Obama sharpens Romney attacks

After a lackluster debate on Wednesday night in Denver, a new President Obama emerged on the campaign trail on Thursday, slamming Republican Mitt Romney for basically lying about his policy stances in order to improve his chances in the November elections.

"I know it couldn’t have been Mitt Romney," the President said to laughs at rallies in both Colorado and Wisconsin, "because the real Mitt Romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy."

"And yet, the fellow on the stage last night -- who looked like Mitt Romney -- said he did not know anything about that. It was all news to him," the President added.

At the same time that campaign aides were promising a much more aggressive Obama 2.0 in the second debate, the President's team rolled out a new ad that accused Romney of not filling in the blanks about his plans - and all but calling him a liar.

"How can we trust Mitt Romney?" the graphic says at the end.

As for Romney, his team gave the new Obama attacks the back of hand, saying they were all about damage control.

In events in Denver and Virginia, Romney repeated some of his debate lines, like "trickle down government," and hammered the theme that re-election of the President would not mean any positive change for the jobs and the economy.

"We can't afford four more years like the last four years," Romney said to cheers.

On Friday, both men will be holding rallies just a few miles apart in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., as Romney looks to capitalize on his debate performance.

Early polling indicated that voters also saw a victory for Romney; the first night of a PPP poll in Virginia found voters saying Romney won the debate "by more than a 3:1 margin."

PPP, which is considered a firm that leans to the Democrats, said the first night of their polling about the race in Virginia didn't show much of a change overall. Their last poll in mid-September showed a five point edge for the President; the Real Clear Politics average is +3.5% for Mr. Obama.

The next Presidential debate is October 16 at Hofstra University in New York.