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Obama courts female voters


 President Barack Obama speaks during an event at Doolittle Park, in Las Vegas.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Date published: 10/26/2012

BY JULIE PACE and STEVE PEOPLES

Associated Press

CINCINNATI

--President Barack Obama, seeking to shore up support among women, intensified his pressure Thursday on Mitt Romney to break any ties with a Republican Senate candidate who said that if a woman becomes pregnant from rape it is "something God intended." Romney ignored the emotional social issue, holding to an optimistic campaign tone as he fought for victory in crucial Ohio.

Obama, wrapping up a 40-hour battleground state blitz, also headed to his hometown of Chicago and cast his ballot 12 days before Election Day. The stopover was more than a photo opportunity--it was a high-profile attempt to boost turnout in early voting, a centerpiece of Obama's strategy.

Back on the campaign trail, the president made repeated, though indirect, references to Indiana Republican Richard Mourdock's controversial comment on rape and pregnancy.

"We've seen again this week, I don't think any male politicians should be making health care decisions for women," Obama told a crowd of about 15,000 on an unseasonably warm fall day in Richmond, Va. The president's aides pressed further, using a web video to highlight Romney's endorsement of Mourdock and to accuse the GOP nominee of kowtowing to his party's extreme elements.

"This election is not about me," Romney told a 3,000-person crowd at a southern Ohio manufacturing company. "It's not about the Republican Party. It's about America. And it's about your family."

Romney has disavowed Mourdock's comments, but his campaign says he continues to support the Indiana Republican's Senate candidacy.