices by China. Obama responded with an ad accusing Romney of outsourcing jobs to China when he worked in the private sector.