President Obama visits Portsmouth, Mitt Romney to have Nashua event on first day of general election campaign

PORTSMOUTH, N.H.—President Obama charged into the stretch run of the fall campaign Friday with an urgent plea to his New Hampshire supporters to become involved in his ground operation and turn back the Republican challenge.

“This is going to be a close election,” he told about 6,000 cheering partisans at a mid-day rally on the grounds of the Strawbery Banke Museum. “Only you can make sure we don’t go back. Only you have the power to move us forward ... I’m asking for your help ... I need you to make some phone calls for me, knock on some doors for me. Tell your friends and neighbors and coworkers about what’s at stake in this election.”

At their first stop after the Democratic convention in Charlotte, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, drawing heavily on their convention addresses, drew clear-cut distinctions in policies and philosophy with Republican challenger Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

On a shimmering late summer afternoon on New Hampshire’s seacoast, the Democrats said the GOP wants to turn back the clock at the expense of the middle class.

Romney, after an event in Sioux City, Iowa, plans to campaign in Nashua.